North Island Volcanoes and Glow-worms (TourzPlus™)

  • Itinerary Summary

    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.

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    1. 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.

    2. 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

    3. 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

    4. 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.

    5. 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)

    6. 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

    7. 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.

    8. Day 8: Tour ends in Auckland


      After breakfast we say farewell, a safe journey home and hope to see you again.

    • Highlights

      Volcanoes in Tongariro National Park, Sheep farm visit, Glow-worms in Waitomo Caves, Quiet roads, rural and forest scenery
    • Includes

      8 days, 7 nights accommodation, 6 dinners, 4 lunches, & 7 breakfasts. Hybrid or road bike rental available for an additional fee
    • Countries

      New Zealand
    • Begin/End

    • Arrive/Depart

      Auckland Int'l Airport (AKL)
    • Total Distance

      240-448 km (148-279 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      39-142 km (24-89 miles)
    • Rating

    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * 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.

  • Stories

    • From the Road: New Zealand's South Island

      New Zealand expatriate and ExperiencePlus! tour leader Annie Apgar offers her thoughts on this 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.

    • Pre-tour training

      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.

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