Welcome to Tauranga

Its rapid rise has left it with traffic snarls on its arterial routes to rival even Auckland's. It also has NZ's busiest port, with petrol refineries and mountains of coal and lumber spoiling what was once a lovely view from the city centre to Mt Maunganui.

However, this growth has also brought with it fancy hotels and a terrific crop of restaurants and bars enlivening its vamped-up waterfront. Tauranga's city centre is never going to rival its beachside 'burbs, Mt Maunganui and Papamoa, for visitor appeal but if you're staying at the Mount, it's well worth popping over for a bite and a look around.

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Tauranga activities

$110.25 Shore Excursions

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Highlights

Leaving the port at Mount Maunganui, your shore excursion begins with a trip beside the port's pristine ocean beach and waterfront.Your first stop is Te Puke, New Zealand's kiwifruit capital, the Kiwifruit Country. Then, travel through the Bay of Plenty's beautiful farmland, past forests of pine trees, and stop to take a short walk to Okere Waterfalls, home to rainbow trout, eels and freshwater crayfish.Continue into the North Island’s lake country, where more than a dozen beautiful lakes dot the countryside. Your tour includes a stop for lunch beside lovely Lake Rotorua (own expense).In the early afternoon, visit the unique thermal wonderland of Whakarewarewa, an amazing landscape of erupting hot springs, bubbling mud and the famous Pohutu Geyser, which erupts up to 20 times a day. Take a walk with a Maori guide to hear how people came to live in harmony with this volatile environment, learning to use the boiling cauldrons and jets of steam for everyday purposes such as cooking and communal bathing.After learning about Maori traditions and culture, see this way of life in action when you visit New Zealand's only authentic living Maori village. Experience a traditional Maori welcome with songs and dances, including the famously warlike Haka dance.Complete your Rotorua shore excursion with a tour of Rotorua’s highlights, including the Government Gardens, historic bath house and natural hot springs at Whangapipiro (Rachel's Pool). If time allows, visit one of New Zealand's earliest tourist sights at beautiful Lake Tarawera.The return trip to your cruise ship at Mount Maunganui follows a different route, taking you through the region’s rolling farmland and the Tauranga City center before crossing the harbor bridge to the port.Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Tauranga port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

$114.69 Cultural & Theme Tours

Hobbiton Movie Sets Shore Tour: Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit

Departing Tauranga, we first cross the harbour bridge, which offers great views of The Mount, the volcanic core 232m high which marks the entrance to the harbour of Tauranga. We then climb up to over 1000 feet to cross the Kaimai mountain range which divides the Bay of Plenty coastal region from the Waikato district, the main dairy farming area of New Zealand.We soon arrive at Hobbiton, the movie set location for the village in the Lord of The Rings films and of courseThe Hobbit movie trilogy.Here we will be met by our guide at the Shires Rest for an informative two hour tour around the movie set location. Stand under the party tree, walk past the Hobbit holes, imagine yourself among the characters.Nestled deep in the rolling hills of the Waikato, this location was chosen for it's unblemished landscape. The tour ends at the Green Dragon Pub where you can enjoy a Hobbit Ale and a light lunch (own expense) if you wish.We then start the journey back to Tauranga, stopping at the summit of the Kaimai ranges at over 1000ft above sea level for some great photo opportunities overlooking the valley far below and extinct Volcanoes in the distance.Time permitting we also stop at a local honey center to see the hives and taste some of the special local Manuka honey, and perhaps indulge in a tasty honey ice cream.Finally we return to the ship, passing millionaires waterfront homes lining the beautiful golden sand beaches of Mount Maunganui.

$189.43 Cultural & Theme Tours

Tauranga Shore Excursion: ‘Lord of the Rings’ Set, Rotorua

Your shore excursion begins with pickup from your cruise ship port at Tauranga. The scenic route to Middle Earth takes you across the Tauranga harbor bridge, then leaves the Bay of Plenty coast to climb the Kaimai mountain range and enter the Waikato district's lush farmlands.Arriving at Hobbiton near the town of Matamata in Waikato, meet your guide and take a two-hour tour of this famous movie set location. Enter the world of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings on a walk past hobbit holes, stand under the party tree and admire the gently rolling farmland that brought the Shire to life. Your Hobbiton tour concludes with a drink of beer, cider or ginger beer at the Green Dragon Inn.Your tour continues over the Mamaku mountain range and into Rotorua. Stop for lunch (own expense) beside Lake Rotorua, then continue to the living thermal village of Whakarewarewa.Accompanied by a Maori guide, admire the amazing thermal springs and bubbling mud pools, and see the famous Pohutu Geyser burst into life. Listen to your guide's fascinating commentary, and hear how people learned to live in harmony with the geothermal activity, cooking over steam vents and bathing in the hot springs.Your tour also takes you to the traditional Maori meeting house, Whare Tupuna, with its ancient wood carvings. See Maori customs and legends come to life when you experience a traditional Maori welcome, songs and dances, including the warlike Haka dance with its demonstration of fighting skills.The return trip to the port follows a different route, revealing more of New Zealand's scenic beauty. If time allows, stop at a redwood forest en route for a photo shoot -- with cloaks, hats, staffs and swords provided, you can dress up as Bilbo, Gandalf, Eowyn and other favorite characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for the ultimate souvenir of your trip to Middle Earth!Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Tauranga port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

