Hot Rocks Tour
|Tour Starts:||Auckland or Wellington|
|Tour Length:||9 or 10 days|
|Tour Ends:||Auckland or Wellington|
|Tour Costs:||from $NZ1,395.00|
|Summer Tour PDF:||Download tour sheet|
View winter tour option
|Client Rating:||4.9 out of 5|
|Map:||Click here to view map|
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If you have a few days after your trip why not extend it with one of these great trips:
Summer Blast Tour - Explore the four corners of the Mainland on this complete South Island round trip. From the golden beaches of Abel Tasman to the blue ice of Fox Glacier you will get to immerse yourself and experience some of the finest natural wonders in the World. Most popular departure spots are Christchurch and Picton.
Southern Light Tour - If you don't have time for a full South Island tour but are keen to revel in a brilliant action packed adventure then check this one out. Starting in either Picton or Christchurch we enjoy the highlights of the South and wrap things up in the adrenalin capital - Queenstown!
Contact Us for more information.
Below are a few of our favourite parts of this tour - but check out the itinerary as there are plenty more...
- Day 1: Auckland to Coromandel
- Day 3: Rotorua to Tongariro
- Day 5: Kapiti Coast to New Plymouth
- Day 7: Auckland to Bay of Islands
- Day 9: Bay of Islands to Orewa
Auckland to Coromandel
Depart Auckland at 10am. The beautiful Coromandel Peninsula awaits so bring your swim gear. Enjoy a great coastal walk or kayak the coast to Cathedral Cove. Visit unique Hot Water Beach to dig your own thermal pool. Coastal cycle to beachside camp.
TOUR DAY - auckland TO COROMANDEL
On our way to the fantastic and unique Hot Water Beach. We head back through Auckland and welcome some new faces on the bus. From Auckland we head to the Coromandel, renowned worldwide for its natural beauty, misty rainforests and pristine golden beaches.
We stop in Tairua where there is a excellent place to start todays’ optional ride. The scenery includes some great native bush and the striking Pohutukawa trees (or NZ Christmas trees). You will cycle to Hot Water Beach but save some energy as there’s plenty to keep you entertained once you arrive, as there is a great walk or Kayak to the magnificent Cathedral Cove. Bring your swimming gear to enjoy these turquoise waters.
At low tide the guides will take you to Hot Water Beach where they will show you the best place to dig yourself your very own natural hot pool to bathe. Tonight you will enjoy a favourite on the Flying Kiwi menu, the famous Flying Kiwi fish dish.
ABOUT THE AREA:
This beautiful Coromandel Peninsula is just a short distance from Auckland but it feels like a different world! It only takes around 2 hours to reach the region but the volcanic hills, towering forests and stunning beaches make it an idyllic escape from the city. Locals and others are attracted by the endless golden beaches, lovely turquoise waters and the great mix of architecture old and new. The region is home to many of the oldest European villages and buildings in New Zealand.
Sea Kayak in the afternoon at stunning Cathedral Cove
Lovely 2hr (return) walk to the beach at Cathedral Cove.
The cycle option today is a 25km ride that takes you over the Tairua hill to Hot Water Beach or Hahei.
Holiday camp near Hot Water Beach with excellent facilities. Cabins are also available for a small extra charge (subject to availability).
DID YO KNOW.......?:
The township of Coromandel is located on an inlet called McGregor Bay, named after the British Navy ship “H.M.S. Coromandel“ which anchored first off Colville on 13th June 1820.
Coromandel to Rotorua
Heading to the thermal wonderland of Rotorua. For the keen cyclist there is an early morning option. On the way south we enjoy a beach stop for a swim or a chance to stroll around a natural reserve brimming with Pohutukawa trees. After lunch it’s onto Rotorua where we give you time to soak up the atmosphere and sulphur of Rotorua and its thermal wonders.
tour DAY - COROMANDEL TO ROTORUA
This is the cultural and geological heart of the North Island. The area is the perfect place to experience and learn about Maori culture and to experience first hand the dramatic thermals of the country.
We’d highly recommend a dip in the soothing pools to relax and unwind! You can also try the mind blowing OGO, Agrodome Adventures or the famous Rotorua Luge. There is the opportunity for mountain bikers to explore the Whakarewarewa Forest - home to one of the oldest mountain bike networks in the country.
