Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 45 - Tauranga, New Zealand

Monday, February 24

Kia Ora from New Zealand!

Today we reached the southernmost point we will visit on the voyage - about 37 degrees south latitude.

Arranged by one of my Cruise Critic friends, we had a private tour for 11 with Archer Tours.  Jim Archer was our very knowledgeable driver and guide.  (Highly recommended if you are ever in this neck of the woods!)

We started our tour visiting the beach at Papamoa.  It was a beautiful beach with very few people (we saw four - two of whom were fishing).  We dipped our feet in the water and collected a few shells.

Next we went to the Te Puke region (centre of the kiwi fruit growing industry) to Kiwi 360.   We looked at the way kiwi fruit grow (who knew?) and then tasted green and gold kiwi fruit (which I had never seen before but is really good) as well as juice from them and even a kiwi fruit wine.

Then we drove to one of the most popular resort towns on the North Island of New Zealand, Rotorua.  Here we saw a Maori ceremony at Te Puia as well as traditional weaving and the school for wood carving.  We walked through the reconstructed Maori village.  Next we walked down to see the boiling pools of mud and the geysers.  We were able to see two kiwis (which are nocturnal) at Te Puia.  They are funny looking little birds.

We had lunch at the cafe at Te Puia.  I had a mince and cheese pie which was really tasty and filling.

Rotorua is nicknamed "Sulphur City" because of the numerous sulphur springs (we even saw one house that had one in its backyard).  Luckily the smell was not too strong today.  We stopped at Rachel Spring which was the only place where the smell was really bad.

We returned to the ship just before 6 pm.  There was a Maori show on board at 7 which I went to.  Then up on deck 9 to watch the sail-away.  Met some friends and talked until about 9:15 when I had dinner in the Lido.

Strange fact of the day - the only mammals indigenous to New Zealand are bats.

 Beach at Papapmoa

Kiwi fruit trees

Maori Meeting House

Maori presentation

Maori presentation

Style of ancient Maori houses

Maori store house

Carving School

Some woven articles


Boiling mud

                                                                 Sunset over New Zealand

Smooth sailing until next time!


  1. Loving your posts. So glad you are having a blast. Thanks for keeping us posted! Xo

  2. Thanks for 'taking us along' on your journey. So interesting and enjoyable. Your taking time from your holiday to write is most appreciated!