Here’s what we did in Tauranga/Rotorua, New Zealand!
Travel Dates: 8 Nov 2014
Transportation: Cruise Ship / Private Tour
We arrived on the cruise ship, docked at Salisbury Wharf at the Port of Tauranga, which is just a short walk from Mount Maunganui. You can walk around the small town, there is a beach and a nice hiking trail up the mountain. We booked a private tour to drive us out to Rotorua.
Hinterland Tours ($106 ea)
We visited the Living Maori Village “Whakawerawera,” a geothermal hotspot with geysers. It was very cool, but a little touristy. The people claim to be living there on top of the earth where the geothermal activity is making the ground cave in. It’s pretty scenery, and interesting to think about the way of life, but the locals seem to live elsewhere with more modern technology. We watched a traditional Maori Haka cultural performance too.
We also stopped at the Kiwi plant and tried samples, drove through the Rotorua government gardens, around Lake Rotorua, and stopped at Rainbow Springs to see birds, wildlife, and a Kiwi (animal).
After returning to the cruise ship, we put on exercise clothes and took a run up Mt Maunganui. I’m so glad we did it! It was only about 1 mile from the ship, and as we started running, we ran into sheep and lamb! I didn’t expect it, and it was soooo beautiful! The green hill was speckled with white! Beautiful views of the harbor. Well worth the run!