Tongaririo was New Zealand’s first national park and was given as a gift from the native people. On the 23rd of September 1887, by the deed of gift, Te Heuheu Tukino IV (Horonuku), then the paramount chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, gave the sacred peaks to the nation. Following this act of generosity, Tongariro National Park was formally gazetted in 1907 and is New Zealand’s first World Heritage Site, and the fourth National Park to be created in the world.

It is a special area, with a lot of cultural history for the New Zealand Maori people. There is much myth and legend accompanying this unique place and the Park has the three active volcanoes, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro and comprises

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Te Urewera

Te Urewera National Park has the largest forested wilderness left on the North Island. It is remembered for its beautiful lakes and awesome forest, as well as for its cultural history.

The park covers 212,675 ha and was established 1954 together with neighbouring Whirinaki Forest Park. This is the largest remaining area of native forest in the North Island.

This area has been home to the Tuhoe people, or “Children of the Mist” for a long time. “Children of the Mist” refers to the fact that they are the offspring of Hine-puhoku-rangi, the celestial Mist Maiden. The relationship between these people and the land is very strong, and runs very deep.

The lands here were derived from young mudstone, siltstone

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Time out by the ocean

The city of Whakatane is located where the Whakatane River meets the ocean, in the northeast of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s an easy hour’s drive from either Rotorua or Tauranga, but is less populated with tourists than either of these cities, making it ideal for escaping from the beaten track.

A large rock outcrop by the name of Pohutaroa (literally, “long rock”) strikingly marks the centre of Whakatane at the junction of Strand and Commerce Streets. Pohutaroa is sacred to the Maori – a shrine once stood on the site. The karaka trees which grow at the base of the rock are said to have grown from seeds which were brought to the shores

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The subtropical fruit capital

The Mount of Mt Maunganui

Tauranga is a vibrant New Zealand city situated on the east coast of the North Island. It is the sixth largest city in New Zealand with a population of approximately 90,000 people and is only 200k (a comfortable 3 hours drive) from Auckland.

With one of the best climates in the country, the region is renowned for it’s subtropical orchards with kiwi fruit, avocados and citrus, and you will find stunning beaches and subtropical rain forests which make it one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. Next to Blenheim it is reputed to be the sunniest place in New Zealand. It also has the second highest growth

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A geothermal wonderland

Clouds of steam appearing ‘magically’ out of the ground, the unmistakable smell of sulphur, erupting geysers, hot thermal springs and bubbling mud cauldrons – you could only be in Rotorua. Everywhere you go you will see steam rising from the ground and even the motels offer thermal baths. Vents from volcanic action can appear in the most unlikely places and even the golf courses have heat rising from them.

Whakarewarewa, Waimangu, Waiotapu, Hells Gate and the Hidden Valley are the most popular reserves, where thermal rivers, mud pools, volcanic terraces, geysers, and bubbling pools demonstrate the mercurial properties of this geothermal wonderland.

The living village of Whakarewarewa is one of Rotorua’s most active thermal areas. Here you

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Bay of Plenty

Sunshine and adventure

With bountiful sunshine and a balmy climate to welcome you, your visit will be a memorable one. From untouched rainforests and sub-tropical farmlands to the pleasures of the street-side eateries or the pure white sands of the coast you will find that the Bay of Plenty is aptly named. It is a land blessed by nature where abundant green lands meet the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

The sunny climate is ideal for growing avocados, grapes, kiwifruit, citrus and other subtropical fruits for which the region is famous. Together with timber, paper and dairy products, fruit is exported through the Port of Tauranga, the largest export port in New Zealand and the commercial centre

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