ABOUT THE AREA:
Bubbling mud pools, geysers and Maori culture are some of the main reasons that visitors head to the thermal resort of Rotorua. It is the oldest and most established thermal resort in the country and from the moment you arrive you will notice something different. There is a smell of sulphur in the air and numerous spouting geysers frothing and foaming to create a rainbow of wonderful colours. After a days adventure the spa and pool options are a must.
Polynesian Spa Pools
For the early risers you can enjoy a great stroll along the beach and later on another great option at Whiritoa beach. We then have a few hours to walk around the thermal wonders of Rotorua - Sulphur City.
In Rotorua there are awesome mountain bike tracks through the Whakarewarewa Forest. Later in the afternoon you can cycle to the lakeside camp through rolling farm land – there are a few twists and turns.
A bush camp by Lake Rerewhakaaitu enjoying the real natural beauty of New Zealand.
DID YOU KNOW.......?:
When the Europeans arrived in New Zealand, it was already inhabited by the Maori people – Eastern Polynesian settlers who arrived some time between 800 and 1300. Legend has it that they came from a place named Hawaiki; its location is unknown. The very strong linguistic connection to Cook Island Maori might suggest that they originated from that region of the Pacific.
Rotorua to Tongariro
Enjoy a relaxed start to the day before we check out the geysers, mud pools and other cool thermal stuff! There is a morning cycle option for those who are keen. Midday we will be heading towards Taupo and on the way we visit the very impressive Huka Falls with great walk and cycle options into Taupo. We spend some time exploring this area and its adventure options before heading to camp by the Tongariro National Park.
TOUR DAY - ROTORUA TO TOKAANUI
Taupo is a great little town where you can enjoy some spectacular lakeside scenery, and for the adventure junkies it’s a great day with the option to test your fear of heights on the Rock n Ropes course, bungy or skydiving. If you prefer something a little more relaxing then you can kayak on Lake Taupo to the amazing Maori rock carvings. The scenery we pass through today includes the largest man made forest in the Southern Hemisphere - the Kaingaroa forest and a crossing of the Waikato River - NZ’s longest and only river streaming northbound.
ABOUT THE AREA
This region is centred around Lake Taupo, NZ's largest lake at 619sq km. The area includes hot springs in numerous locations around the lake, which is an extinct volcanic crater. Just north of Taupo underground steam has been harnessed for electricity generation. From Lake Taupo the mighty Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, gushes out through a narrow chasm to create the dramatic Huka Falls.
Viewing the giant geysers & Wai-O-Tapu thermal area
Rock ‘n’ Ropes
Plenty of shorter walks available around the lakes and geysers. From Huka Falls it is a nice two hour walk to the centre of Taupo. Take your swimming gear for a dip in the natural hot pool along the river. Have a stroll around Taupo and down to the lake shore.
Today you can cycle ahead of the bus to Wai-O-Tapu (about 23km's). From Huka Falls there is a great mountain bike track into town.
A great camp with free hot pools. Cabins are also available for a small extra charge (subject to availability).
DID YOU KNOW.......?:
The Maori people named the country, Aotearoa, "The Land of the Long White Cloud."
Tongariro to Kapiti Coast
Giving many of you the chance to enjoy New Zealand’s (and possibly the World’s) finest one day walk - the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. For others though there’s still plenty to enjoy. You will have the chance to enjoy short local walks or cycle the new Turangi river track. There is also the chance to go White Water Rafting. We wrap up the day at a wonderful camp next to the beach
tour DAY - tongariro to kapiti coast
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is described by many as the best one day walk in the World. It's an amazing hike and an excellent opportunity to absorb a huge diversity of landscapes in a few hours. For those who aren't keen on hiking there are still plenty of options and everyone will love the evening campsite on the Kapiti coast.
ABOUT THE AREA:
The 80,000 hectare Tongariro National Park is a World Heritage Area, with its centrepiece Mount Ruapehu rising dramatically 2797m from the surrounding area. Next to Mt. Ruapehu are two smaller volcanic mountains - Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro. This is also the site of one of NZ's best ski fields and is often snow capped year round.
Today is your chance to enjoy one of the world’s greatest one day walks – The Tongariro Alpine Crossing. There are also short walk options that run next to the Turangi River.
