North Island Volcanic Trail

Starts in : Ends inDurationPrice starts from ($NZD)
Auckland  : Auckland14 days / 13 nights1200 per person (twin/double)  


Hike all the majestic volcanic peaks of the North Island on this epic volcanic trail. This truly unique journey encompasses 3 of the North Island's National Parks and visits the perfectly shaped volcanic cone of Mt Taranaki in Egmont National Park, the world famous Tongariro Crossing in the Tongariro National Park (and much more once you leave the tourist trail), and the prehistoric forests of Te Urewera National Park, just like they were millions of years ago. Each of the hikes will be multi-day adventures. This journey will leave you mesmerized! And relax your feet at a well deserved Polynesian Spa for all those efforts.



 Tongariro Dual World Heritage Area

 3 National Parks

 Ancient beech forests

 Superb lakes

 2 Great Walks of New Zealand


Itinerary map




Tour Details


Duration  : 14 days

Departure Location :   Auckland

Departure dates : All year (Check the conditions in winter; must be very experienced in winter).

Category : Tramping/Adventure

Level of fitness : You must have a good level of fitness for this journey.

Difficulty : Advanced (about 6-7 hours of walking per day)


All of the hikes on this tour are entirely independent. You'll be staying in back country huts and you must carry all of your equipment yourself (cooking, sleeping etc..). Tramping true Kiwi style!


  • Day 1 : Auckland

    Welcome to Auckland and New Zealand. On arrival you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your first night’s accommodation. Or if you’ve decided to pick up your rental vehicle immediately, you pick up your vehicle at the airport and drive to your accommodation.

    Your detailed tour information pack will be given to you once you arrive at your accommodation.

    Take the rest of the day to relax and explore the inner city. The city centre of Auckland is not too big, so you can easily walk around. Visit the Skytower to take in great views of the city, and stroll around the waterfront with its many nice bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a great meal.

    Hotel : Grand Millenium Hotel Auckland

  • Day 2 : Auckland - New Plymouth


    The first National Park you'll visit is Egmont National Park in Taranaki, so you'll be heading to New Plymouth today for your first hiking adventure. You will drive through the lush and green farmlands of the Waikato en route to Taranaki. Break up your journey in Waitomo to visit the Glowworm Caves. Then head out west and further south to Taranaki. The drive along the wild west coast is spectacular, and on a clear day you'll see Mt Taranaki looking over you. 

    Upon your arrival in New Plymouth, don't forget to stock up on food and other items you need for your hike. 

    Motel : Bella Vista Motel New Plymouth 

    Driving distance : 361 km   - Driving time : approximately 4 hours 50 mins



  • Day 3 : Egmont National Park (Day 1 Pouakai Circuit)


    Your first trek is the Pouakai Circuit, Egmont National Park’s premier 2–3 day tramp offering spectacular views of Mt Taranaki and the surrounding countryside and features rainforests, tussock highlands, alpine swamp and volcanic features.This track can be done in either 2 or 3 days, but generally 2 days is fine for people of reasonable fitness levels. Be prepared for all types of weather as it is very changeable and the weather can turn bad very quickly. It may be sunny and calm on one side of the mountain, while it may be windy, cold and rainy on the other side. On a clear day there are stunning views along the Taranaki coastline, Mount Ruapehu and the Southern Alps of the South Island.

    A short drive from New Plymouth to the Visitor Centre  in the park (North end) will take you to the start of the track. 

    From the Camphouse, the well-formed track steadily climbs through montane forest and sub-alpine scrub. You’ll have excellent views of the Waiwhakaiho and Kokowai river gorges, Ahukawakawa wetland and the upper slopes of Mt Taranaki as the track gradually descends to cross the unbridged Minarapa stream, and on the Holly Hut. The Ahukawakawa track crosses an extensive wetland. It crosses the Stony River and ascends the ridge through sub-alpine mountain cedar before turning right along the top of the Pouakai range. Turn left at the junction of the Mangorei track for a short descent to Pouakai Hut. Breathtaking views of the North Taranaki coastline greet you atop the range.

