A unique opportunity to see the Central North Island Mountains, thermal valleys, lakes and rivers from the air.
From its hub at Rotorua, the Central North Island offers some of the most unique and diverse scenery you will ever see. You will be astounded at the most dramatic variance of mountains, lakes and even a desert viewed from the air in an amazing 2 hour flight departing from the jetty of Nicara Lakeside Lodge.
From Nicara Lakeside Lodge, fly via Lake Rotorua and Lake Tarawera, over the summit of Mt Tarawera, 1050m above sea level. As you fly over the crater rift, imagine the destruction caused by the 1886 eruption. Continue south past the steaming cliffs and the hot lakes of Waimangu Volcanic Valley and then over Waiotapu, the home of Thermal Wonderland magnificent thermal valley with its kaleidoscope of colours and the famous Lady Knox Geyser. Continue south passing over part of the Kaingaroa Forest, the largest man made forest in the Southern Hemisphere and then over the beautiful Aratiatia Rapids, Huka Falls and onto Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand.
Crossing the lake you then see the most striking topographical and geological features of the North Island – the volcanoes. Mount Ruapehu, 2797m above sea level last erupted in 2007 and is known as one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The others are Mount Ngauruhoe with its near perfect cone and Mount Tongariro. Together these mountains form the Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s first National park and a dual World Heritage area. Depending on weather, you should see the Emerald Lakes on Mount Tongariro and the Crater Lake on Mount Ruapehu. In winter these mountains are snow covered and Mount Ruapehu is the ski centre of the North Island with its two main ski fields, Whakapapa to the North and Turoa to the South.
As you commence your return to Nicara Lodge you should fly over what is called the Desert Road and the barren tussock country that is found in this area of the Central Plateau. For a short time you will follow the Waikato River, the longest river in New Zealand and as Lake Ohakuri passes below there is the option of landing at Orakei Korako – the Hidden Valley. Spend an hour wandering around this thermal wonderland; a great opportunity to stretch the legs. Entrances included. Then it is up, up and away again to continue flying over Lake Ohakuri through to Ngakuru, the centre of the Waikiti Valley, known for its beautiful farmland of rich green pastures. Follow the impressive Hora Hora Bluffs which were formed by extreme volcanic movement, then a chance to admire Rotorua City from above and continue around the Lake to land back at Nicara Lodge. This is a totally unique sightseeing and flying experience. A bottle of bubbles awaits you at Nicara to unwind, relax and savour the moment of a great journey.