Bay of Plenty Region
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Bay of Plenty Region History & Heritage

  • Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

    1. Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

    Located just a 15-minute drive from Rotorua, the Buried Village of Te Wairoa features an interactive museum, scenic walking trails, and a look at the devastating effects of one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters: the Mt. Tarawera volcanic eruption of 1886, which wiped out a natural landmark known as the Pink and White Terraces. The award-winning museum sheds light on the hardships suffered by this once-bustling European and Maori village settlement.  Expect to spend at least 1 and a half hours at the site to get the most out of the experience, which includes audio guides, living history tours, and talks by costumed guides scheduled throughout the day. Gain firsthand insight into the chaos of the night that Mt. Tarawera erupted and destroyed Te Wairoa, a village of Maoris and missionaries excavated under the Kaitiakitanga of the Smith family for nearly 90 years. Refresh at Smit...

    Absolutely loved learning about the history of the land we stood on and the stories shaped our future today. Honestly such an amazing place with interesting displays to accompany the stories as they are being told! Worth the price for sure!!!

  • Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour

    2. Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour

    Download a vibrant MP3 self-guided audio tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area of your tour. Immerse yourself in the historic and picturesque city of Tauranga, the arrival point of the Māori in New Zealand. In this audio tour, you will explore the beautiful waterfront and hear the tales of how the Māori crossed the Pacific Ocean in the Arawa Canoe. Visit the Monmouth Redoubt with its old cannon to learn about the battles between the natives and the European colonists at The Elms Missionary. You will also see the Strand, Robbins Park, the Mission Cemetery, the Tauranga Domain Wharepai Reserve, the Old Post Office, the Art Gallery and Brian Watkins House. A diverse and interesting tour with lots of Māori history, myths and legends. This tour takes the frustration out of not knowing what to do, where to go or how to get there. Your tour. Your way.

  • From Auckland: Hobbiton & Rotorua Tour with Lunch at Te Puia

    3. From Auckland: Hobbiton & Rotorua Tour with Lunch at Te Puia

    Enjoy the magic of Middle Earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set and delight in Maori culture at Te Puia Maori Village in Rotorua on a day tour from Auckland. Travel in comfort with a small group and an experienced local guide in a late-model Mercedes or a similarly configured the vehicle to provide extra leg room and space for your comfort.  After the pick-up from your hotel, journey through gorgeous Waikato scenery to Hobbiton. On arrival, set off on an official 2-hour guided tour through the picturesque twelve-acre site. Learn fascinating details of how a beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-Earth. At the end of your tour, savor a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Climb back into the vehicle for the 55-minute drive to Rotorua. Arrive at Te Puia Maori Village where you will have a freshly prepared hangi lunch featuring traditional Maori ...

    Awesome tour for both. Drivers were amazing made the whole tour a seamless experience.

  • Rotorua: Tamaki Māori Village Cultural Experience

    4. Rotorua: Tamaki Māori Village Cultural Experience

    Experience the warmth of the Maori people with an evening of ceremonial rituals, cultural performances, storytelling, and hangi feasting at Tamaki Maori Village. Return transport provided from the Gathering Place in Tamaki. Warriors emerge from the forest by canoe to perform the powhiri, an ancient ceremony of welcome that allows visitors safe passage into the village. As you wander beneath the stunning forest canopy, the pre-European village is alive with sights, sounds & activity of days gone. See haka, poi, tattooing, carving, and arts of warrior training.  Watch as the earth is carefully scraped away to reveal baskets of food cooked beneath the ground. Enter the ancestral meeting house and enjoy a powerful cultural performance before dining on the traditional hangi buffet feast. The evening ends with the Poroporoaki (official closing ceremony) before you are returned to the Gatheri...

    It was such an awesome experience, loved the performances, the welcoming at the beginning was so good! The team had such beautiful voices. I tell you, there's only about 10-12 in the group but when you hear them singing....sound like a whole choir!! Amazing! The HANGI was deeeelicious, I swear this was the highlight of our stay in Rotorua and highly recommend it. #KIAORA

  • Rotorua: Kaituna Rafting & Mt. Tarawera Hiking Combo

    5. Rotorua: Kaituna Rafting & Mt. Tarawera Hiking Combo

    Take on a thrilling rafting adventure with experienced and local Kiwi guides. Navigate a wildly beautiful landscape while learning about Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and protection of the land. Snake through steep New Zealand bush-clad canyons. Be thrilled by fourteen rapids and tree waterfalls, including the world-renowned 7-meter Tutea Falls. Relive the rafting action through photos snapped by a professional adventure photographer along the way. Throughout the day, your guide will share the history of Mount Tarawera's eruption as well as local myths and legends. On arrival at the mountain base, begin the ascent to the crater's edge in an off-road 4x4 vehicle up through native bushland. After a quick stop at the solar-powered mountain base, continue up to the beginning of the track.  Admire stunning scenic vistas and 360-degree panoramic views as you enjoy the hike up. At the summit, ...

