Bay of Plenty Region
Natural Attractions & National Parks

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Bay of Plenty Region Natural Attractions & National Parks

  • From Tauranga: Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour

    1. From Tauranga: Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour

    Step aboard a purpose-built dolphin-viewing vessel and embark on a wild encounter with the ocean's most fascinating creatures. After meeting your crew at the dock, set off into the open water to several well-known dolphin spotting locations, all the while maintaining a respectful distance. With a crew filled with experience sea-farers and dolphins-watchers, trust that your experience will be thrilling, informative, and above all, humane to the dolphins.  The sunshine capital of New Zealand, the "Bay of Plenty" is home to diverse and spectacular sea life from majestic dolphins and orca to the beautiful fur seals, penguins and marine birds. As you travel from spot to spot, keep your eyes peeled for the plethora of marine life that call the bay home. With your expert crew, you’ve got a great chance to to find a pod of dolphins with which you can swim—which is, without question, a magical e...

    This was a great experience and i would recommend it to anyone who would love to get up close to nature

  • Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

    2. 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!!!

  • Rotorua: Local Birdwatching Full-day Tour

    3. Rotorua: Local Birdwatching Full-day Tour

    Depending on the wishes of the group, you will set off either to see shorebird or forest birds in their natural habitats.  The forest bird watching experience will take place in Whirinaki Forest, among tall 1000-year-old trees. Come face to face with rare and endangered New Zealand birds including the North Island parrot, yellow-crowned parakeet, North Island robin, New Zealand falcon, blue duck, long tailed cuckoo, wood pigeon and more.  If your group chooses the shorebird experience, you will head to different sites spread around the Bay of Plenty. You will see New Zealand dotterels, royal spoonbills, white-fronted terns, various cormorants, and many more.

  • Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

    4. Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

    The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your two hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During y...

    Our guide, Grant, was so full of knowledge!! He not only drove the van, but also was the tour guide. Because we were such a small group, he gave us a lot of individual attention. He was funny, and as hands-on, or hands-off, as we wanted him to be. We had a great time

  • 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, ...

  • Moutohora (Whale) Island Sanctuary Tour from Whakatane

    6. Moutohora (Whale) Island Sanctuary Tour from Whakatane

    Departing from Whakatāne Wharf, the journey to Moutohorā is just a short 15-minute boat ride aboard a comfortable catamaran “The Moutohorā Cat”. Designed to be able to nestle right onto the shore, disembarking is as easy as walking down some stairs and stepping onto the beach. Once ashore, a fully-guided tour means you can learn about the island's unique flora and fauna and the conservation effort focused on Moutohorā for the past 50 years. Since becoming pest-free, bird life on Moutohorā has flourished and there is a chance to see a number of different species including saddleback/tieke, kakariki/red-crowned parakeet, little brown kiwi, bellbirds, tui, grey warbler; many of which are endangered or seldom seen on the New Zealand mainland. The walk includes a visit to the island's saddle (the dip between the two highest summits) for spectacular views out to White Island and a visit to S...

  • Rotorua: Hell's Gate Geothermal Walk, Mud Bath & Sulphur Spa

    7. Rotorua: Hell's Gate Geothermal Walk, Mud Bath & Sulphur Spa

    Experience the best of Hells Gate Geothermal Park with a self-guided geothermal walk and historic spa experience. The park is located approximately 15 minutes drive from the town's centre.  Discover the geothermal features using a self-guided map or join a guided tour. Learn about the history, features and uniqueness of the geothermal area. After learning about the unique healing muds of Hells Gate, experience New Zealand’s historic spa experience for yourself! Soak in unique thermal mud and acidic sulfurous waters that have been used by the local Maori for more than 800 years. The warm geothermal mud opens and cleans the skin’s pores, while the sulphur spas give your skin a gentle exfoliation and deep cleansing.  Note that a complimentary shuttle service picks up from central Rotorua three to four times a day (seasonally) with scheduled return services.

    Great experience, so many activities to do - worth the price. Please note although they say duration is 3 hours, you are able to spend as long as you want.

  • Wai-O-Tapu & Waimangu Volcanic Valley Morning Tour

    8. Wai-O-Tapu & Waimangu Volcanic Valley Morning Tour

    Discover Rotorua’s most popular geothermal parks: Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Join a small-group morning tour capped at 11 guests for a personal experience led by a knowledgeable guide. You will be picked up from your Rotorua accommodation between 8:05 AM and 8:30 AM. Enjoy a 25-minute scenic drive through forestry and farmland before arriving at New Zealand's largest boiling mud pools. At Wai-O-Tapu you will follow a flat, well-marked path alongside bubbling hot springs and volcanic craters. Listen to a short presentation about the Lady Knox Geyser and observe the daily eruption at 10:15 AM.   Your next stop will be the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Your guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption which blew open this spectacular bush-covered geothermal park. Pause at the Waimangu Volcanic Valley Cafe for lunch at 12:00 PM before being dropped back to your ...

    Perfect! Our guide Kay was the BEST! She explained every detail and we were amazed that she told us about NZ and the tour for the whole time (even when driving). Everything was on time and the sights were amazing! Def. would recommend!

  • From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

    9. From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

    Get a fantastic geothermal experience without the thronging crowds with this day trip to Orakei Korako from Rotorua. Discover a geothermal park boasting the most active geysers in New Zealand. After exploring Orakei Korako, visit Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Depart Rotorua after pickup from your hotel between 9 AM-9:15 AM and travel to Orakei Korako. Somewhat off the beaten track, Orakei Korako, also known as the Hidden Valley, is nestled in the Taupo Volcanic Zone between Taupo and Rotorua. After a 45-minute drive to get there, take a short boat ride across the lake then enjoy 2 hours to explore the thermal area featuring up to 23 natural geysers in a constantly changing landscape. Marvel at the number of boiling hot springs and the vibrant colors all around you, or take a native bushwalk through this untouched geothermal paradise. Next, move on to Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Lu...

  • Rotorua: Hell's Gate Geothermal Walk

    10. Rotorua: Hell's Gate Geothermal Walk

    Discover the Hells Gate/Tikitere Geothermal Reserve, one of the most active in New Zealand.  Enjoy a self-guided walk of the spectacular reserve, located approximately 15-minutes drive from central Rotorua. Hells Gate boasts New Zealand's largest active mud volcano, the Southern Hemisphere's largest hot water falls, and even examples of land coral. See boiling hot pools and erupting waters with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Celsius. Discover steaming fumaroles, hot water lakes, sulphur crystals and deposits. Learn about Hells Gate’s extensive history independently or join an interactive guided tour, available daily at 10:30 AM or 2:30 PM. A complimentary shuttle service picks up from central Rotorua three to four times a day (seasonally) with scheduled drop offs.

    Fantastic and educational experience. Recommended to follow the guided tour as the guides tend to give more information and even some personal stories, which makes it more interesting compared to just reading the signs. However, it would be better if the guide could wait for everyone to assemble before telling us the information.

Other Sightseeing Options in Bay of Plenty Region

Want to discover all there is to do in Bay of Plenty Region? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Bay of Plenty Region

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 66 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!!!

Great experience, so many activities to do - worth the price. Please note although they say duration is 3 hours, you are able to spend as long as you want.

I would definitely go on a guided-tour. We learned SO much from our awesome guide. She was great about taking pictures for us, too!

This was a great experience and i would recommend it to anyone who would love to get up close to nature

Amazing experience, my first time and hopefully not my last!