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Explore the middle of New Zealand’s North Island with 4 days of cultural experiences. With little driving, there’s still so much to see in and around Rotorua and Taupo.
To follow this campervan driving itinerary, pick up and return your vehicle at our Auckland branch. Visit maui campervan hire Auckland for more details.
Rotorua to Taupo
Anytime of the year
Rotorua offers an extensive range of Maori tourism experiences and is probably New Zealand’s best know region when it comes to all things Maori. Mokoia Island, in the middle of Lake Rotorua is the setting for one of the greatest Maori love stories you’ll hear, that of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. So you have plenty of opportunity to fill your days and to hear all about it.
Start with a day trip through history with a visit to the Te Wairoa Buried Village, an early Maori settlement located across the lake from the famed Pink and White Terraces destroyed during the Mt Tarawera eruption of 1886. To fully appreciate this event, follow that up with a visit to the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village where the descendants of those survivors live today. During your visit, taste some sweet corn cooked for you in a nearby thermal pool – delicious!
If adventure is your game, today the Kaituna River beckons, with a rafting trip with Kaitiaki Adventures. Or perhaps a fishing trip on Lake Rotoiti – but even if you don’t catch a fish, the day on the lake is sure to replenish your spirit. This evening, take another type of waka ride with the Tamaki Brothers out to their Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy their hospitality.
You can’t leave Rotorua without visiting Te Puia, a centre for the retention of Maori arts and crafts. Visit the local Te Raukura Gallery on Fenton St for some of the best local art and crafts on offer, or take a drive out to the Rainbow Springs and Farm and see our large Rainbow Trout in a bush walk. Next door in the evening, enjoy Maori culture at its best with Mitai, a night full of culture, food and wonder is guaranteed.
DISTANCE 82KM - DRIVING TIME 1 HOUR
Drive to Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake and home to the Tuwharetoa people. Located just north of the town, you can blow out those cobwebs with a ride on the Hukafalls Jet to the foot of the Huka Falls. Across the road at the Wairakei Terraces you can be inspired by a replica of the Pink and White Terraces, or enjoy an evening cultural concert and meal here.