At Custom Day Tours, we like to make all our tours about you. You decide where you’d like to go, and what you’d like to see. Of course, our knowledge of Tauranga and other tourist attractions throughout New Zealand means we’re able to give you some great recommendations and advice.
We’re also different in that we only work with a set number of people at a time. This allows us to customise your tour exactly there way you want. This means no crowded buses, no scheduled stops, fewer time restrictions and, best of all, more time to see the beautiful sites the port of Tauranga, Bay of Plenty and Rotorua have to offer.
If you’re visiting the Port of Tauranga on a cruise ship excursion, lets work together to make your visit to our shores truly memorable. We’ll create your ideal schedule to make the most of your cruise ship tour.
We can take you around the beautiful Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Hobbiton and the World Famous Waitomo Caves.
Our guided tours from the Port of Tauranga will be the highlight of your New Zealand holiday experience.
The Hobbiton Day Tour Itinerary
Our Hobbiton guided day tour starts from the Port of Tauranga, where we will collect you in our luxury vehicles. If you are travelling around New Zealand independently we can arrange another pick up point suitable for you.
Our first stop is often Mount Maunganui Main Beach where you will have the chance to take photos of this beautiful beach in the morning sun. We then travel down the Pacific Coast road on route to Middle Earth.
Stunning New Zealand Scenery
As we head to the Hobbiton Movie Set we cross over the Kaimai Ranges which boast panoramic views across the Provence of Waikato. This is one of our favorite routes as we pass through breath-taking farm land that typifies New Zealand rural life. You will get a real taste for the Bay of Plenty during this drive and we are happy to answer any of your questions on the way. As we move towards Hobbiton we will offer you full commentary on the brief history of New Zealand, as well as a few interesting facts about our agriculture, horticulture and forestry industries. We always build up a really friendly repartee as we travel through the Bay of Plenty together.
Hobbiton Movie Set
Upon arrival at Hobbiton you will board the Middle Earth bus for a two hour fascinating guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set and farm. Many of our guests have now seen the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well as the Hobbit movie trilogies.
The Hobbiton guided tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1250 acre sheep farm with more stunning views across the Kamai Ranges. Your guide will escort you through the ten acre site, telling you fascinating details of how the Hobbit set was created as you go.
The Green Dragon Inn offers a complimentary drink in Hobbit style at the end of your tour.
On our return journey we visit McLaren Falls where we take a short walk to the beautiful waterfalls – a real New Zealand treat to top off your cruise ship excursion with us in the Bay of Plenty. McLaren Falls consists of 170 hectares of lake land park set amongst a beautiful botanical collection of trees.
Back to Tauranga
To end our cruise ship day tour to Hobbiton we like to drive with you through down-town Tauranga, giving you the chance to see the charming city with all of its cafes and water-front bars. You will quickly sense the laid back Kiwi life style that we love.
We return you to your ship in the Port of Tauranga with plenty of time to look around Mount Maunganui. Some of our customers choose to combine the guided Hobbiton tour with an excursion to Rotorua's Geothermal Wonderland, Te Puia. This option will be a full day excursion and gives you a great mixture of sites around the Bay of Plenty.
Rotorua Day Tour Itinery
We will collect you from your cruise ship in the Port of Tauranga in one of our luxury vehicles. If you are travelling in New Zealand independently of a cruise ship we can arrange another pick up destination suitable for you. Our first stop is often Mount Maunganui Main Beach where you will have the chance to take photos of this beautiful beach in the morning sun.
As we move on from Mount Maunganui Beach we will offer you full commentary on the brief history of New Zealand, as well as a few interesting facts about our agriculture, horticulture and forestry industries. We love answering your questions along the way and always build up a really friendly report as we travel through the Bay of Plenty together.
From Kiwi 360 the drive to Rotorua takes about hour with scenic forest views along the way. Before arriving at Te Puia, we offer you the chance to stop at the beautiful Redwood Forest in Rotorua. Often this is a surprising highlight of your guided tour around Rotorua. The combination of giant redwood trees and beautiful silver fern, which is New Zealand's national symbol, is always a breathtaking site not to be missed during your excursion to Rotorua.
Depending on timing we can either stop for lunch (at own expense) at the Lakefront in Rotorua or at Te Puia itself. The Lake of Rotorua is definitely a picturesque addition to your Rotorua day trip schedule.
