Start your full-day shore excursion with pickup from the Port of Tauranga and travel by minivan toward Rotorua with a small group. Your driver-guide will pass through the seaside town of Mt. Maunganui and point out the sandy beaches and harbor around its extinct volcano.
Reaching Te Puke, you'll make a stop at the Kiwifruit Country Store to learn how the fruit is grown and taste some products. From here, the route continues through farmland, native bush, and forested areas past Lake Rotoiti and Okere Falls. Stop here to watch thrill seekers kayak or raft over the twin cascades.
On arrival in Rotorua, stroll for 1 hour with your guide through Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. You'll get a look at bubbling mud pools, steam vents, and Pohutu Geyser. Then watch a Maori cultural performance of traditional songs, dances, and demonstrations of fighting skills, including the haka, and take time for a photo opportunity with the performers afterward.
Following lunch (own expense), take a brief city tour through Rotorua, driving past the Government Gardens en route to Rachel Pool and the Polynesian Spa on Lake Rotorua. A final stop is made at the Rotorua Skyline Gondola. Purchase a ticket to ride to the top (own expense, payable direct), where you'll find a cafe and popular activities like the Luge, Big Swoop, or Zoom Zip Line.
The return journey follows a shorter route through magnificent gorges and farmland before crossing the Tauranga Harbour Bridge back to port.