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Things to do in

Tauranga

Our most recommended things to do in Tauranga

From Tauranga: Skydive over Mount Maunganui

1. 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.

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.

Tauranga: Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour

3. Tauranga: Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour

Enjoy this amazingly fun glow worm kayak tour with delicious refreshments, beautiful scenery, fantastic birdlife and, of course, awesome glow worms!  Enjoy delicate New Zealand cheeses and other refreshments along the edge of Lake McLaren. Your experienced kayak guide will prepare and brief you on how to kayak effectively before launching you onto picturesque Lake McLaren at twilight. See constellations of glow worms as your guide leads you into the canyon at the top of the lake and learn about the life cycles and peculiarities of this fascinating creature along the way.

From Tauranga: Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour

4. 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.

Rotorua Highlights & Maori Village Tour from Tauranga

5. Rotorua Highlights & Maori Village Tour from Tauranga

Travel to Rotorua from Tauranga on a seven-hour tour that’s perfect for cruise ship passengers or others interested in the area. Begin with a drive to Mount Maunganui and learn about the region from your guide.  Step back in time at Te Puia Maori Village. This village was built above geothermal land and is home to the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere. Your guide will provide details of original settlers tales, and show you through the traditional Maori Arts and Crafts school operating on the property. Visit the onsite Kiwi enclosure for your chance to see our native Kiwi bird. Head to Rotorua Lake – the second-largest lake on the North Island. Journey back to Tauranga and visit an established Kiwifruit Orchard with a sampling room and free ice cream.

From Tauranga Port: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Shore Excursion

6. 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.

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.

Tauranga: 5.5-Hour Te Puia Geysers Shore Excursion

8. Tauranga: 5.5-Hour Te Puia Geysers Shore Excursion

Join a 5.5-hour small-group shore excursion from the port of Tauranga in a luxury air-conditioned vehicle. Explore the marvels this land holds as well as the forces beneath its crust whilst encountering hot bubbling mud pools and erupting geysers. You'll encounter Pohutu, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere, which has steam rising from every crevice. You will also be in awe as you spot the iconic kiwi bird in its special darkened enclosure, and will learn how the locals protect these extraordinary endangered birds. Get a deeper understanding of Maori art and tradition by listening to stories and legends which have been passed down over generations. Afterwards, watch master woodcarvers and artisans trained in the intricate art of weaving flax, with Te Puia housing the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute since the 1920s. After leaving Te Puia you will drive through Rotorua past the Tudor style museum and government gardens. On your way back to port you'll make a final stop at a working kiwi fruit orchard to learn how this wondrous fruit became established in New Zealand. It's surprisingly not a native plant, but an interesting story will explain this all. You will have the chance to taste test different varieties, along with learning a little knowledge about why this fruit thrives there. Once done at the kiwi orchard, you will be returned back to the ship with plenty of time to spare.

Tauranga: Rotorua Geysers & Polynesian Spa Shore Excursion

9. 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. 

Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

10. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Tauranga

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What people are saying about Tauranga

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 209 reviews

Was a great experience. I he crew were awesome and got to see something magical that is a once in a life time thing. Would happily go again to see more wonderful sea creatures

Being first time kayakers, we were so well taken care of and the experience was absolutely magical and the guys Jono and Marco were great entertainers.

Highlight of our NZ holiday. Johnny and Nui (hope spelling is ok!) were amazing guides. We had the best time!

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

An amazing experience, the bay sky dive incredibly scenic.