Our next destination in Rotorua is the much anticipated Te Puia. Famous for housing two of only eight spontaneous geysers in the world, you will be delighted to see the birth of a new geyser during our tour of this Maori Cultural Centre. We personally guide you through Te Puia, some of the main highlights are:
Te Puia Nga Mokai a-Koko boiling mud pools – large pools of boiling mud whose name means ‘the pets or play things of Koko'
Te Puia Maori welcome concert which aims to show you the very best of Maori performing arts and hospitality
Maori National Flax Weaving and Carving School where trainees are taught the old arts to keep the crafts alive. You are welcomed to watch and take pictures as they continue to pass on their traditions
The Kiwi birds are at home in Te Puia – as our national bird we love to introduce guests to the Kiwis at Te Puia
After taking our time at Te Puia we can move on to the Rotorua Government Gardens where we can drive through the gardens. As we move through the city of Rotorua we will point out further geothermal activitiy – everyone is always amazed to see steam vents gushing from people's back yards and gutters on the side of the road.
Time permitting, and depending on your preferences, we can add some extra activities to your guided tour of Rotorua. A local Maori Village, waterfalls and Lake Tarawera are some of our favorite extras, at no extra cost.
Back to Tauranga
After your fun-filled and informative guided day tour in Rotorua we will return you to your cruise ship in the Port of Tauranga via a different route home. This way you can take in new sites, including beautiful vistas across the Bay of Plenty. We pass through the city of Tauranga on the way back to your ship, giving you the chance to see the charming city with all of its cafes and water-front bars. You will quickly sense the laid back Kiwi life style that we enjoy.
All in all we return you back to your ship in Tauranga with plenty of time to board. You are sure to have a camera full of photos and many happy memories from your guided tour with us in Rotorua.
The Waitomo Day Tour Trip / Cruise Ship Shore Excursion Itinerary (Min 6 people required for tour to take place)
There are three different caves at the Waitomo Caves location, you can choose which cave, or which combination of caves, you want to visit depending on your preference and the duration of your shore excursion in Tauranga.
The first cave at Waitomo is the Glowworm Cave. Here you will be amazed by the many thousands of magical glowworms lining the walls of the cave. This cave is visited only by boat and you will be guided through by one of the Waitomo tour guides, many of whom are ancestors of the Maori chief who originally explored the cave and can share with you more about the history of the area.
Before your boat ride you will also have the chance of walking through the Cathedral Cave, famous for its fantastic acoustics. These caves have been guided since the 1880s and are one of New Zealand's first tourist attractions. You are sure to love this cruise shore tour activity from the Port of Tauranga.
You can expect the Glowworms Cave experience to take around forty-five minutes.
The Ruakuri Cave at Waitomo is full of legends and tales – it takes two hours to explore this cave in depth, all the while you will be guided through in small groups to really enjoy this educational and interesting experience.
The entrance into the Raukuri Cave is a spectacular spiral design, leading into the limestone caves. The solftly-folding shawl-like limestome formations and crystal tapestries have been developed over millions of years. Once you are deeper into the cave you will see the ancient glowworms up-close and learn about their fascinating life. While you are down in the cave you will here the distant rumble of the underground waterfalls in the near distance. This is really a fantastic site to enjoy while you are docked in the Port of Tauranga.
The Aranui Cave at Waitomo is set in New Zealand forest, giving you the chance to wander off the beaten track through some true New Zealand bush. Once you reach the Aranui Cave you will be amazed by the beautiful white, pink and brown stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones.
Many people choose to combine this experience with the Glowworms Cave. Both take around forty-five minutes to complete and can make a perfect activity for your shore excursion from the Port of Tauranga.
The Kiwi House
Back on our tour schedule, after enjoying the Waitomo Caves, time permitting we often stop by the Kiwi House where you are guaranteed to see a Kiwi – our Kiwi Bird.
Back To Tauranga
After meeting the local Kiwi we head back to the Port of Tauranga to ensure that you are returned in plenty of time to your cruise ship. If we have time we like to stop at Mount Maunganui main beach for a photo opportunity at this beautiful spot.
If a cancellation is made within 24 hours of arrival day, loss of 100% of the total booking price.