Rotorua is a natural hotspot. Thermal parks like Wai-O-Tapu and the Hidden Valley are easily accessible. Mount Tarwera and White Island are volcanoes. Meanwhile, Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park and the Kaimanawa Rangs are definitely cool places to visit.
Volcanic action has created some of the world’s most astonishing places. The crystal clear lakes around Rotorua, for example, were originally vast volcanic craters. Small wonder the town is now the spiritual home of the Te Arawa Maori. And volcanoes are still busy shaping the sculpted landscape – you can see examples of their work at the thermal park of Wai-O-Tapu, just 30 minutes from Rotorua, or in the fantastical geothermal caves, bubbling hot springs and powerful, gushing geysers of the Hidden Valley of Orakei Korado.
But perhaps the ultimate volcanic experience is to take a helicopter and land on the top of one. As part of your luxury, tailor-made vacation to New Zealand you could fly over Mount Tarawera, soar across the surrounding lakes and visit White Island, the only active marine volcano in New Zealand.
Or you could visit Lake Taupo - it’s hot in a different way, with great trout fishing and numerous adventure activities – before helicoptering off to Tongariro National Park, with its stunning mountains. Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom) are not to be missed, especially if you’re a keen photographer. Dedicated walkers, of course, have the famous Tongariro Crossing at their feet.