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This 8 day adventure gets us to explore the fiery geothermal heat of the ‘central plateau’ in New Zealand’s North Island, hiking among volcanoes, glaciers, boiling mud pools and cascading waterfalls. You’ll see a variety of scenery including moon-like open scoria plains, boiling hot sulfur lakes, crystal clear bubbling springs, alpine herb fields and snowy glacier topped mountains – this scenery is a feast for the eyes!
Starting in Auckland with a group dinner and a briefing, this is a chance to gather information and prepare for the adventure ahead!
Hike alongside the thundering Huka Falls.
Hike the famous “Tongariro Crossing”.
See the fascinating Silica rapids.
Overnight hike on the “Round the Mountains” trail on the flanks of Mt Ruapehu – Tongariro National Park.
Caving in Waitomo glow worm caves.
Arrive in Auckland. First group dinner.
Commence drive south towards geothermal central plateau, stopping at Huka Falls in Taupo, to see thundering falls of New Zealand’s largest river. After lunch, continue to Turangi, our home for 3 nights. Pre-trek briefing.
Trek one of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks” – the Tongariro Crossing. Transfer to trail head at Mangetepopo, crossing scoria flats and passing soda springs before ascent to South Crater and Mt Tongariro summit. Spectacular views over North Island and out to sea. Descend past iridescent blue emerald lakes and boiling hot sulphur “Blue Lake”, before returning to Turangi. Tonight soak in the local hot pools.
A more gentle trek, we trek through native alpine forests of Coprosma and onto the lower silica rapids track, turning to follow the rapids – a bubbling stream with gold-toned bed, coloured by deposits from clays leaching from upstream swamps. Return to village amid beautiful views over to Mount Ngurahoe.
A day of stunning views, starting at Wahakapapa village, a break at thundering Taranaki Falls and continuing up flanks of Mount Ruapehu towards the Tama Lakes.
Continue over crossing with views of Tukino Peak of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe. Descend past the historic Waihohonu Hut to the modern day hut alpine for the night.
Commence with short side trip to Ohinepango Springs. These gushing waters are almost the cleanest water you can get; mesmerising to watch with crystal clear waters bubbling out from the ground. Collect backpacks and head onto alpine tundra through alpine herb fields to Waihohonu Track. Transfer to Turangi.
Waving goodbye to the volcanic plateau, we travel north to fascinating Waitomo glow worm caves and explore an underground cave system. We’ll float down a subterranean stream, slide down waterfalls and at one point, switch off headlamps to view incredible glow worms living. Continue to Auckland for farewell dinner.
Note: Those not wishing to cave dive can take a walk through Ruakuri cave to learn more about the geological significance of the area.
After a final breakfast together, we bid farewell and head home, or on to the next adventure!