Bay of Plenty Region Culture & history

Our most recommended Bay of Plenty Region Culture & history

Mitai Maori Village: Cultural Experience and Dinner Buffet

1. Mitai Maori Village: Cultural Experience and Dinner Buffet

Enter a Maori village in a natural bush setting and learn about their customs during an immersive cultural experience. Following pickup from your Rotorua accommodation, if option booked, get a warm meet and greet from a beautiful Maori maiden dressed in traditional attire. Learn the guidelines to enter the sacred site and select a chief from your group to represent those visiting the village. See warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe down the Wai-o-whiro stream and marvel at glow worms in their natural habitat. Be captivated by the songs and dances of an entertaining concert, complete with the spine-tingling haka war dance. Watch as the hangi feast is removed from the earth-cooked oven, explore the art of ta moko (tattoo) and more.  Feast on a hot selection of succulent meats and poultry, vegetables and fresh salads, topped off with tempting desserts.

Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

2. Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

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 Rotorua. 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. As you drive, pass through the pass through the unique town of Tirau, the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade. Upon arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s most famous and historical sites including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa. From here enjoy the option to add on up to two of Rotorua's most popular activities and attractions (additional cost). Please add on the activities or attractions you would like to include during the booking process. Maybe head to the famous geothermal park and Maori cultural village of Te Puia, bathe in the geothermal waters of the Polynesian Spa, experience some farm culture at the Agrodome Sheep Show, or ride the gondola at Skyline! Or you can simply choose to explore the city at your own pace before your return to Auckland.

Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

3. 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 Smith & Co, the onsite cafe offering delicious scones with whipped cream and jam, Kiwi's favorite selection of pastry pies, and Devonshire tea. Take the opportunity to dress up in Victorian style clothing. On the waterfall trail, learn about the native flora and fauna and experience the beauty of a land recovering from violent destruction. Experience the Te Wairoa Falls in a special way as you stand in the mist of the waterfall. At the end of the day, check out the wide range of goods at the gift shop and bring home a special memento.

From Auckland: Transfer to Rotorua with Waitomo Caves Tour

4. From Auckland: Transfer to Rotorua with Waitomo Caves Tour

One day tour from Auckland to the beautiful Waitomo Glowworm Caves and geothermal wonderland of Rotorua (One way trip). On this tour you will be picked up from the hotel in our comfortable mini-bus and driven through the stunning Waikato countryside on a fully guided journey to Waitomo Caves. During the journey to Waitomo you will encounter New Zealand's longest river, beautiful mountains, and see several different farm animals along the way. Once in Waitomo you will explore the ancient and amazing caves, with it's many different cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites and Lime Columns, before descending even further underground for your glowworm experience. Board your glowworm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms - which are unique to New Zealand - glittering above your head. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveller. We will continue our adventure with another fully guided journey south to Rotorua, with many more attractions to see along the way, including hydro dams, rivers and lots more animals. Once in Rotorua we will guide you past many of its famous and historical sites, including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa, before dropping you at your accommodation or a central Rotorua location.

From Auckland: Two-Day Rotorua, Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves Tour

5. From Auckland: Two-Day Rotorua, Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves Tour

Join this overnight all-inclusive tour from Auckland and experience the Central North Island's most iconic attractions at a leisurely pace.  Take guided tours of Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves. Discover the Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland and the thermal areas and geysers of Te Puia. Experience a Maori cultural evening with a meal and concert.  At the end of the two days, you will return to your hotel in Auckland or a different location in the central area, if specified. Most of the transport is supplied in Mercedes minibuses with luxury seating. Your driver guide will take the time to make sure you enjoy your time on the tour. The largest vehicle seats 15 passengers, but on most occasions your group will be 12 people or less.

New Zealand North & South Island: 14-Day Tour

6. New Zealand North & South Island: 14-Day Tour

Day 1 - Auckland to Hot Water Beach Depart Auckland and head south-east to the pristine beaches of the Coromandel and the world-famous Cathedral Cove. Kayak around this stunning coastline (optional activity) and have the opportunity to visit Hot Water Beach; a unique surf beach where if you catch the tide right, you can dig a hole in the sand to create your own personal spa pool. Day 2 - Hot Water Beach to Waitomo Venture into the enchanting Karangahake Gorge nestled among the Kaimai Ranges, for a hike amongst the walkways and old mining tunnels. Next, head over to Waitomo for a magical tour of the world-famous glow-worm caves. You will also have the opportunity to experience a Black Water Rafting trip. Day 3 - Waitomo to Rotorua Start the day with a walk through the Ruakuri Reserve. Pass through The Shire of Hobbiton where you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Hobbiton Movie Set (optional activity) before rolling on through to Rotorua; a mystical land of bubbling mud pools, rocketing geysers, and natural hot springs. Optional activities are luging down the SkyLine, White Water Rafting, Hells Gate, Mountain biking through the Redwoods, Zorb, Wai-o-tapu, Polynesian Spa, or National Kiwi Hatchery. Day 4 - Rotorua free day and Tamaki Maori Village Explore the geothermal reserve of Te Puia, with New Zealand’s largest geyser, and a chance to see a real live Kiwi bird. Visit the Tamaki Māori Village and be immersed in the traditions and cultural values of the Māori people. Participate in a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), learn about the history of the marae (village) and the Rotorua-area from a local Māori guide before feasting on some top kai food from the hāngi pit. Gather around a blazing bonfire and enjoy listening to Māori myths and legends before relaxing in a private forest spa pool and retiring for the night in a traditional carved whare moe (sleeping house). Day 5 - Tamaki Maori Village to Taupo Day 6 - Taupo free day Day 7 - Taupo to Wellington Day 8 - Wellington to Kaikoura Day 9 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Day 10 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Day 11 - Lake Tekapo to Wanaka via Mount Cook Day 12 - Wanaka to Queenstown Day 13 - Queenstown free day Day 14 - Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip

