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  • Group tours

    Group tours
    Our very own tours around New Zealand have been designed to show you as much as possible in two weeks, with high quality accommodation, dinners in great restaurants, cultural experiences and our professional guides.  Our family holidays also can be realised with a private driver/guide.

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    Incentive travel
    Having organised incentive holidays for some of the largest companies in Europe, our incentive products are sure to satisfy even the most demanding clients.

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  • Family holidays

    Family holidays
    Our itineraries around New Zealand and Australia allow you and your family to have a memorable holiday, without the hassle of organising anything. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our representative, given a private tour, travel documents and vouchers, then off you go while being in 24/7 contact with us with a provided mobile phone.

  • Luxury travel

    Luxury travel
    From lodges and beachfront resorts, to five star chauffeured transport, we will exceed the expectation of even the most demanding luxury traveller.

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    Exotic destinations
    Beyond our standard holiday itineraries, we are specialists in organising travel to more exotic destinations in the South Pacific, allowing you to experience unique cultures and customs.

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  • Adventure and adrenaline

    Adventure and adrenaline

    Activities from jet boating to skiing are all on the menu for the adrenaline junkies. From team building workshops to hiking trips, we have made custom tours for all ages and interests.

Tongariro

Tongariro2a Martian landscape

Despite it being January, which in New Zealand is the middle of summer, the mornings are exceptionally cool in Turangi, a town at the entrance to Tongariro National Park lying on a volcanic plateau in the centre of the North Island. The cold does not deter fishermen who stand around in the icy fast moving waters of the Tongariro River in their rubber waders catching trout. Our group of conditioned hiking enthusiasts begin to chat with these fishermen from the high bank of the river. One of them had apparently been fishing since 5am and caught two fish which he estimated to be at least 6kg each. The Tongariro River is famous for very large trout so who’s to say he was exaggerating. There is a hatchery upriver which releases trout into the river once they reach a certain size.

 Hearing a bus arrive at the hotel reception we abruptly had to end our morning conversation. It is our transfer to the starting point of the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing track. The driver, a friendly local Maori takes us to a carpark in the Maungatepopo river valley. It is here that the 19.5 kilometre track begins. In addition with a change in elevation of 886 metres, it is by no means a walk in the park.  Our group also planned the optional detour of conquering the neighbouring summit of Mt Ngauruhoe standing at 2291 metres above sea level.
The first part of the track is an easy and well prepared gravel path, wooden bridges and steps.  It leads through an area of hardy alpine vegetation including the very tall tussock grasses.


Moving along the Angatepopo stream, some already begin to feel thirsty, however the water in the stream is full of sulphur and is undrinkable. The path is taking us into a volcanic wonderland and only 40 minutes into the hike, the perfect cone shape of Mt Ngauruhoe appears to the right of us. That volcano last erupted in 1975. A wide path of hardened lava is evidence of the unsettled nature of this terrain, and a nearby information sign provides instructions of what hikers must do in the event of a volcanic eruption.
There are underground sensors placed in different parts of the National Park to monitor seismic activity, and in the past tremors have given scientists a few false alarms. But it is when you see large gas clouds hissing from distant and near fumaroles that you get a real sense of how alive this place is.


The summit of Ngauruhoe is not covered in snow at this time of the year, and to our luck the weather is calm, so we proceed with our plan to conquer the impressive volcano. As we near the volcano, we take a short stop at a place called Soda Springs, to collect as much energy as we can before our very steep approach to the South Crater. Another sign warns us that we are in a mountainous area, where the weather can change quickly and unpredictably. Fortunately new wooden steps appear in our way and make our ascent slightly easier. After just 30 minutes we are on the rim of the South Crater, 1660 metres above sea level. The entire group is in good spirits and we decide that we are ready for an assault of the summit. We have 2.5 to 3 hours to ascend 630 metres and return to the track.


Tongariro1We proceed as the sweat begins to pour more and more from our foreheads. At a certain moment we are engulfed by a white cloud as dense as milk, but we soon climb far above it. After over an hour of hard marching we are on the summit, and what a view! In the south we can see the snow covered peak of Mt Ruapehu, the tallest volcano in the country at 2797 metres above sea level. Its sides are scarred after many eruptions that span its relatively short 250,000 year existence. The last two major eruptions of Ruapehu occurred in 1995 and 1996, followed by many years of calm, bar one small eruption in 2007 which caused part of the Crater Lake near its summit to spill down the mountainside releasing an immense volume of mud and water.


To the north looking down we can see Tongariro, the smallest of the three volcanoes in the National Park at 1967 metres above sea level. Much further north we can see Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake at over 610km2. We have been really lucky with the weather, and to the fareast we can see the Kaimanawa ranges, with some of the most inaccessible areas in the North Island. To the west, approximately 150km away we can see yet another volcano, Mt Taranaki (2518m), often referred to as New Zealand’s Mt Fuji, because of the similarity in its shape to the volcano in Japan.
We peer into the throat of the sleeping giant, the crater sides are covered in mixes of reds, oranges, yellows and greys. Scientist have estimated that the volcano erupts every 9 years, meaning that it is many years overdue, so not wanting to disturb its silence, we proceed down its steep slopes. After 40 minutes we are back on track so to speak. The muscles definitely felt that detour, but we cannot give them a break now, as we still have a long way to go. Our contact with craters is also not at an end yet, as during the crossing we see many more of them. The scenery is like being on Mars. At the edge of the red crater, the crossing reaches its highest point at 1886 metres above sea level. From here we descend down loose volcanic gravel in the direction of the beautiful Emerald Lakes. These three lakes are small volcanic craters covered in sulphur rich water, and this is what gives the water its intense emerald colour. We walk through the flat bottom of the Central Crater then have to manoeuvre a steep incline. In the crater in front of us we see the large Blue Lake. After another solid march through this alien landscape, the track begins its winding descent  towards the small Ketetahi Hut, beautifully located amongst tussock grasses.


We come across a stream which flows from hot springs and has a greyish-green colour. The next part of the track crosses traditional Maori Lands. Signs ask hikers to respect this place because it is tapu – meaning sacred in the Maori language. They bathed in the Ketetahi springs as they believed the waters had healing properties.


Tongariro3The track becomes easier, and in the valley we see a forrest towards which the path leads. In the distance we can see Lake Rotorira, and beyond that Turangi, the place our adventure began. Eventually we descend into native New Zealand forest, were we can see many New Zealand tree species including Beech, Totara and Rimu, as well as many other plants including the Kawakawa. We arrive at the car park very much exhausted. A relaxing dip at the local geothermal springs in the evening is a sure way to quickly regenerate our aching muscles and prepare us for the next day.


Tongariro National Park is one of the oldest National Parks in the word. It was established in 1887 when Te Heuheu Tukino IV, great chief of the Ngati Tuwhheretoa tribe, granted this volcanic area to the colonial government. He did this for practical reasons; he did not want European settlers to destroy this sacred area through cattle and sheep farming.


New Zealand director Sir Peter Jackson chose his area to be Mordor in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with Mt Ngauruhoe being used for Mount Doom. Film enthusiasts easily recognise the places through which hobbits Frodo and Sam traversed while Golem stalked them so that they could not reach their destination.


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From airport transfers to complete New Zealand tour itineraries, we are here to make your New Zealand experience an unforgettable one with English, Polish, Russian and Portuguese driver guides.

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