North Island Volcanoes and Glow-worms (TourzPlus™)
The Volcanoes and Glow-worms tour covers a great diversity of scenery from farmland to lakes, forests and the magnificent volcanoes of Tongariro National Park. Stay on a sheep farm, (meet some of New Zealand's 45 million sheep) and visit the world famous Waitomo Caves for a magical glow-worm display.
Learn more about our TourzPlus™ partner tours and how they differ from regular ExperiencePlus! bicycle tours.View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Meet in Rotorua
Highlights: Geothermal spas & sights of Rotorua
There will be an introductory meeting, rental bikes fitted and tried, or your own unpacked. We will then have dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants in town.
Day 2: Rotorua to Taupo
Highlights: Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park, volcanoes
We take a quiet back road through Waikite Valley and Waiotapu thermal areas on our way to Taupo. The thundering Huka Falls provide a noisy and spectacular entrance to the town of Taupo. Lake Taupo is New Zealand's largest lake at 606 sq km. On a good day there will be superb views across the lake to Tongariro National Park and its three distinctive mountains. The area is famous for trout fishing in the many streams that flow into the lake.
Cycling option C - Rotorua to Taupo: 105 km / 66 mi
Option B - Rotorua to Reporoa: 50 km / 31 mi
Option A - Rotorua to Waiotapu: 39 km / 24 mi
Day 3: Taupo to Tongariro National Park
Highlights: Tongariro National Park, views of Lake Taupo
A varied, spectacular ride along Lake Taupo leads to the still active volcanoes in Tongariro National Park, the night being spent at the side of Mt Ruapehu. The mountain is permanently snowcapped and the North Island's highest at 2,797 m. On leaving the lakeside there is a substantial climb up to the plateau with a view of the entire lake. As we gain altitude there will be a distinct change in the vegetation, pine forests giving way to tussock grasslands.
Cycling option C - Taupo to Tongariro National Park: 98 km / 61 mi
Cycling option B - Turangi to Tongariro National Park: 47 km / 29 mi
Cycling option A - Taupo to Turangi: 51 km / 32 mi
Day 4: Rest day in Tongariro National Park
Highlights: Hiking in Tongariro National Park, The Grand Chateau
There are many excellent walks in the park, short and long, including the spectacular Tongariro Crossing. The Visitors Center is well worth a visit. Alternatively, The Grand Chateau is excellent for spending a relaxing day.
Day 5: Tongariro to Piopio
Highlights: King Country
After an exhilarating downhill ride we travel through ever changing scenery to King Country, a sparsely populated district known for sheep farms and limestone formations.
Cycling option C - Tongariro to Piopio: 142 km / 89 mi
Option B - Tongariro to Cafe: 100 km / 62 mi
Option A - Tongariro to Taumaranui: 58 km / 36 mi (Lunch. All downhill)
Day 6: Piopio to Waitomo
Highlights: Sheep farm visit, glow worm cave
In the morning your hosts will show you the workings of a typical New Zealand sheep farm. After the day's ride, relax and soak up the old charm of Waitomo Hotel. A visit to the world famous glow worm caves (included) is a must, with the option of black water (cave) rafting for the more daring. Cycling distance: 50 km / 31 mi
Day 7: Waitomo to Pirongia to Auckland
Highlights: Cycling on quiet, scenic roads
Today we follow delightful quiet back roads to the village of Pirongia where we take a bus back to Auckland.
Day 8: Tour ends in Auckland
After breakfast we say farewell, a safe journey home and hope to see you again.
HighlightsVolcanoes in Tongariro National Park, Sheep farm visit, Glow-worms in Waitomo Caves, Quiet roads, rural and forest sceneryKeep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
Includes8 days, 7 nights accommodation, 6 dinners, 4 lunches, & 7 breakfasts. Hybrid or road bike rental available for an additional fee
Arrive/DepartAuckland Int'l Airport (AKL)
Total Distance240-448 km (148-279 miles)
Daily Distance39-142 km (24-89 miles)
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes Jan 18-25, 2017 NZ$3650 NZ$610 Price includes NZ$300 road bike rental. Save NZ$100 by riding hybrid. Book it
* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
From the Road: New Zealand's South Island
New Zealand expatriate and ExperiencePlus! tour leader Annie Apgar offers her thoughts on this tour.
ExperiencePlus! has contracted with national fitness expert Joe Friel to create customized, day by day, training programs to ensure you are ready for your biking tour.
Joe Friel - Cycling past 50
This book contains a wealth of information for the over fifty rider who wants to take charge of the aging process and become a better cyclist at the same time.
- From the Road: New Zealand's South Island