Econo Lodge Napier
85 Meeanee Quay
Phone: (64) 6 8359879
Fax: (64) 6 8350290
Heading into the world's fourth oldest and New Zealand's first national park, you are greeted by contrasting landscapes of arid plateaus, green forests, gushing rivers, greenish-blue tarns, volcanic craters and snow-clad mountains. Situated in North Island, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to three famous volcanoes: Mount Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. Here, visitors can view alpine natural beauty, rare soil and rocks, and hot springs. The terrain changes hues from deep red and brown to vivid green and blue within a few meters. This national park is replete with religious structures of the Māori people, a native Polynesian tribe. Adventurous visitors have plenty of hiking routes such as the Whakapapa Village Walking Tracks, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Mount Ruapehu Crater Climb and Tongariro Northern Circuit. One can also indulge in other activities such as white water rafting, fishing and horse riding. The picturesque setting made this national park one of the sites for filming the trilogy The Lord of the Rings.
Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley is a geothermal power generation site that is open to visitors so as to acquaint them with this phenomenon. Here, you get to understand various concepts related to power generation as well as to take a stroll through natural geysers and mud pools. The Wairakei Geothermal Visitor Center offers guided tours of the field. Besides touring the power plant, you can also visit a Maori village as well as attend the evening concert where local talent comes to the fore.
A fun and unique initiative, the Huka Prawn Park in Taupo promises some fun times. The park provides various tours and other activities to keep you and the tots engaged for the whole day. Check website for details as hours vary for various sections in the park.