    Accommodation : Pouakai Hut

    Driving distance : 29 km   - Driving time : 30 mins

    Walking distance : 12km  (5-7 hours)



  • Day 4 : Egmont National Park (Day 2 Pouakai Circuit) - New Plymouth


    From Pouakai Hut, the Pouakai track traverses open tussock lands and subalpine forest to the top of Henry Peak. Take advantage of the viewing platform to gaze down over the Taranaki ring plain, Ahukawakawa swamp and across to the northern slopes of the mountain. The track then descends into mixed kamahi forest and crosses the bridge over the Kaiauai stream. After crossing the stream, the track traverses some deep gullies before reaching the swingbridge over the Waiwhakaiho River. You can then take the shorter track to Kaiauai car park on Egmont Road or follow the Ram Track up to the Egmont National Park Visitor Centre. The track is steep and muddy in places with tree roots and embedded rocks.

    Motel : Bella Vista Motel New Plymouth

    Walking distance : 13km  (5-7 hours)

    Driving distance : 29 km   - Driving time : 30 mins



  • Day 5 : New Plymouth - National Park Village


    Today is a rest day after your first hike, and you will drive to National Park Village, where your next adventure awaits. Drive through the Forgotten Highway as it will be a memorable one. It wriggles its way over four mountain saddles, through an eerie one-lane tunnel and along a sinuous river gorge.  Fifteen kilometres of the road is unsealed gravel, and the only significant settlement on the way is Whangamomona, where the historic hotel is known for its hospitality.

    Once you arrive in National Park you the majestic volcanic peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro dominate the landscape.

    It's time to stock up again with supplies for your upcoming 3-day trek.

    Motel : Plateau Lodge

    Driving distance : 231 km   - Driving time : 3 hours 20 mins




  • Day 6 : Tongariro National Park (Day 1 Tongariro Northern Circuit)


    The Tongariro Northern Circuit is one of New Zealand's Great Walks. From alpine herbfields to forests, tranquil lakes to desert plateaux, journey through a landscape of stark contrasts with amazing views in this World Heritage site. Winding past Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, you will be dazzled by dramatic volcanic landscapes and New Zealand’s rich geological and ancestral past.

    Your first day today will be the most strenuous and by far the longest of the three days, but it will also be insanely rewarding. You start at the Whakapapa Village in the morning means you will avoid all the people who have started the Tongariro Crossing at the Mangatepopo Road end, so they'll have a head start of a couple hours. And let's be honest, with less people it simply feels more like a remote wilderness experience. 

    The first few hours you'll enjoy expansive view of Mt Ruapehu before it slowly dissapears as you approach the Mangatepopo Valley. The track then gradually climbs until you reach the base of Devil's Staircase. The steep climb leads you into an alpine environment with views of the valley and on a clear day Mt Taranaki. The brilliant, otherworldly colour of the Blue and Emerald lakes is caused by volcanic minerals washing down from thermal areas. From here, the track descends into the Oturere Valley, where you'll find tonight's hut.

    Accommodation : Oturere Hut

    Walking distance : 21km  (8-9 hours)





  • Day 7 : Tongariro National Park (Day 2 Tongariro Northern Circuit)


    A short walking day today might be welcome after yesterday's long hike.

    After leaving the hut the track runs through a number of stream valleys and pretty open fields. You'll sidle around the foothills of Mount Ngauruhoe before walking through a valley of beech trees and then arriving at the Waihohonu Hut. 

    Accommodation : Waihohonu Hut

    Walking distance : 7.5km  (3 hours)





  • Day 8 : Tongariro National Park (Day 3 Tongariro Northern Circuit) - Taupo


    On the last day, the track gradually climbs to Tama Saddle, where there is a beautiful side trip to the stunning Tama Lakes, two old explosion craters. Whakapapa Village is around 2 hours' walk from here. After the first hour the track intersects with the Taranaki Falls loop walk - follow the track to the bottom to see the waterfall before following the stream to reach the village. 

    A short drive a little over an hour brings you to Taupo, where you will stay for 2 nights.

    B&B : Taupo Number Ten B&B

    Walking distance : 14.3km  (5 hours)

    Driving distance : 100 km   - Driving time : 1 hours 20 mins




  • Day 9 : Taupo


    Today you don't have to drive anywhere. The day is yours to relax or visit some sights. The impressive Huka Falls just 2km outside of Taupo are worth visiting.  This is where the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, enters a shallow ravine of hard volcanic rock. The resulting sight is nothing but spectacular. More than 220,000 liters of water per second rushes by.

