Kiwis know how to have fun. Serious fun. Bigger than life is normal. Climbing inside a huge inflated ball with a splash of water and rolling down a hill. Attaching a long elastic cord to your feet and diving off a bridge. Supercharged hiking, biking and boating. Giant tree ferns, percolating mud pots, striking gorges, dramatic coastline and hidden swimming holes - just part of the daily grind. Don't miss out on the fun! Join us in an exploration of this living, breathing, wild landscape.
Days 1-2 Stroll with our Kiwi guide past giant tree ferns and hanging vines to a hidden pool in the Broken Hills wilderness Can you believe this forest has remained virtually unchanged for millions of years? Pedal to Hahei and hike to Cathedral Cove, a little piece of heaven on earth with a white-sand beach, sculpted sandstone monoliths and gentle crystalline waters.
Day 3 Traditional Maori customs and foods at a <i>marae</i> (ceremonial meeting place) Hike the lush Karangahake Gorge, venturing across suspension bridges and investigating an old gold-mining tunnel before cooling off in the Waitawheta River.
Day 4 Kids try the exhilarating and uniquely Kiwi sport of Zorbing Kayak on Lake Rotoiti to a small hot spring accessible only by boat Along the way, explore quiet inlets and spot a variety of native birds Ever fed an emu or watched sheepshearers in action? Never say never!
Days 5-7 Tame the Tongariro River on a Class III rafting trip Pedal through rolling pastures of farmland and along the white cliffs of the Paeroa Range to Waikite Hot Pools, perfect for a dip Watch your step - geysers, thermal springs, colorful silica terraces and percolating mud pots abound at Wai-O-Tapu At Huka Falls, witness the Waikato River as it enters a narrow rock channel and emerges in a spectacular display of foam and spray Feeling fearless? Try a bungee jump over the river.
- Bike past Rotorua's fascinating geothermal elements to hot springs perfect for a soak
- Experience traditional Maori customs and foods at a marae (ceremonial meeting place)
- Kids try the exhilarating and uniquely Kiwi sport of Zorbing
- Stroll past giant tree ferns and hanging vines to a secret valley
- Kayak on Lake Rotoiti to a small hot spring accessible only by boat
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)
Amora Lake Resort (2 nights): A comfortable getaway on the shore of Lake Rotoiti. (pool, tennis)
Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo (2 nights): A modern and convenient haven on the Lake Taupo waterfront. (pool, 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|
|4||Kayaking||On Lake Rotoiti (3 hours)|
|Other||Afternoon farm tour with sheepshearing demonstration|
|Kids||Zorb adventure (1 hour)|
|6||Rafting||On the Tongariro River (4 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
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/23-29 Price: $4998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1170 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/14-20 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1050 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/22-28 Price: $4798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1050 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 6 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to raft: 10 years
- Minimum age restriction for float trip: 5 years
- No Burleys available on this trip
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners, routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children, difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 8 - 9 guests $5,298 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $4,998 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $4,398 pp dbl. occ.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
To celebrate my 50th birthday, I waited for two years to save enough money to take this trip and it was worth it!!! It was an incredible experience for our family. I thank you Backroads! It was the first time in years that my husband engaged in all the activities and actually relaxed. It was a trip of a lifetime and we loved every minute. I must credit all three guides for making our trip so meaningful and special. Everything they did was put forward with passion and love of life. They worked really hard but never showed it. Instead they shared their joy and kind spirit. And their enthusiasm for what they do was contagious. We all enjoyed their energy and good fun. Thanks again for an incredible trip.
I purchased this New Zealand trip last Christmas for my family. We have touted this trip for one year as our "family vacation of a lifetime," as my son is 18 and will be leaving for college next year. We couldn't have been more pleased or had a better time. The trip leaders were awesome, and we met some great families and friends. Thanks for making this such a great family vacation!- Draper, UT
I had an absolute blast. I thought the variety of activities were great and the leaders were fun and interactive. Bungee jumping was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I would redo the trip in an instant!- Saint Louis, MO
Our family LOVED this trip. Backroads leaders were terrific and mix of activities was just right! New Zealand was the perfect place to spend the holidays with my family and new Backroads friends. I would highly recommend this trip to families who love the outdoors and like to spend their days actively having fun.- Harrison, NY
New Zealand is the perfect family destination. We loved every minute of it.- Saint Louis, MO