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Tauranga Shore Excursion: Te Puia Maori Cultural Centre and Rotorua City Sightseeing

Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

From US$103.82

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 5 to 7 hours (approx.)
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


When your cruise ship docks in Tauranga, gain insight into New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage on a shore excursion to Rotorua. At the Te Puia Maori cultural center, discover boiling mud pools and Pohutu Geyser on a walk through the Whakarewarewa geothermal valley; learn about Maori customs at the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute; and spot the elusive kiwi bird.
  • Take a guided tour of the Whakarewarewa thermal region
  • Experience a Maori cultural traditional performance at Te Puia Maori Cultural Centre
  • Visit the kiwi house and spot NZ’s native kiwi bird
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship
Operated by:

What's Included

  • Transport by mini coach
  • Driver/guide
  • Worry-free Shore Excursion Guarantee
  • Port Pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities

Meeting And Pickup

Pickup point

  • Port of Tauranga Ltd
    2 Salisbury Avenue, Mount Maunganui 3116, New Zealand

Start time

09:00 AM

Pickup details

Departure Point: Outside the Port of Tauranga main pedestrian gate. Directions: After disembarking your ships gangway; please proceed along the pathway marked by safety barriers which run alongside your ship to the port of Tauranga exit gates. There will be port security staff and local ambassadors along this short walkway to direct you to the gates. Our local representative will be standing outside the port gates on the grass section directly under the flag pole with a name board held high with your names on. Your driver / guides will be dressed in uniform of black trousers, white shirts and the females may be wearing some orange apparel. The vehicles will be in the car park directly behind where you will be met, which is less than 100 meters.

What To Expect

When your cruise ship pulls into port at Tauranga, your guide picks you up by mini-coach for the scenic drive to Rotorua. Your full-day shore excursion traverses the Tauranga Harbour Bridge, journeying past rolling farmland and through the Pyes Pa Canyons.

Make a stop at Hamurana Spring, the North Island’s deepest freshwater spring, for a stroll past towering California redwoods to Rotorua Lake. Continuing your journey to Rotorua by coach, with a visit the Agrodome to learn about New Zealand's nearly 70 million sheep, along with other farm animals such as alpacas and ostriches.

Reaching Te Puia, you’ll spend time at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Whakarewarewa thermal village. See a cultural performance that brings Maori legends to life, and walk past bubbling mud pools and steaming springs to the 100-foot (30-meter) Pohutu Geyser. Then visit the nocturnal kiwi house for a glimpse of the country’s eponymous icon.

On arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a sightseeing tour of city highlights including the historical bath house, Whangapipiro (Rachel Spring) and the Government Gardens.

Your return trip to the Tauranga cruise terminal follows a different route, stopping at Kaituna Waterfalls and Kiwifruit Country to learn about kiwifruit before your shore excursion comes to an end.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Tauranga port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Zealandier Tours (Pass By)

Worry-free Shore Excursion: We will ensure your timely return to the Tauranga port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Tauranga (Pass By)

