Taupo, home to New Zealand’s largest lake, is your next stop. Formed from a volcanic crater, it’s a spectacular sight, and New Zealand’s longest river, the Waikato, originates from the lake. Your hotel, the historic Huka Lodge
, sits on its banks, amidst landscaped gardens, and has welcomed guests from the Queen to Bill Gates, so you’ll be joining a distinguished guest list – and you can even arrive on the manicured lawns by helicopter.
If Queenstown gave you an insatiable taste for adventure, go on a jetboat ride to Huka Falls or experience the cycling trails, or for something more sedate, relax on the waterfront with a cocktail, and take in the views over the lake and the mountains beyond – on clear days, you can see the snow-capped peaks of Tongariro National Park. Lord of the Rings fans will recognise many of the landscapes around the area.
We also recommend visiting the volcanic White Island, where, on a guided walk, you can get up close to otherworldly landscapes of colourful craters, bubbling mud pits, hot streams and steaming lakes.