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Tauranga Shore Excursions: Volcanoes & Hobbit Holes

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.

Take advantage of unique opportunities to visit and explore one of the world’s most active volcanoes on Tauranga shore excursions to White Island. Enjoy a New Zealand cruise tour around the Bay of Plenty, disembark on the shore directly into the volcano crater area, and get up close to steam vents, bubbling mud pits, and an acid lake. You’re sure to have frame-worthy photos of a lifetime as you capture the vivid yellow and orange colors that result from the area’s high degree of sulphur. For another exciting way to view the volcano, book a helicopter ride that flies over 30 miles of rugged, unspoiled, and breathtaking Pacific scenery to arrive at the volcano floor, where you’ll take a guided walk of the geothermal activity and see the remains of an abandoned sulphur mine that’s survived multiple eruptions.

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.

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.


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