Waikato
National Parks

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Our most recommended Waikato National Parks

  • Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

    1. Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

    Cruise through the crystal-clear, turquoise waters of Lake Taupo, taking in the vibrancy of Maori culture all the while. After boarding your cruise, explore the stunning surroundings of the lake, surrounded by rugged mountains and lush trees on the banks. As you glide through the lake on your deluxe Catamaran, you’ll come to a massive carving depicting the traditional facial tattooing of the Maori people. Inspired by centuries of rich Maori tradition, artist Matahi Brightwell carved the elaborate relief into the side of a cliff directly above the lake’s pristine waters in 1980. Depicting one of his grandmother’s ancestors, the carving represent a triumph of Maori artistry, and the continued preservation of indigenous culture. Perfect for the whole family, after taking in the carving, you can feed the ducks, and maybe even catch a fish. After 1.5 hours, you’ll head back to the dock to di...

    It was really amazing experience. We enjoyed a lot and cruise crews explained all the beautiful places and there history clearly. They are very helpful all the time. Thank you for giving opportunity to express my feelings.

  • Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise

    2. Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise

    Admire beautiful Māori rock carvings set against a stunning mountainous backdrop on a 1.5-hour journey around Lake Taupo's waters aboard a boat that features live audio commentary. Relax and enjoy coffee or tea and a homemade muffin as you admire panoramic views of New Zealand, picturesque mountain tops, and historic rock carvings inspired by centuries of rich Māori tradition and art. Explore the open decks that allow you to feel the cool outdoor breeze or cozily snuggle into one of the indoor booths, and enjoy a trout fishing demonstration by the crew — you may even get a "taste of Taupo" if all goes well.

    Genuine kiwi welcome guidance and hospitality on arrival. Correct local history on both tribal boundaries both Maori and pakeha influences. Great geothermal information in regards to changes within the landscape. Excellent pronunciation of Maori words in regards to forecasting history. Staff well equipped for delivering a top of the range experience. Felt safe on board and understood evacuation and health and safety procedures delivered by skipper over loud speaker. Awsome work team

  • Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

    3. Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

    The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your two hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During y...

    Our guide, Grant, was so full of knowledge!! He not only drove the van, but also was the tour guide. Because we were such a small group, he gave us a lot of individual attention. He was funny, and as hands-on, or hands-off, as we wanted him to be. We had a great time

  • Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise

    4. Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise

    Enjoy a summer evening cruising on Lake Taupo. Chris Jolly has been entertaining guests for 40 years, and his tour to the Maori Rock Carvings is known worldwide. Recently restored, these rock carvings were created in the 1980s and still tower above the water, truly a sight to behold.  With family friendly activities on board and split level comfort, this tour is a must for those visiting the region. Enjoy the full bar as you cruise around the Lake Taupo bays, learning onboard from the live commentary. With views of Tongariro National Park and spectacular scenery, this is one evening to be enjoyed by all.

    Had a really great trip out to see the Maori carvings. Beautifully smooth cruise on a sunny late afternoon. There was a choice of lower and upper decks with us preferring the lower deck, sitting inside but able to venture outside to take photos. We used this fully to take photos of the beautiful surroundings and the carvings. Drinks were available making for a pleasant trip. Wonderful value.

  • Turangi: Family Rafting Adventure on Tongariro River

    5. Turangi: Family Rafting Adventure on Tongariro River

    Drive only a few minutes out of Turangi and start your rafting adventure on the lower reaches of the Tongariro River. The river is located in Tongariro National Park, famous for its awe-inspiring landscapes and fascinating wildlife.  The whole family will ride a series of 20+ rapids on this 8km journey, with professional raft guides that will ensure everyone is comfortable and enjoying themselves. You will learn about traditional Maori myths and legends unique to the area and your guides will keep you entertained with water education, safety tips and trivia about the Tongariro environment.  You will also enjoy a visit to the National Trout Centre, where you can feed the trout and enjoy some snacks. For those of you feeling game enough, you can also do some cliff-jumping and swim in the river, all within a safe and monitored environment.

