Central Plateau & Forgotten Highway

Easy Twin Share

From $1,645 per person

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Monday 08 – Thursday 11 August 2022 (4 Days)

Celebrate winter in the heart of the Tongariro Volcanic Plateau, including two nights at the iconic Chateau Tongariro. Our journey also takes us through the Forgotten World Highway. On this stretch of road, we wriggle our way over four mountain saddles, through an eerie one-lane tunnel along a sinuous river gorge to Stratford, and spend our last night in New Plymouth.

Day 1              Monday 08 August 2022
Depart from Hamilton onboard an air-conditioned coach and travel to the National Park in the heart of the North Island. On our relaxing journey South towards the Central Plateau we will be including a stop for our morning tea where we can get to know each other before our tour recommences into the National Park. On arrival in National Park Village, our tour coach and driver will escort us to the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre where we can view interesting displays and learn about the natural and cultural history of the area. We’ll then make our way up the Top of the Bruce at Mt Ruapehu and ride the Sky Waka – New Zealand’s most advanced gondola, high above the World Heritage-listed mountain area.  Each aerial gondola cabin allows 360-degree views through floor to ceiling windows for exceptional viewing of one of the North Island’s most rugged and spectacular landscapes.  As we travel to Knoll Ridge, we’ll see filming locations from Lord of the Rings movies and amazing mountain scenery, including waterfalls, volcanic rock and panoramic vistas. We finish our day by checking in at the Chateau Tongariro for our two-night stay in National Park. The iconic hotel was constructed during the 'roaring twenties' and retains elegance from this period.  Tonight we enjoy a delicious dinner in the beautiful hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Chateau Tongariro – 2 nights

Day 2              Tuesday 09 August 2022
Today we circumnavigate around the Tongariro National Park on a scenic drive. On our way to Ohakune, we’ll pass the car graveyard at Horopito, featured in the 1981 film Smash Palace. On arrival in Ohakune, we will have time out to wander through the village and view the giant carrot before continuing our journey to Waiouru. We’ll stop briefly at the Tangiwai Memorial Site, which commemorates the lives lost in New Zealand’s worst rail disaster on 24 December 1953. Waiouru is home to New Zealand’s largest military base, so it is fitting that the New Zealand Army Museum is located here. After lunch in Waiouru, we will visit the Army Museum where the history of the New Zealand Army is explained with an extensive collection of artefacts, audiovisuals and realistic displays. Our journey around the mountains will continue as we travel on the Desert Road back to our accommodation for the evening. Tonight, we enjoy another delicious dinner at our hotel.

Day 3              Wednesday 10 August 2022
This morning we depart from the Central Plateau and heads towards Taranaki, travelling on the Forgotten World Highway, as it threads 155-km through pristine sub-tropical rain forests and unspoilt scenery- including the beech ridge-tops of Whangamomona Saddle and the awesome Tangarakau Gorge. We will stop in for a hearty lunch at the iconic Whangamomona Hotel before continuing along the highway to Stratford. As we come closer to Stratford we will cross the Strathmore Saddle, which on a fine day offers spectacular views of Mt Taranaki, and Mt Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe. Our day ends in New Plymouth where we will check into our accommodation for the night. As our hotel is centrally located, there will be free time for you to explore the New Plymouth CBD area.
Accommodation: Autolodge Motor Inn, New Plymouth – 1 night

Day 4             Thursday 11 August 2022
After breakfast this morning, we commence our journey back home. We will have a brief stop at the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge which is a pedestrian and cycleway bridge across the Waiwhakaiho River. Its spectacular shape and setting make it a popular landmark. On a clear day, you can see Mt Taranaki through the shape of the bridge. Our journey home will take us through Mokau, Te Kuiti, and Otorohanga.

Chateau Tongariro

Chateau Tongariro

The elegant Chateau Tongariro is located within Whakapapa Village - in the heart of Tongariro National Park at the foot of the majestic and sacred Mount Ruapehu, in one of nature's finest playground. The Chateau was constructed during the 'roaring twenties', opening in 1929. 

Auto Lodge Motor Inn, New Plymouth

Autolodge Motor Inn

Located approximately 8kms from the airport and within easy walking distance to the coastal walkway, beaches and Pukekura Park.  On-site facilities include Juliana’s Restaurant and Bar, indoor heated pool and spa, guest laundry, and a pool table.  Guests also receive complimentary wireless broadband internet access in all rooms and public areas.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas – refer to flyer for further information.
  • 3 nights accommodation - twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Tour admissions as per itinerary
  • Touring in modern air-conditioned vehicle
  • Breakfasts (B), Lunches (L), Dinners (D) where indicated on your daily itinerary.
  • Roadside Morning Teas – where possible

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Twin/Double Share Cost: $1,645.00
Single Supplement: $350.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking $200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Monday 27 June 2022

Book and pay in full by Friday 11 April 2022 and receive $75.00 discount per person!


Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

Yes. Leisure Time Tours offers a free home collection and drop off service from selected Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and most Auckland City areas. Our complimentary collections are based on your individual post code, other home collection locations available at an additional cost. Alternatively you may wish to meet us at our Hamilton depot in which case you can park your car in our secure yard free of charge for the duration of your holiday. For all tours that have a flight component, we can also offer door to door collections from Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin city areas.

Please refer to our Home Collection flyer for further information about this service.

Is the Guaranteed twin Share Price available on this tour? YES

Yes. Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Times Tours accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Please note that the guaranteed twin share pricing is not available to pre & post tour accommodation arrangements.

What fitness level is required for this tour? EASY LEVEL

To ensure that you select the right tour for you, we’ve developed a very clear set of fitness recommendations for our tours. These physical ratings clearly explain how much physical exertion is required to participate on each tour. 

Level 1 – Easy

  • Relaxed paced tour
  • Be able to participate in guided or unguided small walking tours at a relaxed pace.
  • Walk on mostly level ground
  • Tackle an occasional flight of stairs
  • Occasionally need to stand for up to 10 minutes
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walking tours with time to rest at least every 10 minutes
  • Stand for 15 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
  • Walk confidently on bush tracks

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walking tours without having to rest for up to 20 minutes
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk over uneven ground and walk through soft sand
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
Will there be a daily seat rotation on this tour? YES

Passengers rotate seats in the coach daily so that all passengers have the opportunity to enjoy forward and window seating. All passengers are expected to participate as a booking condition.

Can you assist with pre & post tour accommodation? YES

Yes we can. Should you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer we can book in some pre and post tour accommodation for you. Please ask at the time of booking if you require this.

Is this tour a guaranteed departure? NO

This tour will be guaranteed once there are 10 passengers booked on the tour.

Are roadside morning teas included on our tours? YES

Yes. A point of difference is that wherever possible we offer our passengers roadside refreshments served from the coach. This gives all passengers the chance to mix and mingle over a hot cuppa allowing us to share our experiences as we journey together.

Do I need travel insurance?

Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy may prevent you from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help you feel protected during your holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today. 

How much luggage can I bring?

Luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one small item of hand luggage per person. Baggage handling of one suitcase per person, at each hotel, is included in the trip price. Carry-on/hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and all personal items must be taken off the coach by you each day of the trip.

What clothing should I pack?

When on tour, dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Central Plateau & Forgotten Highway
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