A pleasant drive south over the Bombay hills and into the rich dairy farmland of the Waikato. Then turning east, a short stop with an elevated view over the Hauraki Plains, with the Kaimai / Coromandel Range in the distance, makes for a great photo stop.
It’s all flat driving across the plains through farmland as we follow the Kaimai Range to a disused dairy factory for a coffee/tea break. You may like to try the cheese platter.
Continuing through Matamata, we cross over the Kaimai Range to a height of 2300ft with some unique volcanic land formations. Lake Rotorua comes into view as we descend into the land of the Te Arawa People. First stop is the thermal reserve of Te Puia. Here we take the Steam Box Lunch tour. This extended tour starts by selecting your choice of raw foods to place inside the hangi basket, then you are ready to head to the constantly active steam vent used to cook your meal in the traditional way. Your guide will then lead you on a tour that takes in;
The geothermal wonders of Pohutu & Prince of Wales Geysers, the iconic Kiwi bird, you'll go behind the scenes at the national carving school, talk to the master carvers. and visit the national weaving school to learn how the Maori people perfected the art of weaving with the native flax.
After which lunch is served to be enjoyed in front of the Pohutu geyser. Concluding lunch, Rotorua sights includes a short drive out past the Redwood forest to the blue & green lakes and lake Tarawera, viewing Mt Tarawera, site of a devastating eruption in 1886. Back into the city we visit the Government Gardens & Bath House and lake Rotorua, before heading back to Auckland.
Hobbiton Option +$79:
For those Lord of The Rings fans, we can return via Hobbiton. Please Note; To fit this in we need to depart Rotorua straight after lunch.
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