All our itineraries start and finish in Rotorua, the hub of Little Green Tours.
Transfers from and to other points can be arranged at additional cost.
These itineraries are designed like modules so you can add on places you want to visit, returning after your overnight stay back to Rotorua, our hub.
Tour 4: Te Aroha Mineral Spa, the Water Element (2 Days)
Pick up from Rotorua accommodation and travel to the top end of Lake Rotorua to grab an early morning coffee and snack at the Okere Falls Store Café and have a look at locally made organic, sustainable and ethical products.
Next we travel over the Mamaku Range foothills and into the Te Puke kiwifruit growing region. A walk (of approximately 45 minutes return) along forest trails leads to the beautiful Kaiate Falls where water tumbles down a ravine in cascades over three levels. The walk has different lookout points and rest stops to the bottom of the falls.
On to the vibrant coastal city of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui (Mauao) known for its white sand beaches and offshore wreck MV Rena on Astrolabe Reef, site of New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster. We follow the coast north then head inland through Athenree Gorge to the gold mining town of Waihi (meaning ‘water gushing out’) is the site of an early goldrush which has spanned three centuries. Gold and Silver are still mined from both open cast and underground mines, but much of the ecological balance has been restored. Waihi’s rich history and ecology is exhibited in the Waihi Arts Centre and Museum.
We travel to the quaint Waikino Rail Station Café for lunch before boarding the restored Goldfields Railway Train for a 6.5km journey by rail following the Karangahake River and across farmland.
We drive back to Waikino and take a short walk via a road subway and over a steel span bridge to the historic Victoria Battery, with artefacts from gold mining days. A short walk along the Karangahake Walkway and Hauraki Rail Cycle trail brings you to the ethereal and majestic Owharoa Falls that are quite spectacular and fall into a pristine pond. The falls are easily accessible on a bush lined walkway that takes only 10 minutes.
Travelling through the bush lined Karangahake Gorge we head across the Hauraki Plains alongside farmlands to the quaint and therapeutic mineral spa town of Te Aroha. The remainder of the day can be spent at leisure exploring this old Spa town with its pools, geysers and scenic walks. Next door to your accommodation you can finish the day having a relaxing soak in the silky hot soda mineral waters or having a spa treatment.
After departing Te Aroha we travel to Hamilton, the heart of the Waikato, and the Hamilton Gardens. The 54-hectare park on the banks of the Waikato River, with enclosed themed gardens including: Italian Renaissance, Japanese Garden of Contemplation, Chinese Scholars, Katherine Mansfield, Sustainable, Herb and Te Parapara (Maori) Garden. This will include a morning tea stop.
The next part of our drive will take us across the Waikato River and the Karapiro dam to the small town of Putaruru and the Putaruru Blue Springs. The easy 1 hour walk to the springs is through native bush and across farmland . The Blue Spring is the source of 70% of all New Zealand exported bottled water.
Our final stop will be at the Okaroire Mineral Hot Spring for a hot relaxing soak at this historic charming country hotel.
Finally, we drive back to Rotorua, our hub and the completion of this tour where we will deliver you to your accommodation.
Cost from $270 per person per day based on twin share. The final price is based on accommodation choices and other customer preferences.
Includes transport, guide and driver, accommodation and breakfast on Day 2.
Excludes entry fees to attractions underlined in the Itinerary.
Zero Carbon Travel with Little Green Tours