Day 1: Wellington to Taupō
Kia Ora and welcome to New Zealand!
Today we meet at 8am at your accommodation in Wellington where your guide will have set up continental breakfast. Over breakfast your guide will introduce everyone to the group and run through everything you need to know to maximise your time in New Zealand. Breakfast and the welcome meeting should take around an hour though can take a bit longer with larger groups.
Tucked away at the bottom of the North Island, New Zealand’s capital is anything but boring. A fun young city with tons of green spaces and beaches, it feels more like a small town than an urban capital. Packed with quirky bars, quaint cafes, beautiful street art and heaps of things to do, it’s impossible not to love Wellington.
In the morning your tour guide will give you a tour of Wellington city and the surrounding bays. This can include a trip to Weta Workshop, where films like Lord of the Rings have been made. We also may visit the parliament buildings, cable car and Mount Victoria.
On the way to Taupō we drive along the Desert Road that divides the Rangipo Desert (an area with poor vegetation because of bad soil conditions and drying winds). The climate is harsh and in winter it is not unusual to see snow. However, the biggest attractions on this road are that of Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, the volcano better known as Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings. On the other side of the road is the lesser noticed Kaimanawa Range, home to a breed of wild horses that can be spotted on rare occasions.
We arrive at the accommodation by evening. With a whole day to explore Taupō tomorrow, feel free to relax at the hostel or go out to experience some of the town’s best nightlife!
- Mt Victoria Lookout
- Scenic drive through Tongariro National Park