After hotel pickup in Rotorua 15 minutes before your scheduled flight, you’re transferred to the lakefront helipad to begin your 1-hour Mt Tarawera helicopter tour. Buckle in and take off from Lake Rotorua as your pilot expertly maneuvers the helicopter above the city and heads east toward the distant peaks of the volcano.
Soar over Lake Tarawera before circling the vast volcanic crater system of Mt Tarawera, created by the cataclysmic 1886 eruption, which destroyed the Pink and White Terraces. You’ll appreciate one-of-a-kind aerial views from your vantage point in the sky as the pilot points out distinctive geological features of the lunar-like landscape, including caldera lakes and volcanic domes.
Descend into Hells Gate — known as Tikitere to the the Maori people — a geothermal reserve whose English name was coined after playwright George Bernard Shaw noted that the bubbling pools must surely be the gateway to hell.
Upon landing, embark on a 30-minute guided walk around Rotorua’s hottest thermal park. Stroll at a leisurely pace to hot lakes, ancient cooking pools and a mud volcano whose mineral-rich clay the Maori traditionally harvested for its healing powers.
Then board the helicopter for your return flight, zooming over Mokoia Island before landing at Lake Rotorua where your return vehicle whisks you back to your hotel.