Tauranga
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Tauranga Day Trips

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.

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.

From Tauranga Port: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Shore Excursion

3. 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: Rotorua Geysers & Polynesian Spa Shore Excursion

4. 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. 

Tauranga: Hobbiton & Rotorua Geysers Shore Excursion

5. 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.

Rotorua: Geothermal Valley Shore Excursion with Lunch

6. 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.

Rotorua: Full-Day Hiking Tour in Whirinaki Forest

7. Rotorua: Full-Day Hiking Tour in Whirinaki Forest

Explore the majestic Whirinaki Forest on a guided 4-hour hike amongst the awe-inspiring trees for which the lush rainforest is best known. This impressive forest is unlike any other and if you are lucky you might spot some of New Zealand's rarest birds which have made the dense woods their habitat.  On your hike around this unspoiled, old rainforest surrounded by towering five-hundred-year-old trees and rushing rivers you will discover what a biodiversity hotspot these woods are. Hear rare birds calling overhead as you make your way to a beautiful waterfall, by which you will eat your lunch. Learn about the conservation efforts being made in the park from your knowledgeable guide as well as the flora and fauna you see as you move around the forest. Expect to see trees such as rimu, kahikatea, miro, and matai. Additionally, if you are lucky you may spot some rare birds as well such as kaka (North Island parrot), yellow-crowned kakariki (parakeet), and toutouwai (North Island robin).

Frequently asked questions about Tauranga Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in Tauranga?

The other unmissable things to do in Tauranga are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Tauranga

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What people are saying about Tauranga

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 68 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.

Really interesting excursion. Maori village was excellent experience. Also enjoyed time at spa. Lunch was excellent. Large portions! Nice spot. Driver Natalie was good and provided good information throughout bus ride.

Overall, it was a very nice trip. But you should be clear about your own seasickness beforehand. Two of the other tour participants really only lay around on the boat for the whole tour because they felt so bad.

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.

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