If you fancy hitting the saddle today there are a couple of cycle options. There is a new two hour river track around the Turangi area, or head towards the end of the walking track, about 28kms. For the keen, cycle ahead towards Waiouru about 60kms.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
White Water Rafting
DID YOu KNOW.......?:
Tourism is the main industry in New Zealand with over two million visitors a year. The main exports are lamb, butter, kiwifruit, and wine.
Kapiti Coast to New Plymouth
Heading south to the coolest little capital – Wellington! We have a short amount of time to explore the captial with awesome attractions such as Te Papa museum, Botanical Gardens and Zealandia. We then head up the coast to to New Plymouth. .
TOUR DAY - KAPITI COAST TO new plymouth
Soak up the culture and buzz in the nations capital. There are plenty of attractions to appeal to all tastes and the highly recommended (and free) Te Papa museum. We then head up the coast to New Plymouth where we enjoy great sunsets and beautiful coastal views.
ABOUT THE AREA:
Wellington is New Zealand's capital with a population of approximately 390,000. It is an amazingly compact city surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of spectacular hills and wonderful waterfront. It has long been established as the entertainment centre of the country and its cafe, restaurant and theatre industry is thriving. With the highest ratio of eating options in the country its easy to see why Wellington is labelled the "cafe capital".
Taking in the culture and attractions of the capital city. Te Papa museum is highly recommended. There’s great shopping here, so plenty to spend your money on if you’re feeling flush!
A stroll round the bars, cafes and shops of Wellington or amble through the Botanical Gardens which are found at the top of the cable car in central Wellington. Mt Victoria loop (4.7km), range of central city walks.
There are no cycling options today, as we head on a busy road into Wellington.
A good campsite looking out into the Tasman Sea. (Upgrades subject to availability)
DID YOU KNOW.......?:
Although it is around the size of Japan, New Zealand’s population is just over four million, making it one of the world’s least populated countries.
New Plymouth to Auckland
Early departure to the limestone wonderland of Waitomo Caves. Black Water rafting or a cave walk. Local farm walk and cycle. Picnic lunch then travel to Auckland for a taste of big city life kiwi style. For some this will be the end of your tour but for those continuing accommodation is not included but we'll help with booking in hostel perfect for exploring the city and ideal for tomorrows trip to the Bay of Islands.
TOUR DAY - new plymouth to auckland
Heading to the City of Sails - Auckland. It’s a scenic drive with an excellent stop-off at the Waitomo caves, rated by many as the best attraction in New Zealand. Here you get the unique chance to raft in a limestone wonderland created by erosion over millions of years. We pull into the city as evening approaches which allows you to get out and enjoy the night life of New Zealand’s largest city.
ABOUT THE AREA:
Auckland is bordered by 2 harbours, Waitemata and Manukau and lies at the southern end of the Auckland Peninsula. Auckland is NZs largest city and the main gateway for all elements of commerce, tourism and industry. Although this is the largest urban area its also has great beaches, excellent shopping and the buzzing nightlife and culture you'd hope for in a large city. Auckland is also known as the City of Sails and this has been added to with the America’s Cup event regularly held here.
Black Water Rafting
Glow worm cave walk
For those not trying the caves there are plenty of farmland walks in the area.
You can cycle ahead to Waitomo and the bus will meet you there (if you want to try caving you won’t have time to do this ride).
We will get right into the city centre and make the most of the bustling city by staying in a local hostel (this will be a seperate expense but we will help arrange it for you).
DID YOU KNOW.......?:
Auckland has the largest number of boats per capita of any city in the world.
Auckland to Bay of Islands
tour DAY - AUCKLAND TO BAY OF ISLANDS
Leaving Auckland at 10am and heading for the golden beaches of the Bay of Islands. Whilst enjoying the scenic drive we’ll be asking you to think about activities for the next day. These include sailing, Cape Reinga day trip, Dolphin Eco Experience, diving the Rainbow Warrior or fishing. As we drive up the coast you get to take in views of Whangarei heads. Whangarei is NZs warmest and northernmost city so enjoy the heat. You will be able to spot Hen and Chicken Islands as we head up the coasts and with a bit of imagination you can see how they got their names!
We stop off at the beach for a swim and a walk along the sand dunes. When we arrive in Paihia you get to choose from a great Mangrove walk or a beautiful cycle to thundering waterfalls, as well as the chance to visit the Treaty House where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.