  • Rotorua: Whakarewarewa Village Guided Tour

    6. Rotorua: Whakarewarewa Village Guided Tour

    Experience the warmth of our Legacy Guided tours through NZ’s iconic living Maori village. Our village guides are direct descendants of early Māori guides, who have shaped tourism in New Zealand for generations. Their insights, knowledge and legendary hospitality (manaakitanga) adds depth and richness to the experience you’ll have at Whakarewarewa – The Living Māori Village. On the Whakarewarewa Guided Tour, you will explore an authentic Māori village, where people use natural geothermal resources to cook, bathe and heat their homes as they have for centuries. Learn what it’s like to live in the challenging geothermal plateau where daily life includes cooking in the bubbling pools and steam vents, and bathing takes place in the refreshing therapeutic waters. You will view the geothermal wonders of Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, including the world-famous Pōhutu geyser, boiling mud-po...

  • Rotorua: Geothermal Valley Shore Excursion with Lunch

    7. Rotorua: Geothermal Valley Shore Excursion with Lunch

    Benefit from pickup at Tauranga port, and take a scenic drive around Mount Maunganui to take in the sights. Enjoy beautiful views of the lakes and forests, along with the first hints of geothermal activity. Arrive at a Maori village in Rotorua, and get a warm welcome from a local guide. Experience the Maori way of life and learn how they use the natural resources to cook, bathe, and heat their homes. View the geothermal wonders of the Whakarewarewa valley, and watch an amazing cultural performance. Savor a 2-course lunch at one of Rotorua's acclaimed restaurants, with unlimited tea and coffee. Take a leisurely drive along the lakefront, and stop to admire the giant redwood trees in the forest. Learn about the silver fern and its relevance as a symbol of New Zealand. Next, visit a working kiwi fruit orchard to learn how it became established in New Zealand. Taste different varieties and...

    Awesome guide Peter made the excursion so enjoyable. His knowlege and friendliness made it the best excursion ever

  • Lake Rotorua: Jet Boat, Speed, Spins and Adrenaline

    8. Lake Rotorua: Jet Boat, Speed, Spins and Adrenaline

    Book a 30min Jet Tour on Lake Rotorua and experience the excitement and exhilaration of one of the area's most popular adventure activities. Feel the rush of the high-powered engines pushing you through the water at approximately 85 km/hr, while professional drivers thrill you with speed, spins, and adrenaline.  Visit iconic landmarks such as Kawaha Point, Mokoia Island, and Sulphur Bay and learn the history of the area, the people, and the events that have shaped this special place into the cultural and event capital of New Zealand.  You will be provided with spray jackets to keep you dry and warm and fit you with a life jacket to ensure you are safe on your blast around the lake. Suitable for almost all ages from the very young through to the most experienced. The service operates every day in all weather so you don't have to worry about availability. This is the very best way to...

    Was an awesome experience. Our Tour guide was funny and made the experience more enjoyable.

  • Tauranga: Rotorua Geysers, Kiwifruit Orchard Shore Excursion

    9. Tauranga: Rotorua Geysers, Kiwifruit Orchard Shore Excursion

    Discover a truly special day and experience the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, along with a tour of a kiwi fruit orchard for your cruise ship shore excursion from Tauranga. Travel on a sightseeing drive of Mount Maunganui, where you will see the beautiful coastline and one of the best beaches in New Zealand. See the abundant coffee shops, cafes, small boutiques and breathtaking scenery, not forgetting the infamous "mount" which this area is named after. After leaving the beachfront, head into the countryside as you make your way to Rotorua. Journey through lush countryside traveling by stunning lakes, deep forestry and the first hints of the geothermal area you are traveling too. In Rotorua, your friendly guide — a local Maori descendant of the early Maori guides — will take you on a tour to experience the geothermal valley of Te Whakarewarewa. Walk around a strange and unforgiving l...

    Very informative guide Buddy with extra info very helpful the excursion was wonderful

  • Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

    10. Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

    Depart from the Port of Tauranga, and begin your journey along Pilot Bay towards the wonderful Mount Maunganui beach. Take photos and hear local facts from your guide along the way. Then, travel to The Shire, home of Bilbo Baggins and his friends. Get a meet and greet at the Hobbiton Movie Set by your official guide. Take a guided tour filled with fun facts, insider stories, and many photo opportunities. Next, sit back and enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Return towards Tauranga, and visit a few special spots along the way for breathtaking views over the Matamata-Piako Plains. Visit the local park to appreciate the beauty of its lake, paddocks, mature trees, and the wonderful wildlife that dwells within its boundaries.

    Best tour guide ever! Steve is a class act. Such a comfortable bus ride. Great knowledge of New Zealand & Hobbiton. Highly recommend booking him as your guide. Mossop Honey shop was a great stop. Steve goes above and beyond providing delicious gluten free brownies, candy, and drinks. He overheard me mention avocados to my son and made a special stop for us to get some. This tour was full of wonderful stops.

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What people are saying about Bay of Plenty Region

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 368 reviews

Absolutely loved learning about the history of the land we stood on and the stories shaped our future today. Honestly such an amazing place with interesting displays to accompany the stories as they are being told! Worth the price for sure!!!

Was an awesome experience. Our Tour guide was funny and made the experience more enjoyable.

Awesome tour for both. Drivers were amazing made the whole tour a seamless experience.

Very funny and experienced tour guide. Had so much fun! Defineately worth every penny.

It was awesome. Wish it was longer but it was still good