Staying in Backpacker accommodation and hiking huts and cabins
Day 1: Arrival, greeting, briefing and play. Arrival in Whakatane for 1pm (approx). Travel to Lloyds Backpackers for a trip briefing. Off for a swim and a nice evening meal out at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Breakfast first, lunches made, daypacks sorted and we walk the Nga Tapuwae o Toi. This is a 16km walk, taking in sea cliffs, an ancient pa (maori fort) site, bird colonies, remote bays, Ohope Beach, Pohutukawa Forest, regenerating bush, farm and forest lands.
Day 3: Boat trip to Whakaari/White Island the marine Volcano off the coast of Whakatane. One of the most exciting natural experiences in NZ. A perfect example of an active volcano: it breathes, it hisses, it roars, it is spectacular.
Day 4: Travel through to Lake Waikaremoana taking the ‘back way’ through Murupara. Stopping at the Aniwaniwa Dept of Conservation info office. A slow but beautiful journey, mostly on gravel roads as we go into the ‘wop-wops’ to our campsite cabins for our evening meal.
Day 5: Re-arrange luggage into the van/trailer. Catch water taxi across to Hopuruahine Landing where we will start our anti-clockwise circumnavigation of Lake Waikaremoana.
Day 6: A lovely day’s walk sees us moving on towards the Waiopaoa Hut. A good 16km of gentle up and downs, more pristine native forest and walks along the shore of the lake.
Day 7: Moving out of the valleys of beech and kamahi forests we rise above the lake today and climb hard… the boulders, rocks and cliffs are huge and the views are spectacular. A tough 8km for a well deserved rest at the top on Panekiri Bluff.
Day 8: What goes up must come down. Only 9km on a steep downhill, then time to catch a water-taxi ride back to our campsite for a hot shower, clean clothes and a ride off to Turangi for the start of another adventure.
Day 9: Easy day. Short stroll around the Tongariro River to iron out any sore muscles. Re-provision and re-pack. Have a soak in the Tokaanu hotpools.
Day 10: We’ll set off to Whakapapa, visiting the DOC Centre to learn about the region we’ll be walking in and to decide, weather-wise, the best way to travel the Northern Circuit. Afternoon, we will set off for a 3 hour journey to Mangatepopo Hut, the first stop for our 4 day tramp around the mountains.
Day 11: An early start to climb the Devils Staircase. We end up at the base of Mt Ngauruhoe and what is left of Mt Tongariro is off to our left. It’s like walking on the moon, with fantastic lava flows and steaming, warm rocks. On to the Ketetahi Hut and home for the night.
Day 12: We’ll head off down to the left side of the Northern Circuit for another good day’s walk. A demanding hike down a steep moonscape and then into native bush for a complete contrast. Dinner and sleep at Waihohonu Hut.
Day 13: The last day’s walk for the Northern Circuit takes us between Mt Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe another brilliant day’s hike with the Whakapapa Centre as the final destination. We end up back at Tokaanu Hot Pools for the best soak ever in the mineral waters. Another night of bliss back at Founders Lodge and a celebratory dinner across the road.
Day 14: An amble northwards with a stop in Taupo, a walk to Huka Falls (about 1 hour) then off to visit Orakei Korako - the ‘Hidden Valley’. This in one of the most beautiful geo-thermal areas to visit and a lovely way to finish our time together as a walking group. And finally, a stay in a lovely backpackers in Rotorua and an evening meal at the Fat Dog Café.
Day 15: One last breakfast together I’ll cook! And, after swapping contact details we say “adieu”. I’ll make sure you are safely on your way before I head home as well.
Also see tour packages in:
Australia and Oceania New Zealand Sweet Harmony Women Tours Multi-activity
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