IMI’s International Conferences also incorporate additional sightseeing options so people joining us from all over the world can enjoy the beauty of each host country. Of course, New Zealand has an incredible array of beautiful landscapes, rich history and culture, delicious food and incredible outdoor activities on both its North Island as well as South Island.
IMI and TRS are working together to craft special North Island sightseeing package for our conference guests. Three-night add-on sightseeing packages will be available for attendees (and their guests).
3 Night Sightseeing: Exploring New Zealand's North Island.
Our 3-night Sightseeing Add-on has been designed to maximize your enjoyment and time exploring the North Island. The sightseeing package has also been designed with everyone in mind: all common activities are family friendly, suitable for most (including a range of ages, physical fitness levels, and accessibility), and the package also allows for time to include personalized options to cater your experience.
(Please note: for those wishing to stay even longer or add-in South Island or Australia, please see some ideas and shared recommendations at the bottom of this page)
3 Night Sightseeing Program Details
Day 1: Auckland to Roturua via Hobbiton & Waitomo
Begin in Auckland
Your adventure begins in Auckland, New Zealand’s most populated city, fringed with beaches, harbors, volcanoes and farmland. You’ll be collected from the Grand Millennium Auckland Hotel after breakfast Monday morning to hit the road and drive to Roturua, stopping at Hobbiton and Waitomo along the way.
After a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges, we’ll come to the Hobbiton Movie Set to experience the real Middle-earth where the epic Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies were filmed and take in the lush pastures of the Shire. We’ll tour around the 12 acre film set with a local guide, hear stories about the production of these iconic films, explore Hobbit holes and enjoy a special lunch before we head out to continue our trip south.
An enchanting experience: the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves are an extensive underground network of tunnels and caverns decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and luminous glow worms. Enjoy the world-famous boat-ride under thousands of magical glowworms, walk through the majestic Cathedral Cave and hear stories about Maori culture from local guides. With guided tours since the late 1880’s, Waitomo is the original iconic New Zealand attraction!
We’ll continue our travel to stop in Rotorua, known for shooting geysers, bubbling mud pools, and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing New Zealand’s rich Maori culture and heritage.
Day 2: Roturua
Wake up in Rotorua, set on its namesake lake on New Zealand's North Island: with crystal-clear streams and magical forest to epic biking trails and thermal mud pools, Roturua has everything. With so much to choose from, a portion of the day will be set for you to spend as you choose. Go for a walk in Kuirau Park, New Zealand’s only free geothermal park. Stroll the lakefront boardwalk. Immerse yourself in Polynesian spas. Or journey deep into ancient native forests to experience New Zealand as it once was from the top of the forest canopy on a zipline adventure voted the world’s #1 Nature activity. Experience the side of Roturua you wish to explore. Just keep in mind, we do have a couple more activities planned for your day!
We’ll visit Te Puia, over 70 hectares of land within the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, dotted with hot springs, mud pools and geysers. A local expert will take you on a guided walk to learn about these geothermal wonders, including Pohutu, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere at 30m-tall that erupts many times daily.
At Te Puia you can also experience the Kiwi Conservation Centre where you’ll have the chance to observe the beloved nocturnal bird in a darkened enclosure and learn about the sanctuary’s efforts to protect them. And swing by the Ahua Gallery and watch culturally significant Maori carving and weaving demonstrations.
In the evening, we’ll head to Mitai Maori Village for an incredible cultural evening experience complete with a hangi feast cooked beneath the earth in traditional style.
Day 3: Taupo & Roturua
On our last full day, we’ll head Taupo, known as the heart of Aotearoa, New Zealand’s beautiful North Island. At the centre is sparkling Lake Taupō, the great inland sea of New Zealand.
Aratiatia Rapids is one of the most popular natural attractions in the North Island. Thousands of liters of water are released from the Aratiatia Dam creating a spectacular flow of water through a narrow gorge.
At Aratiatia the Waikato River falls naturally through 28 metres in the space of one kilometre. This natural drop has been harnessed for environmentally-sustainable hydroelectric power - headwaters are diverted through a tunnel to the power station. A few times each day, spill gates from the dam are opened at the top of the Aratiatia rapids and the narrow gorge fills with turbulent water surging past at up to 90,000 litres per second allowing visitors to appreciate the full force and power of nature.
The Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, moves gracefully north from Lake Taupō between banks 100 metres apart. Just before the Huka Falls, our next stop, it enters a shallow ravine of hard volcanic rock. The effect is nature's large-scale equivalent of a fire hose feeding into a very fine nozzle.
The previously placid waters roar and rumble at great speed along the ravine before bursting out over Huka Falls to crash into the turbulent pool 11 metres below. We will witness the majesty of these famous waters from a foot bridge right at the top of the falls—a prime position to get up close and witness the powerful display of water blasting by
At Lake Taupo, we’ll enjoy a scenic Lunch cruise, complete with incredible views of the famous Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings. With so much to do at the lake, we’re also planning time for you to indulge in your choice of activity from relaxing lakeside to short hikes or activities like parasialing if you choose (separate ticket).
We’ll head back to the hotel for a quick break and then out to the Rotorua Skyline for dinner at Stratosfare where you'll get a great view of Rotorua. After dinner, we'll close out our last evening with the mesmerizing and magical Redwoods Nightlights Treewalk. Walking high above the forest floor and beneath these gentle giants, you’ll find yourself “transported to a captivating world of color and light, where forest and fantasy come alive.”
Day 4: Return to Auckland
After breakfast we'll head back to Auckland to reach Auckland airport at about 1:00 pm so you can catch evening flights back home or onto your next destination.
IMI’s New Zealand's South Island has a lot to explore and travel itineraries can range froma few days to a few weeks to take it all in. To help you navigate everything New Zealand has to offer, we have compiled some links of different activities (though given the range that New Zealand offers from snow covered mountain tops to sandy beaches and dolphin encounters, we recommend you search with your own preferences in mind!). We have also shared the contacts for some travel agents who have been helping some attendees plan out additional tours and travel arrangements.
Top Things to See and Do Around New Zealand: From local secrets to tourist hotspots, find the best places and things to do on your New Zealand holiday.
11 Must-do Experiences in the South Island: Experience New Zealand's highest peak and explore the only castle in the country. Admire striking lakeside views, street art and mountain peaks.