Te Kuiti is a small town in the north of the King Country region of the North Island of New Zealand. It lies at the junction of State Highways 3 and 30 and on the North Island Main Trunk railway, 80 kilometres (50 mi) south of Hamilton. At the 2001 census it had a resident population of 4,374, a decrease of 5.1% since 1991. The town promotes itself as the sheep shearing capital of the world and is host to the annual New Zealand National Shearing Championships.
William of Wellington
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Mangapohue Natural Bridge is a highlight on the scenic drive from Waitomo Village to Marokopa. The track is pushchair-friendly and follows a boardwalk through an impressive limestone gorge that takes you underneath a natural bridge.
The 17 m high limestone arch, which spans the Mangapohue Stream, is all that remains of an ancient cave system. From here the track becomes stepped and passes under the bridge giving a superb view of the ceiling studded with stalactite-like formations and an excellent view back down the gorge.
The track continues for over farmland. Follow the marker posts around to the right and up the hill where you can see 25 million year old fossilised oysters exposed in the limestone outcrops. Follow the marker posts until you cross a stile back into the reserve heading back to the car park.
Combine this walk with Piripiri Cave Walk and Marokopa Falls Walk on a scenic drive from Waitomo to Marokopa.
The track starts on Te Anga Road, 25 km from Waitomo Village.
Only a few minutes north of Taupo and easily accessible off State Highway One, Craters of the Moon ('karapiti') is an active geothermal field and a formidable volcanic example of the inner earth’s fiery inferno bursting forth, not to mention a popular Taupo visitor attraction.
The terrain is filled with exposed steam vents and is constantly shifting, collapsing and reforming, giving Craters of the Moon its iconic uninhabited, otherworldly appearance. This popular Taupo attraction contains bubbling craters, colourful soils and plants that have adapted to and thriving in this hot environment. Boardwalks and pathways lead spectators safely through the area, avoiding the fumes and hot temperatures around the steam vents in this well-visited spot.
Craters of the Moon began to form in 1950 as a result of utilising the underground thermal energy in the Wairakei Valley. This area used to contain light geothermal activity until the construction of Wairakei Geothermal Power Station, approximately 2000 metres north of the field. The power station lowered underground water levels and as a result the fumaroles and mud pools became more active.
There was less water to cool the magma and the ground cavity which was previously full of water is now full of high-pressure sulphurous steam, creating the force responsible for the shifting and changing landscape. Formed over the past sixty years Craters of the Moon is now a must-see Taupo attraction, with its desolate moonscape and clouds of swirling steam.
Open every day except Christmas, the easy stroll is suited to all ages and fitness levels. Allow around 45 minutes to complete the loop and an additional 15 minutes for the upper lookout. This section is steep in places but the view is well worth the effort and highly recommended.
Come and explore a world of gushing geysers, hot springs, bubbling mud pools and some of the largest and most amazing silica terraces in the world.Wander through the Hidden Valley and veiw the thermal Ruatapu Cave which extends more than 36m down to the 'Waiwhakaata' or 'Pool of Mirrors' hot pool at the bottom.
Orakei Korako boasts the most active geysers of any geothermal park in New Zealand. Up to 23 active natural geysers play freely through the area, which is constantly changing. Marvel at the number of boiling hot springs and the vibrant colours all around you. Lonely Planet writes "Arguably the best Thermal area in New Zealand" Trip Advisor Award of Excellence 2011 to 2017.
On the most picturesque private farmland you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt for The Hobbit and will remain as it was seen in these films and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. our tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will escort you through the twelve acre site recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton Movie set was created.
The Hobbit holes, Green Dragon™ Inn, Mill and other structures created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can be viewed and you will see how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-Earth. Tours Depart daily from The Shire's Rest Cafe.
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