Te Puia, the Geothermal Valley & Rotorua City Tour
Tauranga, New Zealand
- Te Puia: Experience Maori songs, dances, and craft demonstrations before lunch prepared in a hangi. You might even sneak a peek at the flightless kiwi bird.
- The Geothermal Valley: Walk among the mud pools and geysers of the geothermal valley to see Pohutu, the largest active geyser in the South Pacific.
- Rotorua city tour: Visit the Government Gardens and Prince's Gate, once a famous Victorian bath house, as part of a city tour, then enjoy some free time.
About This Tauranga Tour
Have you ever tasted something that triggers a flashback? The senses – especially taste and smell – have a way of stimulating memories. On a visit to the Maori fortress Te Puia, you'll want to clear space in your memory bank because, in addition to feasting on stories about Maori culture and traditions, you'll take a seat in the "whare kai" or "eating house" to sample foods cooked in an ancient "hangi" basket.
The Te Puia fortress, which once protected its people from warring tribes, was built in a geothermal valley where over 60 hot springs and pools heat the ground from the inside out. Necessity being the mother of invention, the Maoris used the earth not only to grow their food but also to cook it in active steam vents, just as they will when they prepare a meal for you during your tour.
The hangi is like the earth's crockpot. Baskets filled with meat, seafood, vegetables, and even pudding are lowered into the ground where meals have been cooked for over 700 years. Covered with damp cloths, water is added before the pit is covered with soil and left to steam, absorbing not only the flavors of the ingredients but also of smoke and earth and ancient times.
Whether watching a cultural performance, walking amidst mud pools and geysers, or taking in traditional craft demonstrations, a visit to Te Puia will stimulate all of your senses. And that's an experience that's worth remembering.
Say that three times fast!
The longest place name in the English-speaking world isn't easy to say or remember. Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupo-kaiwhenuakitanatahu is a hill located in New Zealand's southern Hawke's Bay. It roughly translates to "the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed, and swallowed mountains, known as the land-eater, played his nose flute to his loved ones."
Cruise ship travelers: Please proceed pier side to meet your GoBe Rep. Look for our displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure you specify the name at check out so we can meet you in the lobby.
The Maori people take their culture very seriously and it is very important to be respectful during the cultural performance. Bring a sweater on this tour. Your tour of the thermal reserve covers 650 yards over established pathways. As with all geothermal regions, the smell of hydrogen sulfide permeates the atmosphere. Photography may be restricted. Wear clothing suitable for conditions. Photography is restricted during the powhiri (welcome ceremony onto the Marae) and participants may be asked to remove their hats and shoes when entering the meetinghouse.
Must be able to walk approximately 0.5 mile over varying terrain with some inclines and steps.
Cultural, Family Friendly, Walking Tour, Full Day, Music Event
Beverages - Coffee, Tea, water
Lunch - 3-course meal of Traditional Favorites
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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