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Tauranga Cruise Port

By Viator, August 2014

4.5 30 Reviews | Add your review

Centrally-located in the Bay of Plenty and home to a deep water harbor, the port of Tauranga is a popular cruise hub with over 85 ships per year. The cruise port itself is actually located in the township of Mt. Maunganui, a laidback beach town which is 7km from the streets of downtown Tauranga. The Tauranga cruise port is also convenient for day trips to Rotorua, where steaming geysers and geothermal wonders create a fascinating, otherworldly landscape.

How to get to Tauranga

From the cruise ship dock at Salisbury Wharf it’s only a five-minute walk into Mt. Maunganui. Many cruise lines also provide shuttles to the town’s i-SITE visitor center, and all of the attractions in Mt. Maunganui are within a ten-minute radius of the cruise port. In order to reach the city of Tauranga, you can either ride the Bay Hopper bus for a 20-minute ride into town, or cut the drive to only ten minutes by hopping in a private taxi. Or, if you would prefer to hop back on a boat, there is a ferry service between Salisbury Wharf and the Tauranga waterfront which is run by Tauranga Water Transport. To reach Rotorua, many cruise lines offer shore excursions which provide transport for the one-hour journey. 

One Day in Tauranga

Visitors with a day at the Port of Tauranga have two different options for how to spend the day: Explore the communities of Tauranga and Mt. Maunganui, or take a shore excursion to the city of Rotorua. 
For those who choose to stay in town, start the day by grabbing a bite at a café in Mt. Maunganui. This is “surf city” for the Bay of Plenty, and the beach town vibe and consistent waves create an artsy and laidback community. Follow the road north towards “The Mount” beach for a look at the shoreline and surfers, and those who are feeling particularly fit can make the climb to the top of “The Mount.” This 750 ft. promontory offers panoramic views looking out over the beach and back towards the city of Tauranga, and it’s the perfect place to stretch your legs and enjoy an hour-long hike. After you’ve soaked up the Maunganui beach scene, head to The Strand in downtown Tauranga for the dining, entertainment, and shops.

While Tauranga might be one of the fastest-growing cities in New Zealand, a visit to the historic Brain Watkins house provides a glimpse of 19th-century New Zealand. Constructed out of native kauri wood, the house is still in the exact same order as it was over 130 years ago.

For those heading to Rotorua, the shore excursion to the geothermal playground will likely occupy the whole day. Given Rotorua’s large population of Maori, try to find a tour which combines the thermals with a visit to a Maori marae

Tours & Tickets

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Tauranga Shore Excursion: Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Including Rotorua Sightseeing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Enter a world of hobbits and hot pools when your cruise ship is in port in Tauranga. This shore excursion to Middle Earth takes you on a tour of the Hobbiton ...  Read more

Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $222.41

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Small-Group Bay of Plenty and Tauranga Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Explore New Zealand’s Tauranga region when your cruise ship docks in the Bay of Plenty. Your shore excursion highlights the rolling farmland, gourmet produce, ...  Read more

Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $82.54

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Te Puia Maori Cultural Centre and Rotorua City Sightseeing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

When your cruise ship docks in Tauranga, gain insights into New Zealand's rich Maori culture and amazing geothermal hot springs on a shore excursion to ...  Read more

Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $135.53

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Highlights

4.5 star rating: Recommended 15 Reviews

Take in the highlights of New Zealand's most beautiful city, Rotorua, when your cruise ship docks in Tauranga. Receive a traditional welcome at Whakarewarewa, ...  Read more

Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $121.63

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Wairoa River Kayak Tour

Once your cruise ship docks at Tauranga Harbour, embark on another kind of water adventure with a relaxing kayak ride along the Wairoa River. Grab your ...  Read more

Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $95.57

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Whakarewarewa Maori Cultural Village

Experience the amazing geothermal activity of hissing steam vents, bubbling water and boiling mud when your cruise ship is in port in Tauranga. Explore ...  Read more

Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $195.48

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