Visit the Treaty House - a very interesting trip to learn more about the Treaty and history of Europeans and native Maori.
Great walks around the estuary and through mangroves to spectacular Haruru Falls (around 90 minutes). Also a great option for a lunchtime stroll along the wonderful beaches.
A gentle 12 km ride to the camp or you can hop off earlier for a hilly 17km ride. Both rides include some gravel road and a stop to take in the Haruru Falls along the way. The rides should take around 1 - 2 hours finishing at our accommodation.
We will be staying in a wonderful campsite with excellent facilities and upgrades available. There are kayaks to hire and it’s a great swimming spot.
New Zealand was the last major landmass to be populated (with the exception of the polar regions)
Bay of Islands
Delicious pancake breakfast. Day in the Bay of Island’s clear turquoise waters with one of the great optional activities: Cape Reinga day trip, sail Bay of Islands, dolphin swimming, Waka paddle & village tour or Rainbow Warrior dive. Plenty of treks & rides. 2nd night at same great camp.
TOUR DAY - AUCKLAND TO BAY OF ISLANDS
Pack your lunches and bathing gear and make the most of the famous Bay of Islands. For those looking to enjoy hikes or cycle rides there are a number of options around the area and just ask your guide for their advice. For those wishing to soak up a bit more Maori culture the evening show is a great insight and gives you a chance to get up close and personal and experience the Haka! Make the most of this aquatic paradise and take your pick from a variety of outstanding hike, cycle or activity options. We are staying in the same wonderful campsite tonight which means maximum time to explore.
ABOUT THE AREA:
Northland is the perfect playground for water lovers. With a staggering 144 islands, the Bay of Islands offers diving, boating, swimming and big game fishing. There are some excellent hiking trails and walks in the native forests leading to some of the largest and oldest trees in the World. From here you can also visit Cape Reinga, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean - which is one of the northernmost spots in New Zealand. Trips to Cape Reinga drive along the flat, silvery sands of Ninety Mile Beach - a “historic” highway (interesting fact: the beach is only 64 miles or 104km long).
This region is also home to the oldest European villages in New Zealand and many historic buildings.
Sailing Bay of Islands
Awesome Cape Reinga day trip
Dolphin Eco Experience
Diving, Rainbow Warrior day trip
Treaty House concert
Day in the Bay adventure
Many walking options of different lengths. The pick of the bunch today is a 6-hour round trip (taking in some gorgeous beaches) from Paihia - Russell. A good level of fitness is required but the day is broken up with ferry rides (own cost) and great places to visit. Alternatively, you can walk to the Haruru Falls (1.5 hours).
It’s a good day for bikers! You have all day to enjoy a number of cycle options including a challenging 50km loop that takes you inland, then back along the coast to camp. For a more relaxed day there are a number of shorter rides to choose from.
We will be staying in the same wonderful campsite with excellent facilities and upgrades available. There are kayaks to hire and it’s a great swimming spot.
DID YOu KNOW.......?:
New Zealand was the first major nation to have universal suffrage. In 1893 it became legal for all male and female citizens of New Zealand to vote.
Bay of Islands to Orewa
A day full of adventure. We head off from the Bay of Islands and cross to the giant dunes of Opononi, for beach fun & optional sand boarding. For those who are keen we have an excellent cycle option to view the giant Kauri trees. Travel Hibiscus Coast to our beach side camp with hot pools and water slides nearby - perfect.
tour DAY - BAY OF ISLANDS TO OREWA
Our first stop comes in Opononi with a chance to try your skills sand boarding at the awesome sand dunes on the other side of the harbour. If you don’t fancy heading down the sandy slopes there’s a nice coastal walk to Omapere.
Then it’s back on board heading south towards the Waipoua Forest. Next highlight is a stop at Tane Mahuta where you will be in awe at the largest kauri tree. A short drive then there is a chance to stretch your legs by either walking to the second largest tree, called Te Matua Ngahere or you can cycle ahead of the bus through this magnificent forest. We will also be taking a short stop in Dargaville. We wrap up the day with hot pools and superb slides, enjoy a well-earned meal and share stories of our Bay of Islands adventures.
about the area:
The roads around this region pass through forest dominated by huge kauri trees. These tower above you at heights of up to 60 metres with a trunk five or more in diameter. These trees are slow growing and some are over 2000 years old. Beautiful Opononi is an excellent stop with its endless dunes lined by beautiful pohutakawa trees (the New Zealand christmas tree). 'Opo the Friendly Dolphin' made the region famous in 1955-56 when locals and tourists visited the area in their thousands to see the new playful resident. Opo's visit is commemorated with a statue.
