Mount Tarawera, Rotorua
Mount Tarawera is an impressive dormant volcano near Rotorua. On 10 June 1886 it erupted with tremendous force and killed 153 people. The entire volcano is on Maori land and is considered sacred because of the people who were buried there as a result of the eruption. As such, the mountain is private property and cannot be explored alone, but only through the single official tour company.
My wife and I took a standard tour package one afternoon. We travelled to and up the mountain by 4WD minibus, which proved to be essential as the dirt road to the summit was in terrible condition. Once at the base of the volcano crater, we hiked along the crater edge to the very summit, at 1111 meters in elevation. From there we hiked down into the deepest part of the crater itself and then back out again. The mountain and crater are spectacular and offer some of the best views you can imagine, but the hike was actually quite strenuous. You also have the option to take a less strenuous hike if you don't think you are up for the hard one. And if you really want to go all out, you can have a helicopter pick you up at the summit and fly you around the crater.
Great experience overall, but again like so much else in NZ it was very expensive at NZ$110 per person!