central plateau

The Central Plateau is an area of the central North island created by volcanic forces.   There is plenty to see and do here with the thermal activity near Rotorua, trout fishing around Lake taupo, and the high volcanic peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapeha.

Whether seeking to experience Maori culture, geothermal earth forces, spa rejuvenation, thrills and adventure, or any of the other natural assets such as 16 lakes, some of the World's best mountain biking trails, fantastic trout fishing and a myriad of forest walking tracks - Rotorua delivers it all !

Rotorua is the heartland of maoridom and you can find many examples of their rich culture and history across the city.   This is the ancestral home of the local Te Arawa people who settled here more than 600 years ago.

The smell of sulphur in the air alludes to the place where turbulent forces that formed New Zealand are most evident.   This city, on the Volcanic Palteau, has one of the World's most lively fields of geothermal activity.   Skyrocketing geysers, hot springs and boiling mud pools tell you that this place sits squarely on the Pacific Rim of Fire.

If adventure is your thing, Rotorua has many attractions to get the adrenalin pumping; everything from skydiving and luging to Zorb'ing and one of New Zealand's, and the World's, best mountain bike circuits.

Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and the largest freshwater lake in Oceania.   It was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China.

At some of Lake Taupo's beaches, swimmers and paddlers can enjoy warm, geothermal water currents.   Other scenic highlights include the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second, and the Aratiatia Rapids.

But what Taupo is really known for is fishing.   With the largest natural trout fishery in the World, this is the place to cast a line alook for the big one.   The small town of Turangi, on the southern shores of Lake Taupo, is the hub of Trout Fishing in the region.   The local streams are usually dotted with anglers standing thigh-deep in the water.

From there loom the massive volcanoes of Tongariro National Park, where you can hike and take in the scenic wonderland, or in Winter hit the slopes and ski on a live volcano. 

 Being the home of Maoridom, Rotorua is the ideal place to take in the culture.   Experience a personal encounter with the locals, enjoy a cultural performance and learn about the history of the people and place.

The mineral waters of the area are famous for their therapeutic qualities, so relax in a spa and be pampered.   Enjoy a massage, facial, herbal wrap or body scrub - or all !

Head to Hobbiton.   Take a day trip and visit the home of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit on a Movie Set Tour.

Your Guide can take you to fish in any of the 10 lakes in the Rotorua region where Rainbow trout are most common - but there are also Brown trout, Tiger trout (Lake Rotoma only), and Brook trout.   The so-called trophy lakes - Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoiti - can all produce fish of prize-winning size.   You can also move further afield toward Taupo or Tongariro to vary your catch.

It's a great place to take the family.   Learn about New Zealand's World-leading sheep industry and shear a local at the Agridome in Rotorua.   Adventure rides offer a challenge.

View the World from the air.   Take a scenic flight over the Tongariro National Park and take in the majesty of Ngarahoe, Ruapehu and Tongariro and their crater lakes of magnificent colours.   Head out to White Island and land on New Zealand's most active volcano.   Land on Lake Tarawera on a floatplane, or be flown to Te Wairoa, the Buried Village, obliterated in the eruption of Mt Tarawera. 

Down the road towards Taupo, visit Huka Falls and it's thundering water, or choose to see it from below on a high-speed jet boat ride to the base.

Get out the walking shoes.   New Zealand's oldest National park and a dual World Heritage Site, the Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery.   Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu ensures the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is consistently ranked in the Top 10 Single Day Treks in the World.   Highlights of the 19.4km walk include walking over volcanic terrain, the Emerald Lakes and the Blue Lake.

Ski or snowboard on a live volcano.   Mt ruapehu is New Zealand's largest skiing area with two feilds to choose from, and also an active volcano.

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