$114.69 Day Trips & Excursions

Shore Excursion: Rotorua Tour from Tauranga

On leaving port you head to Rotorua via Pyes Pa Rd, which was originally a walking track by Maori to and from the coast to Rotorua, this is now a popular highway. On our way you pass some beautiful scenery and take a stop where Mt Tarawera can be pointed out and the destruction by its eruption which caused the Buried Village.As you arrive into Rotorua a description of its history is given before arriving to our main destination Te Puia, the Maori Cultural Center. From our arrival, clients are given a personalized tour of the old pa site, through the thermal grounds (of boiling mud and geysers), and shown the wood-carving school, flax weaving & the kiwi bird. This is followed by a Maori Welcome onto the marae, before entering a meeting house for a performance by a Maori concert party. After our 2 hours at Te Puia you head for lunch (your own expense) at a small cafe on the lake front. After lunch, you watch the lake activities before going on to the Government Gardens. The main attractions referred to are: The Rosegardens, The old Bath House (now the Rotorua Museum), The Blue Baths, The Princes Gate Hotel, The Polynesian Spa & Sulphur Point. You then travel past the Redwood Forest, explaining how it came about.Owing to sailing times, it is normally time to head back to Tauranga, you return by a different route to give an overview of the region.En route for Tauranga, clients are given the story of the kiwifruit – from how it is grown, picked, pruned, made into a variety of by-products and exported. You stop briefly to view a kiwifruit orchard, Kiwifruit Country, then travel back stopping at beautiful Mt Maunganui waterfront and beach. If necessary you may reverse the order of the tour to fit in with booking times at Te Puia. Worry-free Shore Excursion:  Supplier will ensure your timely return to the Tauranga port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, the supplier will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

$117.65 Cultural & Theme Tours

‘Lord of the Rings’ Movie Set Tour from the Port of Tauranga

After pickup from the port at Tauranga, your shore excursion takes a scenic route to Middle-earth. Leave the Bay of Plenty behind as you cross the Tauranga Harbour Bridge to traverse the Kaimai mountain range before you arrive at the lush farmland of the Waikato district. Located about an hour from Tauranga, near the town of Matamata in Waikato, the Hobbiton movie set provides a fun and fascinating experience of this famous location in the LOTR films. Meet your guide for a 2-hour tour of the movie set and hear about the work that goes on behind the scenes to make a successful movie.Walk past numerous hobbit holes, stand under the party tree where Bilbo had his farewell birthday party and admire the gentle hills where the Shire came to life. Enjoy time to soak up the magic of Hobbiton without being rushed to get to another activity. When you reach the Green Dragon Inn, sip a complimentary local ale, cider or ginger beer. After your meal, bid farewell to Hobbiton and head back towards Tauranga, stopping at McLaren Falls Park for a stroll through native bush that leads to a beautiful waterfall. True-blue fans can even take the time to dress up as your favorite The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit character. Wear Gandalf's cloak and hat, or channel Bilbo or Eowyn as you wield a sword. The lush greenery provides the perfect backdrop for a photo. If time permits, make a quick stop to see local bees, taste New Zealand Manuka honey, try a luscious ice cream, or stop at a beach on the way back to the Tauranga port. Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Tauranga port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

$162.79 Shore Excursions

Lord of the Rings, Rotorua Geyser Tour, Tauranga Port Pickup

Pick up time is flexible (dependent on your cruise ship arrival and departure time). This Is a pre-booked tour only. Enter a strange and unusual landscape with the aroma of sulphur and sights of steam vents exiting the earth at every available crevice. You will visit Rotorua and its Whakarewarewa Valley. Here you can witness The prince of wales Feathers geyser and The Pohutu Geyser (the biggest Geyser in the southern hemisphere).  This valley is steeped in history, traditions and cultures that span hundreds of years the people of this village have lived surrounded by geothermal activity (geysers, steam vents and mud pools) which they utilize in their everyday life for cooking, bathing and heating. Experience one of Rotorua's leading maori cultural performance groups as they serenade you with a song and dance including the world famous Haka.  For centuries Whakarewarewa village has been home to the Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao people. As New Zealand's original tourist attraction, They have hosted visitors from around the world since the mid 1800's.Then after which we travel to another strange and peculiar land!."Hobbiton Movie Set" is an experience to tantalize the senses of visitors from all across the globe, as guests find themselves engulfed in the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of The Shire, at the home of the Hobbits, as featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. The extraordinary following that the movies have amassed has led to the tours becoming a must see while travellers are in New Zealand. The Hobbiton Movie Set is the only set that remains intact from the trilogies, and that allows you to fully immerse yourselves in the wonders of "The Shire". Learn all about how this location was chosen as the Hobbiton Movie Set (which is a great story in itself!) and how it was created plus which scenes were filmed here. You will have an official guide to show you around the Hobbit holes including Bilbo's and Frodo's home. Learn about the movie secrets and the attention to detail that is truly mind-boggling. Your guide will tell you how in Tolkien's books, there is a reference to Hobbits sitting under plum trees and how in New Zealand plum trees grow too big to be the right scale for a hobbit so Peter Jackson had apple and pear trees, stripped of their fruit and replaced them with fake plums. As for the oak tree on the hill? Also fake, with 376,000 artificial leaves imported from Taiwan and wired onto the tree.  At the end of the tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set there will be a complimentary drink waiting for you to enjoy in the Green Dragon Inn (Alcohol and non-alcohol available) included.A truly one off day of experience and discovery.