Hike and explore ancient forests, iconic volcanic peaks and deep river valleys
DISTANCE: 44KM/27 MILES
PER PERSON: US$2,599
New Zealand’s North Island is a step into another world. With wilderness areas making their way into some of the most iconic films ever made, they are also home to some of the world’s greatest hikes. Deep, dense sub-tropical rainforests, pristine river canyons and enormous volcanoes provide the backdrop to a hiking adventure unlike any other in the world.
DAY 1 - Arrive Rotorua, Hike Mt Ruapehu
Our trip begins in Rotorua, the cultural heart of New Zealand, and the perfect starting point for our drive south into the volcanic central plateau. We’ll pass Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, before heading into Tongariro National Park. We’l begin with a hike up the “Skyline” ridge of Mt Ruapehu – the highest peak in the North Island. Here we’ll view the entire central plateau (including Mt Ngaruahoe – AKA Mt Doom) and out to the West Coast. Spectacular!
We’ll head back down from the ridge and on to our accommodation, but not before another short hike to Tawhai Falls, also known as Gollums Pool. After settling into our accommodation, we’ll meet up again for dinner at a local pub for our first Kiwi meal together.
ACCOMMODATION: The Park, National Park MEALS: (D)
DAY 2 - Hike Tongariro Alpine Crossing
This morning we’ll set off on one of the world’s greatest one-day hikes – the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This trail leads us through an incredible variety of ethereal landscapes – lava fields, emerald coloured crater lakes, steaming vents, alpine passes, and sense forest – there’s nothing like it anywhere else on the planet! The views across to Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Ruapehu and the Central Plateau of the North Island are simply spectacular and worth every step!
Your guides make this incredible hike even more memorable by sharing local stories and legends, and bringing the extraordinary geological history to life. We’ll return to The Park and revive our weary muscles in the outdoor spa pool.
ACCOMMODATION: The Park DISTANCE: 19km/12 miles MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 3 - Hike The Old Coach Road
We’ll drive a short distance south this morning to the trail head of The Old Coach Road. An iconic hike in the North Island and a trip back in time to New Zealand’s rail heritage. This unique hike at the base of Mount Ruapehu passes massive steel viaducts, a curved tunnel, railway bridge remains, and old campsites. The 15km walk takes around 5 hours and passes through some beautiful stands of native forest with sweeping views across the district.
The Ohakune Old Coach Road provided an all-weather road link for coaches carrying passengers and goods between the two railheads of the North Island main trunk line. With progress on completing the North Island main trunk rail slow, the road provided a way to allow through traffic, until the railheads were finally linked in 1908.
ACCOMMODATION: The Park DISTANCE: 15km/9.3 miles MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 4 - Hike Rainforest and Waterfalls
After breakfast we pack up and explore more of Tongariro National Park with a 2-hour loop walk to Taranaki Falls. Tumbling 20 metres over the edge of an old lava flow, which erupted from Mt Ruapehu 15,000 years ago, the falls plunge into a boulder-ringed pool. The track passes through an interesting range of alpine meadows and beech forest, with spectacular views of the mountains.
Later, we’ll experience a completely different side of this World Heritage area with a hike around the glistening Lake Rotopounamu, which is nestled in the side of an old volcanic mountain and totally fringed with lush forest. Beautiful birdsong and dense forest characterise this amazing hike, and your guides are an endless source of knowledge of the native flora and fauna in this unique eco-system.
ACCOMMODATION: The Park DISTANCE: 11km/6.8 miles MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 5 - Hike The Centre of The North Island
We’ll say goodbye to the the volcanoes of the Central Plateau and head north to the Puerora Forest. Our hike today takes us through stands of immense virgin podocarp forest, where some of the emergent canopy trees are over 1000 years old. We’ll dip through narrow gullies and alongside rushing streams that cut through the dense green sub-canopy. Soon we’ll arrive at our destination – the very centre of the North Island and the summit of Mount Titiraupenga. After soaking in the views of the Waikato region and Lake Taupo, we’ll make our way back down to our van, celebrate our hike with cool beverages and start the journey back to Rotorua where we’ll dine in the centre of the city
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Rotorua, Rotorua DISTANCE: 14km/8.6 miles MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 6 - Hobbiton Movie Set or Free Day in Rotorua
Today is free for you to explore the multitude of adventure or leisure activities available in Rotorua. There’s so much you can do here you’ll be almost too spoiled for choice! Raft the world’s highest waterfall on the Kaituna river, take a canopy tour on a zipline, experience the thermal activity at Hells Gate… the choice is yours.
If you’re a fan of the Tolkein movies, there’s an option to take a morning tour to the Hobbiton movie set just a short drive away in the town of Matamata. Later we’ll meet for our final dinner an evening together.
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Rotorua, Rotorua MEALS: (B,D)
DAY 7 - Depart
Today is the last day of your Conqueror Adventures hiking exploration of the heart of New Zealand’s North Island. Our aim is to create incredible moments that count with like minded people, and build lifelong friendships through physical activity and shared experiences in some of the worlds most beautiful places.
We’ll drop you at Rotorua airport in time for your flight to Auckland. If you’re heading to the South Island to join us there, we’re happy to advise you on the best flights to Christchurch for the start of your trip there!
2022: November 18th
2023: March 5th, March 17th, December 7th
2024: March 9th, March 23rd
All meals as per itinerary * All transport and shuttles * Guiding and hosting * All park entrance fees * All accommodation * Luggage transfers
International and domestic flights * Travel Insurance * Personal hiking gear * Luggage * Personal snacks * Alcoholic beverages
We understand the importance of a good nights rest. We have carefully chosen only locally owned lodgings that understand the importance of a place to unwind. While you won’t be glamming it up at the Ritz (that’s not our style), you’ll enjoy a comfortable accommodation with amazing local hosts.
GETTING THERE – FLIGHTS
The international gateway into New Zealand is Auckland International Airport. There are numerous connecting domestic flights to Rotorua from Auckland (30 minute flight) which you can easily add on when you reserve your flights. You can also arrive to Rotorua from Auckland by bus, or rental car (2.5 hour drive). Ask us for help with any of these arrangements!
“This was truly a special trip for me. Phil and his team made the difference between it being great to absolutely unforgettable”