Te Puia and Rotorua Geysers day trip from Tauranga.

Bubbling mud, huge geysers, boiling pools, volcanoes, pristine lakes, waterfalls, rain forest, kiwifruit, kiwi birds, medicinal plants, pre-European history, Maori culture, legends, myths and stories. All this in one incredible day.

Rotorua, about one hour’s drive from the Port of Tauranga, is on the edge of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, one of the largest volcanic zones in the world. Created by the collision between the massive basalt tectonic plate of the Pacific and the huge Indo Australian plate, the denser basalt gets forced down (subducted) underneath the Central North Island. The friction melts the rock creating magma and from time to time, this magma reaches the surface causing huge volcanic eruptions. The heat from this magma, which in some places is less than 10 kilometres below the surface, provides the energy for the spectacular geysers and the bubbling mud pools.

Maori settled the area about 850 years ago, making use of the natural heat for cooking and heating. Their ancestor will be your hosts at the Cultural Show in Te Puia. 

Rotorua is truly unique, a city built in the caldera of a dormant volcano, on the edge of the second largest lake in the North Island. Surrounded by volcanic vents, calderas and craters, a city that has huge boiling pools in the middle of a public park and a history going back to the earliest Polynesian settlers. It is the one place in New Zealand that should not be missed.

Let us show you around this unique part of the world and share your day with you. 

Trip Advisor Excellence Award Cruise Tauranga 2014
Trip Advisor Excellence Award Cruise Tauranga 2015
Trip Advisor Excellence Award Cruise Tauranga 2016
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NZ $158
How are Cruise Tauranga different from other shore tour providers? We visit places the big coaches do not go to and tell you the stories and legends of the land and the people of New Zealand, both past and present.

Rotorua day tour summary

  • Pick up from the port area
  • Transport in a small air-conditioned mini bus with a full commentary from your professional guide
  • Stop to admire spectacular beaches and volcanoes
  • Hear about New Zealand’s unique ecology created by 80 million years of isolation, its plants and animals
  • Visit Kiwi Fruit Country, explore an orchard and sample different varieties of kiwi fruit
  • Learn about Maori culture, how they got to New Zealand and who their ancestors were.
  • 90% of Geysers are found in just five countries in the world. See Pohutu, Te Tohu and the Kereru Geysers as well as bubbling mud and boiling cooking pools at Te Puia
  • Visit a ‘kiwi house’ and see our national icon, the endangered, flightless, nocturnal kiwi bird
  • Lunch at your own expense at Te Puia. There is an excellent café there.
  • Experience a traditional Maori challenge and Haka war dance at a Maori Cultural show
  • Take photos of the scenic beauty of the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua - native rainforest, huge lakes in volcanic craters, waterfalls and rivers.
  • Visit Kuirau park and see huge boiling pools in the middle of the city of Rotorua (Time permitting)
  • Time permitting, stop for a delicious kiwifruit ice cream and Comvita, the home of Manuka Honey.
  • Price includes drive/guide, entry to Te Puia and the cultural show, full commentary, pick and drop off at the port, a bottle of mineral water and Wi-Fi on request

Tour length - about 7 hours and will depend on sailing times.


  • Adults -  NZ$158
  • Child 5 to 15 - NZ$118
  • Children under 5 - no charge - subject to availability
Group size :- Maximum group size is 14, excluding children under 5 (we can run larger tours for private groups, email us for a quote)

Safety – our vehicles have been awarded a 5* safety rating (the maximum) by the New Zealand’s government’s Transport Agency (NZTA) and our drivers are all First Aid trained and attend refresher course every two years.

After meeting you at the Port of Tauranga we begin the tour with a short drive along the coast where we stop to enjoy the sandy beaches of Mt Maunganui and Papamoa. Here we tell you about the region, its history, economy, geology, the volcanoes and the arrival of the Polynesians, who later became known as Maori. Hear the story of Mauao (an extinct volcano here in Tauranga) where legend tells us, his love we rejected by the beautiful girl mountain, Puwhenua, and he called on the ‘patupaiarehe’ (fairies of the forest) to help throw him into the pacific and so end his suffering.

Continuing on to Rotorua we drive through kiwi fruit orchards and learn about where they came from, how they got their name ‘kiwi fruit’ and their economic importance to the region.

Then we continue through dense pine forest plantations to arrive at Okere Falls - home of the grade 5 Kaituna River which sees thousands of white water rafters plummet over the 7-metre- high waterfall, each year. Most days in summer we get to watch them raft the falls from a vantage point high in the native rainforest overlooking the river. You will also get the chance to taste medicinal plants, hear why the ‘silver fern’ is such a commonly used symbol in New Zealand (including being on the shirts of our national rugby team, the All Blacks) and why there are no native mammals in New Zealand (with the exception of 3 little bats).

Next the main attraction, Te Puia (which includes the Maori Arts and Crafts Centre), and is set in the geologically active Whakarewarewa valley, home of the famous Pohutu, Te Tohu and Kereru Geysers.

Here you will learn how these spectacular geysers are formed, and culture of the local Te Arewa tribe. You will be guided around the reserve looking at (and smelling) the geyser, steaming lakes, the bubbling mud pools, boiling cooking pools and the replica Maori village, Pikirangi, set up to look like a fortified ‘pa’.

Hear how Maori preserved their enemies’ heads and then sold them to Europeans in exchange for guns. See live kiwi birds and the waka taua (war canoe). Experience an authentic ‘wero’ or challenge from an armed Maori warrior in traditional dress before being called into the Maori cultural performance by a ‘kuia’ (female tribal elder). The concert will showcase Maori dance, song and of course, the famous war dance or haka! We will also visit the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute to see young men learning the ancient art of wood carving (funded by your entry fee), as well as a flax weaving demonstration.

After your visit to Te Puia we will take you on a short tour of the Rotorua lake front, Government Gardens and see the famous Bath House Museum, originally a health spa, built after the Tarawera eruption of 1886. Then on to Kuirau park, a place unique in the world, where you can see (and smell and hear) boiling pools of water, right in the heart of the city.

Time permitting (depending on the departure time of your ship and not guaranteed), we will try to fit in a visit the crystal clear Hamurana Springs to see the local ducks and trout, or stop off at Comvita, the home of the world famous Manuka Honey and enjoy a kiwi fruit ice cream.

After a great day out we will guarantee you are back at the port in plenty of time to board your ship, taking with you lots of wonderful memories and photos, of your tour with us.

‘Ka kite anō’ and have a safe journey.

See the magnificent Te Puia Geyser on your shore tour from Tauranga to Rotorua
Absorb New Zealand's unique Maori culture on your cruise ship shore excursion.
Maori Carving at Te Puia | During your cruise passenger tour from Tauranga
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