Rotorua Te Puia & Hells Gate
Experience the geothermal landscape of Rotorua, a unique destination in New Zealand, on this exciting tour from Tauranga. Visit Te Puia, Rotorua's leading destination for Maori culture and geysers, plus Hells Gate, an out-of-this-world landscape full of steaming vents and bubbling mud
Cross the harbor bridge to Tauranga and take the inland direct route to Rotorua. This old drovers road will take you through deep gorges, native and plantation forests, and farmland. You'll want to have your camera out to capture the great scenery on the way.
Arriving in Rotorua, you'll see the main sights of this very interesting city, such as the Government Gardens, the Bath House, Blue Baths, and the Rotorua lakefront. Then you'll head to Te Puia, home to the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the famous Pohutu Geyser. With the Pohutu geyser nearby, Maori craftsmen will demonstrate their flax weaving and woodcarving skills. Take a short walk through the geothermal valley of Whakarewarewa to the mud pools, the famous Pohutu geyser, and the hot pools that make Te Puia unique. You'll also get the chance to see New Zealand's iconic flightless bird, the Kiwi.
Settle down at the Marae, one of the few fully-carved traditional meeting houses in New Zealand, and enjoy a Maori cultural performance. Polynesian warriors will demonstrate their singing, dancing, and fighting prowess, including the famous Haka dance borrowed by the All Blacks rugby team. After the performance, you'll have free time for lunch on your own.
Continue on after the break to your next incredible destination, Hells Gate, a place of extreme contrasts, including the largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere. See steaming fumaroles and pools of boiling mud as you stroll through this geothermal landscape.
On the way back to the port, you'll drive along a coastal route past the extensive kiwifruit orchards that are such an important aspect of the regions economy. Time permitting, your learned guide will take you to the kiwifruit country store, exhibiting the kiwifruit industry and enabling you to sample the refreshing fruit. See the best of Maori culture and Rotorua's geothermal wonders on this one-of-a-kind tour from Tauranga.
Reviewer: DeEtta Larson
It was a long drive to get to all the places, but most interesting once we got there. There is a lot of walking so not suitable for those that can't get around. I also enjoyed the Maori festival.
Reviewer: Paulette Schoenberger
This excursion was EXCELLANT. It was very, very interesting and thoroughly enjoyable.
Reviewer: Rose Cancellieri
Wonderful tour and informative. We had a smaller group of 9 people. The ship's tour had 40!