Glow-worms, Geysers & Maori Culture

5 Day Tour

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Departure dates on request


For travellers with just a 4 night Auckland stopover there is time to visit the famous limestone caves at Waitomo and the thermal attractions of Rotorua including a taste of the Maori culture.

Maori Culture in New Zealand
Celebrated for its rich culture and style of life, New Zealand offers a number of opportunities for experiencing the food, history and customs of its people, as well as enjoying the landscapes to which much of the culture is tied.

Maori CanoeMaori history tells of the demi-god Maui hauling up from the ocean Te Ika a Maui, the fish of Maui, New Zealand’s North Island. His waka, or canoe, is today the South Island, and Stewart Island his anchor. Travelling by waka from their mythical homeland Hawaiki, the Maori soon established themselves as the dominant inhabitants of New Zealand, and their vast oral history is woven seamlessly into the land. The European influx introduced foreign diseases, and the Maori population dropped from 100,000 at the time of the Treaty of Waitangi to just 43,113 in 1896. Although today Maori constitute less than 10% of the population, their culture is very much alive.

New Zealanders are proud of their Maori roots. The famous haka offers an intriguing sample of this Pacific island heritage, and increasingly travellers are keen to learn more. Maori song, dance and mythology are prevalent, towns are adorned with carvings and rooms are dressed in flax weavings. ‘Kiwiisms’ are scattered through everyday conversation, a hybrid of the two national languages, Maori and English, with words such as kia ora (hello) commonplace in the Kiwi vernacular.


Met and transferred to your Auckland city accommodation. The balance of the day is free to explore New Zealand’s largest city.


Morning tour of Auckland including city centre, Westhaven Marina and the Viaduct Basin, Auckland Harbour Bridge, the views from Mt Eden, which is the tallest of the many extinct volcanic cones around which Auckland is sited, the Domain Gardens, quaint Parnell Village, the lovely Parnell Rose Gardens and Waterfront Drive. Concludes with a visit to Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter to see the sea life including live penguins in a special sub zero enclosure. Free afternoon.


Today travel south across the Bombay Hills and through the Waikato Valley and Hamilton City to Waitomo in the King Country for a guided tour of the famous limestone cave including the Glow-worm Grotto. Lunch at Waitomo then in the afternoon travel across picturesque farming country and over the bush clad Mamaku Ranges to the thermal wonderland of Rotorua. (352 kms)


Morning tour of Rotorua. Includes a guided tour of Te Puia – the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve to see the geysers and other interesting activity and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute where young Maori are learning traditional carving and weaving skills. Also visit Rainbow Springs to see the trout and rare kiwi birds, and enjoy the entertaining Agrodome sheep show. The afternoon is free. In the evening enjoy a Hangi (dinner) and concert of Maori song and dance, including the famous Haka, on a local Marae (Maori Village).


Today return to Auckland Airport and check in for your afternoon / evening departure flight. (235 kms)


This Holiday is based on either Self Drive Rental Vehicle or Private Car & Driver/Guide (or a combination). Rates vary frequently, depending on your hotels choice, number of people in your party and period of your trip.

We work with the highest quality hotels of different styles in each area – which, in some cases, may mean the 'authentic' rather than the obviously luxurious – and we do not always opt for the obvious. So it’s a matter of working out what’s right for you, based upon your tastes and the experience you want.

All the holidays have been carefully crafted by our experts. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveller.

Our specialists are looking forward to hearing from you so that we can custom design a tour to your individual specifications.

Glow-worms, Geyers & Maori Culture - 5 Days
Visit the famous limestone caves at Waitomo and the thermal attractions of Rotorua. (Code TTNZ)