Things to do in
Tauranga

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Top sights in Tauranga

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Our most recommended things to do in Tauranga

From Tauranga: Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour

1. From Tauranga: Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour

Step aboard a purpose-built dolphin-viewing vessel and embark on a wild encounter with the ocean's most fascinating creatures. After meeting your crew at the dock, set off into the open water to several well-known dolphin spotting locations, all the while maintaining a respectful distance. With a crew filled with experience sea-farers and dolphins-watchers, trust that your experience will be thrilling, informative, and above all, humane to the dolphins.  The sunshine capital of New Zealand, the "Bay of Plenty" is home to diverse and spectacular sea life from majestic dolphins and orca to the beautiful fur seals, penguins and marine birds. As you travel from spot to spot, keep your eyes peeled for the plethora of marine life that call the bay home. With your expert crew, you’ve got a great chance to to find a pod of dolphins with which you can swim—which is, without question, a magical experience.

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From Tauranga: Half-Day Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise

2. From Tauranga: Half-Day Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise

Meet at the Tauranga waterfront jetty and board your vessel. Relax as you leave the city behind and spend the cruise exploring the pristine Bay of Plenty coastline and islands. Watch seasonal seabirds, penguins, seals, whales, sunfish, school fish, sharks, orca, and even turtles. Passenger numbers are limited for comfort and to enable a more personal experience. The large spacious boat is also ideal for families. The Captain and experienced crew will be more than happy to share their marine knowledge with you and will provide fascinating commentary and point out all that they see so you won’t miss a thing. You can also enjoy a drink from the onboard bar as you relax and soak up the sun. Don’t forget your camera as you are able to get up close to wildlife, making it a photographers dream for those once in a lifetime snaps. You will return to Tauranga by 2:00, giving you the rest of the day to explore this beautiful region, the Bay of Plenty, or continue your travels.

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From Tauranga: Skydive over Mount Maunganui

3. From Tauranga: Skydive over Mount Maunganui

Start your adventure with a flight capturing the breathtaking views of Mount Maunganui and its golden beaches expanding as far as the eye can see. Higher up, you'll be able to see White Island, Mount Ruapehu, the Rotorua Lakes, The Coromandel, and Mount Taranaki. The flight will last 20-25 minutes, so there is plenty of time to take it all in. Once at 12,000 or 15,000 feet in the sky, jump out of the plane on a tandem skydive, falling to the earth at over 200km/hour. After some time to feel the adrenaline as you freefall, enjoy a peaceful parachute ride back to base.

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From Tauranga Port: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Shore Excursion

4. From Tauranga Port: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Shore Excursion

Take a trip through Middle Earth on a small-group shore excursion to the Hobbiton Movie Set from Tauranga. Located in the heart of the Waikato region, you can step into the world of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. See the original location which was rebuilt for the latest Hobbit films. This was the original setting for Peter Jackson’s famous trilogy "The Lord of the Rings". Learn about how this location was chosen and how it was constructed, plus which scenes were filmed here. Wander around the vegetable patches were Hobbits grow their food, with giant pumpkins lying around! Walk by the Mill and the famous Party Tree. Indulge in a complimentary beverage from the Hobbit Southfarthing range, which encompasses two traditional ales, an apple cider or non-alcoholic ginger beer, all handcrafted and exclusive to the Hobbiton Movie Set. You also have a delicious range of traditional fayre available for purchase for lunch. Enjoy your food and drink in a comfortable armchair by the roaring fire or in the beer garden, overlooking the enchanting village.

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Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

5. Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

Depart from the Port of Tauranga, and begin your journey along Pilot Bay towards the wonderful Mount Maunganui beach. Take photos and hear local facts from your guide along the way. Then, travel to The Shire, home of Bilbo Baggins and his friends. Get a meet and greet at the Hobbiton Movie Set by your official guide. Take a guided tour filled with fun facts, insider stories, and many photo opportunities. Next, sit back and enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Return towards Tauranga, and visit a few special spots along the way for breathtaking views over the Matamata-Piako Plains. Visit the local park to appreciate the beauty of its lake, paddocks, mature trees, and the wonderful wildlife that dwells within its boundaries.