    Thank you very much for such a awesome activity, it’s fun. Thanks to the great leader Gabe and Hana for their professional guidances to pass through the rafts successfully without them

  • From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

    6. From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

    Get a fantastic geothermal experience without the thronging crowds with this day trip to Orakei Korako from Rotorua. Discover a geothermal park boasting the most active geysers in New Zealand. After exploring Orakei Korako, visit Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Depart Rotorua after pickup from your hotel between 9 AM-9:15 AM and travel to Orakei Korako. Somewhat off the beaten track, Orakei Korako, also known as the Hidden Valley, is nestled in the Taupo Volcanic Zone between Taupo and Rotorua. After a 45-minute drive to get there, take a short boat ride across the lake then enjoy 2 hours to explore the thermal area featuring up to 23 natural geysers in a constantly changing landscape. Marvel at the number of boiling hot springs and the vibrant colors all around you, or take a native bushwalk through this untouched geothermal paradise. Next, move on to Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Lu...

  • From Auckland: Coromandel Peninsula Full-Day Tour

    7. From Auckland: Coromandel Peninsula Full-Day Tour

    Explore the pristine white-sand beaches, lush native forests, and breathtaking natural formations of the Coromandel Peninsula on a full-day tour from Auckland. Hike through beautiful forest to the rugged coastline and marvel at the views of Cathedral Cove. Get up close to this cathedral-like arched cavern, featured in the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Dig your own shallow thermal pool in the tidal area of the beach and let yourself soak in a 60-degree bath on Hot Water Beach. Marvel at the spectacular views and the ever-changing landscape and stop en route to take magical photos. Travel throughout in air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz vehicle, on a small group tour and accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. Make full use of your day as you hike, soak and swim and explore Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove.

  • Taupo: Mt Ruapehu Volcanic Vista Flight

    8. Taupo: Mt Ruapehu Volcanic Vista Flight

    Set off on a thrilling journey through the natural wonders of New Zealand with a 1-hour seaplane flight. Departing from a jetty in Taupo bay, you’ll take off and head south, beginning your volcanic sightseeing with Mount Pihanga, before soaring over the Blue and Emerald Lakes towards the massive summit of Mount Ruapehu, towering nearly 10,000 feet above sea level.  Circling the summit, you’ll view the Crater Lake, tapering down to the volcano’s broad ski slopes. Turning northward, you’ll fly towards Mount Ngauruhoe, with the opportunity to gaze down into its immense center. Continuing onward, soar over Mount Tongariro, viewing the Red Crater, the Blue Lake, and ancient lava flows, before beginning your descent over Lake Taupo to land along the lakefront.

  • Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

    9. Auckland: Coromandel, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour

    Your tour will begin as you are picked up from your hotel in a comfortable mini bus. From there you will be taken on a scenic drive through the New Zealand countryside as you head to the incredible Coromandel Peninsula. Your first stop will be Cathedral Cove, a spot featured in the film the Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Cathedral Cove is one of New Zealand's most famous and beautiful beaches, and is a must-do activity for any visitor to New Zealand. There are no roads to this beach, so you will need to take a 40-minute bush walk to get there. Once having arrived, you can take some time to relax, sunbathe, swim, play sport, or just enjoy the spectacular views. You will later have time for lunch at a great local restaurant where you can try some local food, and can even have a beer if you choose (food and drinks not included). Your next stop is the famous Hot Water Beach, where ...

Other Sightseeing Options in Waikato

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What people are saying about Waikato

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 7 reviews

Genuine kiwi welcome guidance and hospitality on arrival. Correct local history on both tribal boundaries both Maori and pakeha influences. Great geothermal information in regards to changes within the landscape. Excellent pronunciation of Maori words in regards to forecasting history. Staff well equipped for delivering a top of the range experience. Felt safe on board and understood evacuation and health and safety procedures delivered by skipper over loud speaker. Awsome work team

It was really amazing experience. We enjoyed a lot and cruise crews explained all the beautiful places and there history clearly. They are very helpful all the time. Thank you for giving opportunity to express my feelings.

Great for kids. Professional and family friendly activity. Clean boat and we also enjoyed the hot drinks and the warm muffins. Highly reccommended.

Had a great trip. Calm, loved the fishing experience. Fun for kids. Nice food and drink provided. Great, funny tour guide

Great relaxing cruise. Very informative commentary. Carvings were great.