Rotorua day trip
From Trip Advisor
We were a family group of 4 (3 generations) cruising Melbourne to New Zealand on the Golden Princess.
The main focus of our trip was the cruise and not shore excursions though Rotorua was high on the list to visit due to family history and having also been to Yellowstone.
The onboard ship excursions are way over priced and I was looking for an alternative which would give us a good day trip to Rotorua.
My daughter would have liked to see Hobbiton also but ruled it out as it was in the opposite direction and insufficient time.
Amazing Day Tours provided a tour to take in Rotorua which was $100 cheaper per person than an equivalent tour booked on board.
I also liked the fact that the group size was a maximum of 9 and that the operators Bruce (and Irene) were locals with 30 years of experience.
I felt they would be able to relate well with my mother in law as well as myself and my wife.
I left my decision till a week before departure from Melbourne and emailed them directly to check if they still had room available for the day we would arrive in port.
A fast reply came back confirming space still existed and so payment was made in full immediately.
Communication with Bruce and Irene prior to the tour was excellent and informative and arrangements made to meet at the allocated time at the port.
On the day we quickly located Bruce.
There were 4 of us and 4 other people.
Bruce was excellent. I knew immediately I had made the right decision.
His local experience, the fact that he was a former travel agent and had also conducted customised world tours with his wife, Irene and his extensive personal travel experience meant he fully understood what was needed to make the day an efficient use of time and maximise what we could see and do.
Bruce has this tour well organised.
He knew just where to go and when to get there to ensure we were ahead of the bigger tour groups and crowds.
He also knew everyone at the sites we visited.
This personal relationship is not to be overlooked as it affords special advantages to the group.
At the Maori Welcome House at Te Puia,
Bruce timed it perfectly to ensure our group was early and up front and centre.
He explained all that would happen and asked if one of us (myself) would like to be nominated as the visiting Chief for all visitors to the ceremony.
Bruce's knowledge and personal relations with the on site people meant that I was invited which just made the day that extra special for our family group but also the other 4 people with us as we all ended up at the front of the ceremony.
Bruce even took pictures of me meeting the Chief and emailed them to me the next day.
We also visited the park and other various thermal sites around the township of Rotorua, the Sequoia Redwood forest where Bruce's passion for New Zealand and doing the right thing was evident (do not strip the Silver ferns of their fronds folks like some other groups were), then off to a Kiwi fruit farm and some Kiwi fruit ice cream on the way back to Tauranga, finishing the day off with a tour of Tauranga pointing out the highlights of the town.
All in all the day trip was about 7 hours and definitely worth it.
Make sure to seek out Amazing Day Tours for your day trip experiences in Tauranga.
Though we did not meet Irene, I am sure that she would be just as knowledgeable and friendly as Bruce.
On the day, Irene was operating their other 6 seat vehicle which can be used for customised tours.
Could not recommend Amazing Day Tours more highly.
Don't think about it - just do it.
Date of experience: February 2019