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Tauranga: Rotorua Geysers, Kiwifruit Orchard Shore Excursion

6. Tauranga: Rotorua Geysers, Kiwifruit Orchard Shore Excursion

Discover a truly special day and experience the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, along with a tour of a kiwi fruit orchard for your cruise ship shore excursion from Tauranga. Travel on a sightseeing drive of Mount Maunganui, where you will see the beautiful coastline and one of the best beaches in New Zealand. See the abundant coffee shops, cafes, small boutiques and breathtaking scenery, not forgetting the infamous "mount" which this area is named after. After leaving the beachfront, head into the countryside as you make your way to Rotorua. Journey through lush countryside traveling by stunning lakes, deep forestry and the first hints of the geothermal area you are traveling too. In Rotorua, your friendly guide — a local Maori descendant of the early Maori guides — will take you on a tour to experience the geothermal valley of Te Whakarewarewa. Walk around a strange and unforgiving landscape and journey where history, culture, and nature collide; where local Maori will showcase their vibrant Maori culture. Even the architecture will tell a story with its Maori carvings and structures that hold deep cultural significance. See large mud pools, steam vents, boiling pools, and geysers including the largest in the southern hemisphere. Learn how the residents utilize and respect the ever-changing forces beneath their land. After leaving Rotorua, head to Te Puke — a suburb of Tauranga — where you will have the opportunity to visit a working kiwi fruit orchard. Have the opportunity to see the fuzzy little fruit growing while gaining some knowledge about why this fruit thrives here. Have the chance to walk under the vines and get up close to the growing fruit. Learn how this wondrous fruit became established here in New Zealand which, surprisingly, is not a native plant but an interesting story will explain it all. This will be a stunning opportunity for photographs. At the end of your tour, you will be invited to taste test different varieties of this fruit plus jams, juices and much more. Then, head back to the port, where you will be wished bon voyage.

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Tauranga: Hobbiton & Rotorua Geysers Shore Excursion

7. Tauranga: Hobbiton & Rotorua Geysers Shore Excursion

Join a small-group shore excursion from Tauranga to explore North Island's top attractions. Experience geysers, mud pools and steam vents with Maori culture and visit the real Middle-earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set. You will be picked up from Tauranga Port, dependent on your ship's arrival time, and journey to Rotorua. For centuries Whakarewarewa village has been home to the Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao people.This is a unique location with the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere and an official Maori guide will meet you for your visit. Encounter a strange landscape of sights, sounds and smells and marvel at the way the Maori's have tamed this land for their own purpose.  Here you'll get the chance to see the iconic Kiwi bird in a purpose made Kiwi bird enclosure. Admire boiling mud pools, native bush, and the National Schools of Wood Carving and Weaving. Then depart Rotorua and its geothermal wonderland to travel to the second venue of your tour, Hobbiton Movie Set!   Discover the magic on a guided tour with an official guide for an experience to tantalise your senses. Find yourself 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.  After your tour, enjoy a complimentary drink in the Green Dragon (either alcoholic beer or non-alcoholic ginger beer) that is included in your tour.  You will be returned to Tauranga Port, guaranteed to be back in plenty of time for your ship's departure.

