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Departing from your Tauranga / Mount Maunganui accommodation, we begin with a short drive through the beach suburb of Mount Maunganui, past millionaires waterfront homes and golden beaches.
Next to Te Puke, the home of the New Zealand Kiwifruit, where we stop at Kiwifruit Country Store, showcase of the Kiwifruit industry. We join a short tour through the working orchard to see the fruit growing. There is also chance to taste some products from this iconic plant as well as shopping in the extensive shop.
Leaving the Kiwifruit Country Store we continue through farmland, native bush and forested areas, past Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotorua before arriving at Te Puia, Rotorua’s most famous geothermal destination situated at Te Whakarewarewa.
Te Puia is also the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the location of the famous Pohutu geyser. We can visit the carving school and see craftsman at work, and the watch traditional flax weaving.
A short walk through the geothermal valley of Whakarewarewa to the mud pools, famous Pohutu geyser and the hot pools that make Te Puia unique. See New Zealand’s iconic flightless bird, the Kiwi in a purpose built Kiwi-house and explore the recreated traditional Maori fortified village.
Seats are reserved for a Maori Cultural Performance; given on the Marae, in one of the few fully carved meeting houses in New Zealand, a place of special spiritual significance. Here you will see the traditional songs, dances and demonstrations of fighting skills [including the Haka] performed.
Before departing Te Puia there is time for lunch at the café ( at your own expense )
Next we drive through Rotorua city to see the Government Gardens, the Rotorua Bath House [now a museum], Rachel’s Pool, the Blue Baths and the Polynesian Spa and other city sights depending on the time available.
Departing Rotorua, we return to Tauranga by an alternative scenic route over hills and through deep gorges.
* Fruit tasting at Kiwifruit Country Store, Te Puke
* Scenic sights of Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotorua and surrounding native bush & forest
* Te Puia geothermal valley, including mud pools, hot pools and geysers
* Maori Cultural Performance at the marae
* Maori wood carving and flax weaving
* Kiwi Viewing
* Rotorua Sights including Historic Bathhouse, Government Gardens & Blue Bath