The tour begins with pick-up direct from the Port of Tauranga, where visiting cruise ships dock, or from your accommodation in Tauranga city or nearby towns. Our experienced driver then guides you to Te Puia in Rotorua and back past the spectacular coastal scenes, kiwifruit orchards and lakes of the Bay of Plenty in the comfort of an air-conditioned van.
The highlight of this tour is Te Puia, which spans 60 hectares in the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. It features hot springs, pools of bubbling mud, and geysers – including Pōhutu, the largest geyser in the Southern Hemisphere, which erupts to the height of 100 feet.
A short trip to Te Puia’s kiwi house through lush native bush will bring you close to New Zealand’s national icon, the kiwi. Today, kiwi are protected, and a rare sight in the wild. Historically, feathers from these flightless nocturnal birds were woven into the cloaks of powerful Māori chieftains.
Te Puia is home to the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, established in 1926 to foster and preserve Māori culture. The Institute houses national schools of traditional craftsmanship, and showcases the work of master carvers, weavers, artists and performers. People are central to the Māori culture. Traditional concerts and performances held at Te Puia share the stories of the local tribes under the carvings of their ancestors.
Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s tourism capitals, and if time allows the tour will also visit some of its other highlights, including Lake Rotorua Boardwalk, Rotorua Government Gardens, and Kuirau Park geothermal area.
This tour is an amazing day trip for overseas visitors, or for locals to learn more about the history and culture of the land they live in. It’s also a magnificent shore excursion for cruise ship passengers visiting Tauranga.