Kiwis know how to have serious fun. Supercharged hiking, biking and boating. Discovering giant tree ferns, percolating mud pots, gorgeous gorges, dramatic coastline and hidden swimming holesit's all just part of the daily grind. Even climbing inside a huge inflated ball with a splash of water and rolling down a hill. Don't miss out on the fun!
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 many modern amenities, they may not offer the level of customer service found on other Backroads trips. The slower pace and relaxed Kiwi approach to life is reflected in the inns on this tripthey 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 areajust not as fancy as the other hotels on the trip.
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 kayak in 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, a historically rich gold-mining area, active for more than 75 years Venture across suspension bridges to a ridgetop affording gorgeous views Ready to cool down? Splash in the Waitawheta River.
Day 4 Kids try the exhilarating and uniquely Kiwi sport of Zorbing Cycle along the waters of Lake Rotoiti and into the Rotorua hills 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 stepgeysers, thermal springs, colorful silica terraces and percolating mudpots abound at Waiotapu 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)
VR Rotorua 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|
|Kayaking||on Mercury Bay (3 Hours)|
|Other||Cultural Tour at Agrodome (1.5 Hours)|
|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
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/20-26 Price: $4948 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1050 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/26-1/1 Price: $5048 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1050 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2016 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/19-25 Price: $4848 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1010 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/21-27 Price: $4848 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1010 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/26-1/1 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1010 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 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. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|8 - 9 guests from $5,298 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $4,398 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $4,998 pp dbl. occ.|
|8 - 9 guests from $5,398 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $4,598 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $4,898 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.- Chicago, IL
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