After docking at Tauranga, be picked up by mini coach and enjoy the scenic drive to Rotorua. The route takes you over the harbor bridge and into downtown Tauranga, past bucolic farmland and through the artificial rock cuttings known as the Pyes Pa Canyons.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Due to uneven surfaces, this tour is not recommended for those with walking disabilities.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes
  • please bring sunprotection and a light jumper for cooler weather
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 19 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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42 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 42 reviews
Anti-American Slurs by Tour Guide
Barbara M, Nov 2019
We basically enjoyed this excursion, but certainly did not appreciate serveral anti-American comments made by the tour guide. I think he picked up on the fact that we found him very insulting after the first hour or two and things improved from then on.
The best day of our cruise
Jan H, Jun 2019
It was the best day. The Te Puia Maori Cultural Centre - the Maori welcome, the show - absolutely wonderful. Walking around the hot springs, visiting the work studios, wood carving etc. excellent. Our tour guide made the experience even better. Rotorua is such a lovely place. Tauranga is beautiful. Thoroughly recommend doing this tour.
An absolutely wonderful cultural experience
Debra A, May 2019
Small group -- 8 of us in the 12 pax van... Driver was a retired professor -- So very knowledgeable... Stopped at a Kiwi grove -- interesting. Rotorua was so interesting - the geysers weren't as big as Yellowstone - but we got to walk all around the area and get a great feel for the pressure under the earth. Then we toured the Maori Cultural Center -- watching the youth learning their cultural handicrafts -- stone grinding, weaving, wood carving.. Beautiful talents and close up and personal. Then a Maori dance & singing ceremony -- Welcomed by lady who explained all that was going to take place.. Children were bought to the front so they could see -- Wow-- beautiful.. Fantastic to see their passion to retain their cultural heritage
Good Shore Excursion bt Zeelandier
Dileep B, Nov 2018
The tour started and ended on time. The driver was cautious and the itinerary was good. We have to make some adjustments due to street closure. The Maori show as excellent as was the geyser. The Kiwi farm was interesting and Kiwi ice cream tasty. The guide, Jennifer, could have asked us to queue up a bit early for the Maori show so we would get better seats.Only 12 people in a nice van was much better than a large bus tour.
1 1/2 hour long drive from the...
John_K, Mar 2018
1 1/2 hour long drive from the cruise terminal to Rotorua. The cultural presentation was enjoyable but the rest of the center was just moderately interesting. The expert led groups were way too large. Lunch was at a place that was closing and the tour guide had no idea and that meant few choices.
The tour to Tauranga was awesome...
James_J, Mar 2018
The tour to Tauranga was awesome! Nick, our tour guide did a fantastic job of making our day a memorable one. Would highly recommend this tour. The Maori Cultural Center was so interesting. The performance was very lively and fun. Nick was informative, helpful and pleasant! Tour and guide was great!
Awesome tour and great lunch spot...
Andrew G, Jan 2018
Awesome tour and great lunch spot overlooking the lake
I had booked a tour online with...
Gerry_D, Jan 2018
I had booked a tour online with Zealander Tours to Rotorua. The driver was over weight, had had knee surgery on both knees and was more interested in getting back to base by 4.30 although we had told him our ship departure was 19.30. He took us to the Kiwi Farm and I had to request and convince him to visit the Manuka Honey complex not five minutes further up the road. He then drove at speed to Rotorua according to him to see the show which by the way is every hour on the hour and after lunch drove at speed back to the pier. I had been on this tour before but wanted my sister to enjoy all the tour encompassed but that did not happen. We missed out on the waterfalls, the red gum trees forrest and a drive around the town Rotorua with it's fabulous historical buildings. Zealander Tours????..... never again
Response from Host, Jan 2018
TOUR OPERATOR COMMENT Thank you for your feedback of your experience. I take all feedback seriously - good and bad. I am really disappointed that you did not feel you had the value of your days touring. Our tour is advertised as a 7-7.5 hour tour which departs from the port at 9 am and ends between 4 and 4:30 pm. Clients have normally had enough by this length of time and want to be back on board their ship well prior to sailing. For those cruisers who want to do and see more, they generally book a private tour option where they can choose where they visit and how long to spend in any one place. In regard to the Okere falls and rapids which Nick drove right on past en route to Rotorua, these have suffered a massive landslide of late and the viewing platform is unsafe, but I appreciate you having been there previously, as it was somewhere you would like to showcase to your sister; we are rather upset of this current situation. If you made it to Comvita (honey place) in the afternoon, you were most fortunate to