Every moment indoors is a missed opportunity. Sleeping should be kept to a minimum. You're in New Zealand. Isn't there a waterfall you could be swimming under? Or a dramatic coastal scene you should be gaping at? This is why kayaks were invented. And swimming in the South Pacific. How often can you say you did that? What about bungee jumping? Okay, maybe not. But you could. There are also hot springs, geysers and mud pots to check out. And after all these activities, you know what would be perfect? A dip in the pool and a traditional Maori massage. Done and done. Enjoy New Zealand.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
AccommodationsWhile our hotels are some of the finest in New Zealand and offer all the comforts of home as well as many modern amenities, they may not offer the level of customer service that you're used to. The slower pace and relaxed Kiwi approach to life is reflected in the inns on this trip—they are authentic, down-to-earth and without a lot of bells and whistles.On this Premiere Inn Trip, VR Rotorua Lake Resort is enough on the simpler side of things that we classify it as a Casual property. It's a wonderful spot for our activities, quite comfortable, and the nicest lodging in the immediate area—just not as fancy as the other hotels on the trip.
Days 1-2 Stroll past giant tree ferns and hanging vines to a secret valley on the Coromandel Peninsula with our Kiwi guide A spectacular vista across the native bush and out to the Pacific is ample reward for biking up the winding climb to Pumpkin Hill Walk to Cathedral Cove, where sculpted sandstone, beaches and beautiful bright-blue waters await.
Days 3-4 Explore traditional Maori customs with our longtime Maori friends In the lush Karangahake Gorge, cross suspension bridges and discover an old gold-mining tunnel before cooling off under a waterfall Kayak on Lake Rotoiti to a small hot spring accessible only by boat Ever fed an emu or watched sheepshearers in action? Never say never!
Days 5-6 Mangapapa Petit Hotel, a country mansion you won't want to leave Bike along rolling pastures to the Paeroa Range's white cliffs The Waikite Hot Pools invite a soothing dip Watch your step - geysers, thermal springs, colorful silica terraces and percolating mud pots abound at Waiotapu Amble to impressive Huka Falls If you're feeling fearless, now's your chance to bungee jump over the Waikato River.
Days 7-8 Pedal amid expansive vineyards, orchards and rolling farmland in the Hawkes Bay wine region The 360-degree views of ocean and countryside from Te Mata Peak make our last hike extra thrilling.
- Get a taste of traditional Maori customs and foods at a marae (ceremonial meeting place)
- Stroll past prehistoric-looking giant tree ferns and hanging vines to a secret valley
- Kayak on Lake Rotoiti to a small hot spring accessible only by boat
- You won't want to leave Mangapapa Petit Hotel, a sublime country mansion
- Bike through Hawkes Bay, where some of New Zealand's best wines are produced
Puka Park Resort (2 nights): Settle into your private chalet at this secluded wilderness hideaway nestled among 25 acres of New Zealand bush. (pool, spa, tennis)
VR Rotorua Lake Resort (2 nights): A comfortable getaway on the shore of Lake Rotoiti. (pool, tennis)
Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo (1 night): A modern and convenient haven on the Lake Taupo waterfront. (pool, tennis)
Mangapapa Petit Hotel (2 nights): Built over a century ago, a beautifully renovated country hotel with a wraparound veranda and lush gardens. (pool, spa, tennis)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Kayaking||on Mercury Bay (3 Hours)|
|Other||Cultural Tour at Agrodome (1.5 Hours)|
|Other||Optional Bungee Jumping at Waikato River|
To make for the most comfortable ride to this particular trip, we've outfitted our titanium road bike with slightly wider tires. You'll appreciate this on those stretches of the route with hard-packed dirt (approximately 5% dirt and 95% paved).
* Includes a shuttle
2016 Dates & Pricing*
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Guest Trip Reviews
This trip takes your family to truly special, yet still somewhat secret spots on the North Island. This is a great vacation: you'll bike, hike and kayak your way from the Coromandel Peninsula to Hawkes Bay. There are white-sand beaches (only reachable on foot) to bask on, dense, untraveled rain forests to explore, hot springs to soak in, and even a river to bungee jump into (optional, if you're feeling brave). In my opinion, all it takes is a single visit to fall in love with New Zealand's extraordinarily varied scenery and down-to-earth, welcoming people. If you're like me, you'll find it's a destination you can't wait to come back to!- Regional Manager, New Zealand