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When docking at the Wellington, New Zealand cruise port of Tauranga, shore excursions that take in the most scenic areas and exciting places are plentiful. Whether you choose to explore the real and eerie world of volcanoes and geothermal springs, learn about native Maori culture, or visit a fantasy movie set, your day ashore from your Tauranga cruise is certain to be memorable.
Among the most popular things to do in Tauranga from a cruise are excursions to geothermal wonderlands. There are multiple tours that let you experience these incredible natural phenomena. Enjoy a guided tour through Whakarewarewa, a geothermal valley, and walk among bubbling pools, mineral terraces, and steaming volcanic lakes. Or you can speed along the narrow, winding Kaituna River on a jet boat to see the effervescing mud pools and steaming vents (fumaroles), geysers, and waterfalls in Hells Gate. You can also board a catamaran for a cruise on Lake Rotoiti that heads for Manupirua hot springs, a secluded spot where you can walk on geothermal sands and swim in six thermal pools.
If land-based expeditions are more your style, Tauranga shore excursions that explore native Maori culture are a best bet. You’ll be an honored guest at a Maori village, receive a formal tribal welcome, a traditional meal cooked on hot stones in an earthen oven, and be entertained with song and dance on a New Zealand cruise.
Fans of “The Hobbit,” J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 fantasy novel made into a trilogy of adventure films starting in 2012, will want to travel to Matamata in the New Zealand countryside for a guided tour of the set where the movies were filmed. See Bilbo Baggins’ Hobbit Hole, the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill, and the follow the wandering paths of The Shire.