find them open as they have reduced their opening hours which restricts our visits on the return to the ship. A lot of these issues are outside of our controls as a tour company and I assure you I have spoken with Dept. of Conservation and asked when they will be clearing the slip/landslide away. I have spoken with Comvita on several occasions about opening later on cruise ship days - but to no avail. The redwood forest is somewhere we visit if time permits. The highlight of the tour taken is Te Puia - Rotorua's Premier attraction with its Maori culture, history, song, dance, arts & crafts, along with getting up close to geothermal activities and ability to visit the nocturnal Kiwi bird house. This attraction takes the majority of the day and all the other points of interests are as time allows. In regard to the driver speeding, this in incorrect as all our vehicles are fitted with a tracking system called and I-bright and an alarm goes off if the driver, speeds, corners too severely or hits a speed hump in the road too fast, and we have checked the computer log for all of these issues. In regard to concert times at Te Puia, these are run at 10.15am, 12.15pm and 3.15pm and occasionally they will add an additional concert time on a very busy day - certainly not every hour on the hour. However, the guided tours run on the hour. I have passed on your comments to Nick - your tour guide. I am sure Nick managed to share his knowledge and humor with you all throughout the day, and as his employer, I again apologize for your disappointment of your tour.
excellent tour, excellent...
Diane J, Dec 2017
excellent tour, excellent driver-uide Eric, who knew the history, dynamic,bring us back to the port on time as agreed in the morning before the beginning of the tour. Highly recommend.
The itinerary was comprehensive and...
JohnG_D, May 2017
The itinerary was comprehensive and allowed time to see all we wished. Nathalie our driver/guide was excellent admirably accommodating all nationalities on our minibus.
The Maori Cultural Centre was, of...
Charles_T, Apr 2017
The Maori Cultural Centre was, of course, very interesting. The problems were in the transportation, our driver - Brian, did not know how to operate heat and AC in his vehicle and also had issues with the microphone making it impossible to hear any of the information he had to share with us. I'm sure that without these stumbling blocks it would have made for a very nice day, with them it made for a very frustrating day.
Pros: price, Maori Cultural Show...
John_W, Feb 2017
Pros: price, Maori Cultural Show and geysers, Rotorua Lake Cons: confusion at pier. Sent to wrong van. Driver could not regulate air, had to be told by a passenger and then we couldn't hear him. Would have liked to explore Maori life more.
We had to wait for the other ship to...
JosephK_A, Feb 2017
We had to wait for the other ship to dock and started our tour 1 hour late. This put us behind and the tour guide said we could NOT go to the waterfalls because it was under maintenance....this was NOT TRUE...other group said they went. We did NOT get to KIWI 360, because he said the place was closed. He showed us the restaurant the we would have had lunch at, but because we left late, we had to have a sandwich at the Cultural Center.
Great tour. Knowledgeable guide. The...
Matthew G, Dec 2016
Great tour. Knowledgeable guide. The Cultural Centre and Rotorua geysers and mudpools were amazing.
Good tour and wonderful driver. On...
Gloria L, Apr 2016
Good tour and wonderful driver. On the way out of the port to Viator vehicle, my left leg went out and I could barely walk. I made it into the front of the SUV and at the Maori Cultural Center Brian borrowed a wheel chair. At lunch he drove right up to the restaurant. At Kiwi, he borrowed a wheel chair. He was a wonderful guide and tried to be very helpful.
Our tour guide was informative and...
Sally J, Apr 2016
Our tour guide was informative and knew the area well. Our transport vehicle was also of a high standard and the cruise ship guarantee took the worry out of missing the ship, definitely value for money trip.
This tour was excellent. Our tour...
pteach, Apr 2016
This tour was excellent. Our tour guide was great. The show at the cultural center was very authentic and informative. The geysers were amazing. Kiwi 360 was a lot of fun and very interesting.
Well done, very interesting to being...
C John D, Feb 2016
Well done, very interesting to being exposed to another culture. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.
Good tour, knowledgeable guide. Was...
Carl M, Jan 2016
Good tour, knowledgeable guide. Was in a 4 person mini-van, quite comfortable. Saw what we expected but the Maori part was very interesting and comprehensive.
Even with a steady downpour...
cdusmjrn, Dec 2015
Even with a steady downpour throughout the day, this was a tour jammed packed with information. Our guide, Simon, was jammed packed with knowledge, and information about New Zealand. He provided a constant narrative from the origin of New Zealand to the settlement by the Maori's. His command of the language was excellent. For those with no idea about Kiwi fruit, the stop at Kiwi 360 was quite informative. Similar to what the Dole plantation tour in Hawaii used to be. Walking around the thermal springs in a steady rain/fog/mist made it seem even more intriguing. Top everything off with a cultural show and it was a great day.