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Tauranga: Rotorua Geysers & Polynesian Spa Shore Excursion

8. Tauranga: Rotorua Geysers & Polynesian Spa Shore Excursion

Join a small-group shore excursion from Tauranga to explore Rotorua's geothermal valley. Marvel at geysers, mud pools and steam vents with Maori culture and visit the Polynesian Spa for a rejuvenating experience. You will be picked up from Tauranga Port, dependent on your ship's arrival time, and journey to Rotorua.  Here you will experience the very best of Rotorua and stop at the Whakarewarewa Valley (with geysers, steam vents and mud pools). Your small group will have an official Maori guide and will experience a fascinating tour of the valley. Learn about Maori culture while watching a traditional Maori cultural performance. Observe the legendary Pōhutu Geyser, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere, which can erupt to a height of 100 feet (30-meters) and as often as 20 times per day.   Next, enjoy a two-course lunch at one of Rotorua's highly regarded restaurants followed by tea or coffee (with a choice of menu). You will then head to The Polynesian Spa, a geothermal bathing and soul soothing retreat. Renowned for its healing waters and decadent therapies, you can experience the private elite facilities of the Polynesian Spa’s geothermal hot mineral waters. The slightly acidic Priest Spring waters relieve tired muscles, aches and pains, while the alkaline waters of the Rachel Spring nourish the skin.  You will be returned to Tauranga Port, guaranteed to be back in plenty of time for your ship's departure, after a decadent day of discovery and luxury pleasures. 

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Rotorua: Geothermal Valley Shore Excursion with Lunch

9. Rotorua: Geothermal Valley Shore Excursion with Lunch

Benefit from pickup at Tauranga port, and take a scenic drive around Mount Maunganui to take in the sights. Enjoy beautiful views of the lakes and forests, along with the first hints of geothermal activity. Arrive at a Maori village in Rotorua, and get a warm welcome from a local guide. Experience the Maori way of life and learn how they use the natural resources to cook, bathe, and heat their homes. View the geothermal wonders of the Whakarewarewa valley, and watch an amazing cultural performance. Savor a 2-course lunch at one of Rotorua's acclaimed restaurants, with unlimited tea and coffee. Take a leisurely drive along the lakefront, and stop to admire the giant redwood trees in the forest. Learn about the silver fern and its relevance as a symbol of New Zealand. Next, visit a working kiwi fruit orchard to learn how it became established in New Zealand. Taste different varieties and discover numerous products made from the fruit.

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Mount Maunganui: Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. Mount Maunganui: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Soak up the vibe on this fun self-guided audio tour of Mount Maunganui. Mount Maunganui is a relaxed and happening place to get some sun and hit the beach. On one side of the mountain is a stunning boat harbor and, 5 minutes away is an ocean beach perfect for surfing and swimming. This self-guided audio starts at the harbor, where you’ll learn much of the Maori history of the area including the tribal ancestry. Years ago, abundant seafood (Kaimoana) provided an attractive area for settlement in what is now a popular spot for commercial and recreational fishing, canoeing, kayaking, boating, swimming with dolphins and much more. Next, you will hear about Maunganui, which in Maori translates to big mountain. You will learn about seafarers, traders and missionaries, and trade between Europeans and Maori. Take a leisurely walk of the “base” track and if you’re up to, take the summit walk for spectacular 360-degree views. Hear the Maori legend of Mount Maunganui/Mauao, Tangaroa (the Maori god of the sea) and Te Kuia, the “old lady” who local fishermen pay homage to. Check out the nearby Islands, Matakana, Motiti, and Tuhua, and learn about New Zealand’s endangered Tuatara. Conclude your tour by unwinding in the perfectly heated thermal saltwater pools and baths. During the course of your tour, you will also visit Mount Drury Reserve, Maunganui Road, the Surf Museum and Bayfair shopping center.

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What people are saying about Tauranga

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 207 reviews

Buddy was a caring and careful driver who provided reasonable commentary during our journeys to Hobbiton & Rotorua Geysers where there were separate guides. It was a good full day excursion covering the major attractions in the area and well suited for cruise ship travellers.

It was a wonderful day the driver was very informative and the guide that took us through the park where the geysers and mud pits were was great.

Most amazing views, great instructors - relaxed and calm, awesome jump over Tauranga, absolutely loved it

This was a great experience and i would recommend it to anyone who would love to get up close to nature

An amazing experience, the bay sky dive incredibly scenic.