From Auckland: 18-Day North & South Island Tour with Lodging

7. From Auckland: 18-Day North & South Island Tour with Lodging

Experience the majestic beauty of New Zealand's diverse landscapes on an 18-day adventure. Join your guide on the trip of a lifetime as you travel from Auckland all the way down to Queenstown. Take part in unique local activities along the way and end your journey in the city of Christchurch. Day 1: Auckland to Hot Water Beach •Explore the stunning Cathedral Cove •Relax at Hot Water Beach by digging your own spa pool Day 2: Hot Water Beach to Waitomo •Hike through the Karangahake Gorge •Admire the magical glowworm caves in Waitomo Day 3: Waitomo to Rotorua •Explore the lush Ruakuri Reserve •Spend the night in a Māori village, where you'll learn about local history and culture •Seize the opportunity to visit Hobbiton at your own expense •Discover the town and lake in Rotorua Day 4: Rotorua to Tongariro National Park via Taupo •Walk the scenic Huka Falls walkway •Soak under a waterfall or in the naturally heated rock pools at Spa Park Day 5: Tongariro National Park •Book a shuttle to Tongariro Crossing, one of New Zealand's best hikes •Rent skiing or snowboarding equipment and head over to Mount Ruapehu Day 6: Tongariro National Park to River Valley •Walk the trail to Taranaki Falls •Spend the day at River Valley Lodge, nestled along the Rangitikei River •Enjoy free time to go white water rafting or horseback riding •Taste an organic roast dinner Day 7: River Valley to Wellington •Take in the vibrant city vibes of Wellington, New Zealand's capital Day 8: Wellington to Kaikoura •Board a spacious ferry for a ride across the Cook Strait •Sip on some local wine in the Marlborough region •Visit the impressive Kaikoura seal colony Day 9: Kaikoura to Christchurch •Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway •Admire incredible panoramic views of Kaikoura •Discover hidden gems of Christchurch on a city-street art trail Day 10: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo •Marvel at the stars in the Dark Sky Project •Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd •Trek up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes Day 11: Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook •Spend the day inside the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park •Walk through the Hooker Valley track to Hooker Lake Day 12: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown •Feast on a buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant Day 13: Queenstown free day •Have the whole day to yourself and explore the wonders of Queenstown Day 14: Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip •Cruise past the lake and onto Glenorchy, where you can embark on short scenic walks Day 15: Queenstown to Wanaka •Take in views over Lake Wānaka from Roys Peak (only accessible from November to May) •Alternatively, join the Mt Iron hike, providing 360-degree views of the Pisa range •Visit the famous Wanaka tree Day 16: Wanaka to Franz Josef •Discover the Thunder Creek falls in Mt Aspiring National Park •Admire the famous mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook from Lake Matheson Day 17: Franz Josef •Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop •Take on a glacier walk Day 18: Franz Josef to Christchurch •Explore a variety of trails across Arthur's Pass •Walk the Castle Hill track •Stop at the Devils Punchbowl waterfalls.

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What people are saying about Bay of Plenty Region

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 384 reviews

Very welcoming and friendly, the people were amazing. A fantastic night with local Maori tradition, history and culture. From the canoe demonstration down the magnificent natural spring river to the wonderful music, singing and traditional dances to the language and stories, we just were blown away by the whole experience. From looking at how the Hangi was cooked in the ground to the amazing spread to eat, it was plentiful. We really had a fantastic experience, we were surrounded by great people all night and had an amazing time. Very memorable indeed, thank you. Highly recommended

Well worth every penny, it was a great experience with so many interesting parts. Every person involved was so welcoming, the performance was fantastic and the food was incredible! Highly recommend to anyone wanting to find out a little more about Māori culture.

Had a wonderful time on the trip. Flexitours did a great job of reacting to a weather issue and finding us new activities to do, and was also willing to allow new additions to the itinerary that we discovered along the way. Great trip!

Great cultural experience getting a taste of the Māori way of life. Well worth the ticket price.

Excellent, enthusiastic hosts. Very interesting and entertaining. Plenty of food.