Take a detour to Mount Maunganui, a beach town on a peninsula that's actually a large sandbar. The "mount" refers to Mauao, an extinct volcano at the peninsula’s northernmost point that rises 761 feet from the water. You can climb to the summit to soak in Pacific Ocean views, or stay in town and watch surfers master the waves. Bay of Plenty.
Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you've really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We're taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors' recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
Whakarewarewa geothermal valley, the village of Te Puia, and the Lady Knox Geyser—which erupts at 10:15 a.m. daily—make up the itinerary on this daylong excursion through the North Island’s Taupo Volcanic Zone. At lunchtime, board the elegant Lakeland Queen steamboat for a meal on tranquil Rotorua Lake.
Get a front-row seat to the Maori's ancient cultural traditions on this five-hour excursion to the fortified village of Tamaki Pa. After the tribesmen’s powhiri, or formal welcome, travelers join villagers for a hangi: a large lunch cooked on hot stones. Song and dance performances commence while you dine.
Pick up a trail map at the visitors' center and head out on the well-marked paths that line this lush park, spread along miles of pristine coast. The Waitewheta trail, which passes giant kauri trees, mining relics, and farmland, is one of the best walks within the 200-mile network of trails. Look for birds such as the tomtit and fantail while en route.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.