Hot Pools and slides
Some great short walks in Waipoua Forest
Rides of varying lengths winding through the forest.
Excellent camp site located by the beach and the hot pools - an inspirational spot for sunset photography
DID YOU KNOW.......?:
Auckland is the largest Polynesian City in the world with a population mix of - 13% Pacific Island, 12% Maori, 61% European.
Orewa to Auckland
An early start as we head back near the coast to your final stop - the city of sails, Auckland .
TOUR DAY - Orewa TO AUCKLAND
We head back to Auckland for the end of your tour but there are plenty of options to extend if you want to stay on the bus.
ABOUT THE AREA:
Auckland is often mistaken as the capital of New Zealand due to its size. It is the gatweay and commerical capital of the country and also an excellent base from which to explore some beautiful area such as the highly recommended Waiheke Island (a great place to spend a few days if your trip ends in Auckland). The CBD (central business district) is thriving with shops, bars and restaurants and the harbour area is the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy and soak up the atmosphere.
Sky tower bungee
Some short, early walks before we head off from camp
No cycle options today
Not applicable. If you do need accommodation after your trip contact our friendly team and we can help make arrangements.
DID YO KNOW.......?:
Maori called this region ‘Tamaki makau rau’, a maiden with 100 lovers.
All photos shown below are taken by past passengers (no stock photography here!!). You WILL visit these and you WILL finish the trip with your own amazing photo diary. :)Hot water Beach Bay of Islands Auckland Thermal Geysers at Rotorua West Coast sunsets near camp Cathedral Cove Underground at Waitomo Caves Camp and dinner at sunset Maori Paddling a Waka North Island cabin upgrades Great coastal walks Tongariro Alpine Crossing Sailing the Bay of Islands The diverse Tongariro Crossing Kayak at cathedral cove Wellington Cable Car Picture perfect Mount Taranki Maori Church near Rotorua Cycle or hike by Huka Falls Bungy at Taupo Learn about Maori culture
We love our trips...but we are a little biased. Get a real feel for our tours from previous clients reviews below. To view all Flying Kiwi tour reviews click here »
TOUR Starting Auckland
TOUR Starting Auckland
(heading South first)
19, 28 OCT
6, 15, 24 NOV
3, 12, 21, 30 DEC
8, 17, 26 JAN
4, 13, 22 FEB
3, 12, 21 MAR
TOUR Starting Wellington
Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below answers to some of the most common questions about these specific trips. For general questions about our tours please visit our frequently asked questions page. For anything else please contact us.
How do I find out the departure times for my trip?
You can find up-to-date departures times and the main pick locations from this link . If you would like to be picked up from somewhere not detailed on the itineraries you will need to contact the Flying Kiwi office via email or phone to find the specific time - we are very flexible and alternatives can easily be arranged.
What happens with the different start points and different trip lengths?
The main itinerary shown here is for a trip starting in Auckland and heading South first. However, the bus does a full loop so you can start at any point. The other two popular options are to start in Auckland and head North first or join in Wellington. With all options you finish where you started. When starting in Wellington or Auckland travelling South first you have an extra night in Auckland as we pass back up the west coast, extending the trips out to 10 days.
Does this trip run in winter?
During the winter we run a similar trip but swap camping and cabins for hostels and lodges. We also refine the itinerary slightly to suit the conditions, including the addition of some ski fields where appropriate. For more information on these tours check out our winter tours page.
- Ultimate Explorer Tour - from 27 days
- Reverse Traverse Tour - 14 or 15 days
- Grand Traverse Tour - 15 days
- Hot Rocks Tour - 9 or 10 days
- Northern Wanderer Tour - 8 days
- Beach It Tour - 4 days
- Northern Light Tour - 5 days
- Northern Express Tour - Auckland
Thanks Flying Kiwi for the best trip of my life. Every part of the tour was amazing.
Lindsey, UK, 2012