Wai-O-Tapu / Maori Culture Combo Tour
Join us for this special combo tour visiting two geothermal parks and a living Maori Village. This full day tour showcases a fascinating geothermal environment known to the Maori people as the place of "sacred waters" (Wai-O-Tapu) as well as a visit to an authentic Maori Village that has been hosting visitors since the early 1800's.
This is a small group shared tour, usually run on 12 to 16 seat minibuses. A private tour can be provided if preferred, ask us for a quotation.
After collecting you at the Port of Tauranga we begin the tour with a gentle drive through stunning gorges and pine forest plantations on our way to Wai-o-Tapu Geothermal reserve, 27 kilometres south of Rotorua. On the way you will learn about the history of New Zealand and arrival of the Maori people. The Lady Knox geyser erupts every day at 10.15am so we will endeavour to get you there to view the spectaular eruption and hear the story of how this geyser was discovered (this will depend on your ship arrival schedule into Tauranga).
Wai-O-Tapu geothermal reserve has several clearly defined walking tracks for you to explore and enjoy this diverse landscape. Choose how many tracks you want to explore. Bubbling mud pools, simmering waters rising from the depths, silica terraces and colourful sulphurous pools make this a fascinating insight into the geothermal activity that goes on below Rotorua's surface. You will be amazed at the colours and effects of the acidic environment.
Following your walk around Wai-O-Tapu we stop at the "Mud Pool", one of the largest and most active in the Rotorua area. This was the site of a large mud volcano which was destroyed through erosion in the 1920’s. It now represents one of the best opportunities to experience the unique character and sounds of erupting mud in New Zealand where the activity is always guaranteed.
Next we take a 30 minute trip back to Rotorua to immerse ourselves in Maori culture. You will have a guided tour by a village local who will explain the history and importance of the geothermal environment to the Maori people. You will see how they have used the geothermal energy for hundreds of years to heat their homes and cook their foods, and learn about the history of tourism and guiding as it began here in New Zealand. You will also see two more geysers from the village - Pohutu and Price of Wales feathers and be treated to a Maori cultural performance including the famous Haka.
Time permitting (depending upon your ship's departure time), we will visit some other attractions as we wind our way back to the ship via pine forests and kiwi fruit orchards:
The Redwood Forest is an area of over 5600 hectares and the best known feature is the stand of Californian redwood Trees planted in the late 1800's. These towering trees, along with numerous other species and the fresh forest air, combine to create an invigorating atmosphere and a truly unique and special environment.
A working Kiwi fruit orchard where you can get among the vines, taste the green and gold kiwi fruit and sample the kiwi fruit and juices. We explain the significance of the kiwi fruit to the region and tell you a little about its growing cycle.
We travel back to Tauranga via stunning beaches and we guarantee you are back at the port in plenty of time to board your ship. You will have lasting memories and stunning photos of your geothermal wonderland and Maori cultural day out with us.
Cost: NZ $199 - Adults
NZ $129 - Children (5 to 15 years)
NZ $89 - Infants (0 to 4 years)
We can also operate this as a private tour if required, ask for a quote.
Length: 8 hours
Includes: Pickup and Drop off at Tauranga port
Full commentary, 2 guided tours, all entrance fees
We always adjust the tour start and end times to suit the ships time in port so no need to worry about being back in time. The times are confirmed when you make your booking and you will also be advised should the ships time change after you have booked.