Departing the pier, you will travel around the Mount Maunganui inner harbor, then along the main surf beach and pristine waterfront of New Zealand's number one seaside resort. Continue past the suburbs and dairy farmland before coming to Te Puke, the kiwifruit capital of New Zealand. You will stop at a kiwifruit country orchard, where you will be able to taste various products made with this amazing fruit. You'll then make a stop at a producer of New Zealand's famous export: Manuka honey. You'll learn about what makes this delicious honey so special, and taste it for yourself.
The excursion will then drive through farmland and pine forested areas before taking a detour to view some native fauna while on a short stop to view the adrenaline junkies as they cascade the Kaituna Rapids and falls in their kayaks and rafts. You will continue on to Rotorua passing Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotorua, which are just 2 of the 16 lakes in the region.
There will be a short break for lunch (at your own expense) alongside Lake Rotorua before you drive to the unique thermal wonderland of Whakarewarewa, a landscape of erupting geothermal activity, hot thermal springs, bubbling mud, and the famous Pohutu Geyser.
You will be hosted by a Maori guide and experience a people who have come to live in harmony in the midst of this unique environment. Hear how they use the boiling cauldrons and steam in everyday life for cooking and the natural mineral waters for communal bathing.
The local villagers are always delighted to share their knowledge and pastimes of the place they call home. Learn about their traditions and culture, visit the fully carved meeting house Whare Tupuna (ancestral home), and then experience a traditional Maori welcome, songs, and dances, including the famous Haka. This is the only authentic living Maori village of its kind in New Zealand. Crowds should be expected at this site.
Your sightseeing journey continues through Rotorua to the Government Gardens, the historic Bath House, and Rachel's Pool. The excursion returns to Tauranga using a different route, with opportunity to stop an admire Hamurana Spring's crystal clear blue waters. Upon arrival to the city, you will have the opportunity to see a little of the inner city and its downtown area before crossing the harbor bridge to return to your ship at Mount Maunganui.
Reviewer: john mayer
We had a great tour of this area of New Zealand. The guide was very knowledgeable because he was a local that had grown up in the area. Rotorua is a very interesting area because of all the geothermal activity.
Reviewer: Sarah Younce
Great tour; weather was pretty bad, but they provided us with long clear raincoats. The whole tour was really good; geyser was gorgeous. Maori culture show good, but we were late because we had to wait for irresponsible people. The center provided us with a guide even though we were late. Thumbs down to inconsiderate people. Thumbs up to the tour! Wish bus had been smaller, less people.
Reviewer: Ray Keener
Very good guide, small group was very nice, we were not rushed through the day.
Reviewer: Simon Yu
I had a great time on the cruise and would recommend it.
Reviewer: Carl Yarosz
The best of all the tours.