The Rotorua Canopy Tours guides love a good adventure and they enjoy getting out driving through the North Island soaking up the beauty of our country. On their days off they are always going on road trips around the country to their favourite spots and destinations. We asked the team to share their favourite places they road trip to - check them out below to add to your New Zealand Itineraries:
Taranaki Falls, National Park Village
Mount Maunganui, Tauranga
Tatapouri Bay, Gisborne
Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay, Coromandel Town
Tongariro River Trail, Turangi
Tokaanu Thermal Pools, Turangi
1. Taranaki Falls, National Park Village
Like something out of a movie scene, Taranaki Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls you’ll find anywhere in the country and this is why Canopy Tours guide Luke loves it. It’s in the Tongariro National Park and you’ll be treated to beautiful views of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro during your walk through alpine grasslands and beech forest. Top tip from Luke is that if you wrap your camera up in a plastic bag you can get nice and close to the bottom of this waterfall for an amazing pic.
Time to allow: 2 hour loop track (5.3km walk)
2. Mount Maunganui, Tauranga
New Zealand has lots of mountains but this one’s easy to conquer and offers sensational views down the Bay of Plenty coastline. Only an hours drive from Rotorua our awesome guide Wairemana heads over there at least once a week to get a good sweat up. You can walk up or around the base of this extinct volcano. There’s hundreds of stairs between you and the summit but plenty of places to stop and rest along the way.
Time to Allow: 45min to walk around, 30mins to climb up
3. Tatapouri Bay, Gisborne
Guide Cheynne loves to road trip to Tatapouri Bay to snorkel beside wild stingrays and watch these majestic creatures as they glide along the ocean floor. Or Cheynne loves to join a reef ecology tour and wade out at low tide to feed the stingrays and check out other marine life including octopus, conger eels, yellowtail kingfish, crayfish, trevally and other sea creatures who happen to pass by on the day!
4. Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay, Coromandel Town
Senior Guide and Conservation Lead Scott thinks that the Coromandel Coastal Walkway looks like a film set and it's his favourite place to go on a road trip too. The walkway links Fletcher Bay and Stony Bay at the remote northern tip of the peninsula. This 10km hike (one way) follows an old bridle path formed by early settlers and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Scott loves native forest, farmland, off-shore islands, a rugged coastline and the beautiful blue ocean.
Time to Allow: 3.5 hrs one way (you can camp overnight or arrange transport at either end)
5. Tongariro River Trail, Turangi
Enjoy a relaxing hour or two’s ride alongside one of the North Island’s most popular rivers - you might even catch our Operations Manager Alex there on her days off. It’s a perfect trail for families and casual riders who want to see the native bush and clear waters of the Tongariro River. The terrain is mostly flat and the 15km loop has plenty of great picnic spots along the way. Jump into the river for a quick swim to cool off if you get too hot and visit the National Trout Centre on your way past.
Time to allow: 1.5 - 2 hours
6. Tokaanu Thermal Pools, Turangi
The ‘healing waters’ found at Tokaanu Thermal Pools at the southern end of Lake Taupo are legendary. It’s the perfect place for tired legs after a hard day’s skiing on Mount Ruapehu or having conquered the Tongariro Crossing. This is where guide Cam comes after a big day on the ski slopes on his days off from guiding Canopy Tours. There’s a large public pool (heated with fresh chlorinated water) or a dozen family-sized private natural mineral pools to choose from. You can also walk around the surrounding geothermal area and see splattering mud, and feed Rainbow trout in the nearby stream.