After meeting at the Port of Tauranga, your tour begins with a gentle drive past Mount Maunganui and along the coast showcasing the stunning white sandy beaches. Hear Maori legends and learn why the area was named the Bay of Plenty.
Stopping at a Kiwi fruit orchard, you will have a chance to view the vines and taste the green and gold kiwi fruits and juices. Learn about the significance of the kiwi fruit to the region. Then it’s back on the road as you wind your way through the rolling countryside past the dense pine forest plantations to arrive in Rotorua. Your next stop is the Redwood Forest where you will take a walk among the impressive trees. There are also great examples of the unique Silver Fern of New Zealand.
Upon arrival at Whakawerawera Living Maori Village your friendly local guide will introduce you to the "backyard". You will experience an authentic Living Māori Village where people live using the natural geothermal resources to cook, bathe and heat their homes on a daily basis. You'll learn about vibrant Māori Culture and traditions, and watch a greenstone carving demonstration
You'll also view the geothermal wonders of Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley up close and personal, including the world famous Pohutu geyser, boiling mud-pools, steam vents and bubbling pools. You'll a cooking demonstration and watch as residents prepare Hangi meals in in-ground steam boxes and cook corn in the bubbling water of geothermal hot pools. You'll take in the various historical landmarks and buildings, including an active Marae, the WWII Memorial Archway, two historic churches, and tapu (sacred) burial grounds and you'll enjoy a cultural performance with traditional song and dance, and experience the fearsome Haka, with bulging eyes and beating chests, made famous by NZ Sporting teams.
Following your time at the village and lunch (at own expense) in a scenic location, you'll take a Rotorua city highlights tour through the famous Government Gardens. The impressive Elizabethan style building dominating the grounds has gone from being a health spa facility to now housing the Rotorua museum. Your guide will point out some of the features of the gardens, including the Blue Baths and Rachels Spring, and you'll stop for photos among the impressive flowerbeds.
Your tour will end with drop-off back at the Port.