    If you do fancy another adventure, Taupo offers many adventure activities such as bungy, skydiving, jetboating, floatplane. Just let us know if you would like to include any activity on this day.

    Also remember to buy supplies again for your last trekking which starts tomorrow.

    B&B : Taupo Number Ten B&B


  • Day 10 : Taupo - Te Urewera National Park (Day 1 Lake Waikaremoana track)

    This morning's drive into Te Urewera National Park and Lake Waikeremoana is an adventure in itself. From Taupo you're heading north in the direction of Rotorua until the Murupara turn-off. The road from Murupara through the Ureweras is a scenic tour of one of the more remote places in the North Island. Despite its remoteness, this area is home to the Tuhoe people, "the children of the mist". You'll stumble across the locals, usually on horseback, so a degree of caution is helpful. The landscape through the dense native beech forest is untouched, and rugged, however, so best check with the Te Urewera National Park Visitor Centre to ensure the road is open. Eventually you'll make your way down to Waikaremoana, the lake formed thousands of years ago after a landslide blocked the gorge along the Waikaretaheke River.

    A water taxi awaits you and will take you to the start of the Lake Waikaremoana Track, also one of the New Zealand Great Walks. Over the next three days, it will lead you through pristine rainforest, regenerating shrubland areas of wetland, rush and herbfield and a magical ‘goblin forest’. You will also discover magnificent rivers, waterfalls and ghostly valleys of mist.

    The first day is the most challenging part of the walk, but the spectacular views from Panekiri make it worth the effort. The track itself begins from the Onepoto Shelter before climbing steadily to the Panekiri Bluff. It then follows undulating ridgeline before reaching Panekire Trig (1180 metres). Here, enchanting long-range scenic views across the lake to the misty forest-clad mountains await. Shortly after the trig you'll arrive at Panekiri Hut. 

    Accommodation : Panekiri Hut

    Driving distance : 193 km   - Driving time : 3 hours 30 mins

    Walking distance : 9km  (4- hours)




  • Day 11 :Te Urewera National Park (Day 2 Lake Waikaremoana track)


    Today will be the longest day. From Panekiri hut it is a long, and in places steep descent down into rolling valleys of native forest. Mysterious and enchanting, you will feel as if you're in your own fairy tale.  Once you're along the lake shores, walking is pretty easy. A worthwhile side trip on this day  is a 1 hour return trip to the amazing Korokoro falls. Take a dip in the cool, crystal clear waters at the end of your day.

    Accommodation : Marauiti Hut

    Walking distance : 20km (7-8 hours)





  • Day 12 : Te Urewera National Park (Day 3 Lake Waikeremoana track) - Rotorua


    On your last hiking day, the track winds it's way along the lake shore. Stop for a refreshing swim mid-morning to cool down in summer. Continue along river flats and up & over a small peninsula before reaching the water taxi pick up point. 

    You''l be heading straight to Rotorua when you finish the walk, where a well deserved Polynesian Spa awaits you, to relax those sore muscles.

    Hotel : Millenium Hotel Rotorua

    Walking distance : 17 km (4-6 hours).

    Driving distance : 163 km   - Driving time : 3 hours 15 mins




  • Day 13 : Rotorua


    Today you choose how to fill in your day. Visit some of the geothermal wonderlands Rotorua has to offer, try one of the unique adventure activities or a Maori cultural experience. The choice is yours, the options are plentiful.

    Hotel : Millenium Hotel Rotorua

    Driving distance : 204 km   - Driving time : 3 hours 20 mins




  • Day 14 : Rotorua-Auckland


    Your epic Volcanic trail comes to an end today as you'll be driving back to Auckland through the rolling farmlands of the Waikato once again. You will pass the region which was used to film the Shire in the Lord of the rings and Hobbit movies, where you may join a Hobbiton tour just outside of Matamata.

    Driving distance : 204 km   - Driving time : 3 hours 20 mins






Complimentary airport transfers.

Detailed tour pack upon arrival at accommodation.

14 day car rental with unlimited daily kilometers

Standard insurance with zero excess reduction option.

8 nights accommodation between hiking trips

All DOC hut fees





All prices in $NZDSingleTwin/Double

Prices may vary slightly depending on the season, preferred type of travel and accommodation.

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