From Trip Advisor
We booked this tour for our group of 10 stopping in Tauranga on our Emerald Princess cruise from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California due to the reviews we found on Trip Advisor and their price (1/2 what the ship offered).
Bruce and Irene did an excellent job. They fit us in to their Rotura tour using both of their vans.
We drove about an hour to the Rotura geothermal area, getting a running commentary of the country side we were seeing, and some of the Maori history of the area. Bruce and Irene made sure we arrived at the geothermal park early, before all of the large tour buses arrived, so we were able to enjoy the sights before hoards of tourists arrived.
They both seemed to be the other tour guides tour guide. Several times I noticed tour guides asking them questions about sights or timing of events.
One of the first things we did was witness a Maori ceremony. He knew the participants of the ceremony well enough to get one of our group to be the “Chief” of the ceremony, allowing for some great experiences, and also allowing our group in the first row of chairs for the dancing and singing inside their meeting house.
He knew what to watch for in timing the geyser eruption, and made sure that we were at the right spot and the right time to witness that event, and even took pictures of it all and our group, emailing them to us soon after.
They both knew all the history of the area and the Maori tribe that owns the park.
After the park we drove to a great lunch (we paid for the lunch) at a great little restaurant and a beautiful lake. We had a table reserved, and he knew the owners there as well.
Finally on the drive back we stopped at a Kiwi farm, getting some insight into how the Gold Kiiwis are grown, and were able to do some tasting as well.
When we got back to Tauranga he dropped those wanting to board the ship at the pier, and took my wife and I back into town to do some quick shopping.
I am usually Leary about taking an all day tour from the ship because if something goes wrong and you miss the ship you don’t have recourse…..They leave plenty of time for issues, for example, they had planned a different route home to see a different part of the area, but 1/2 way into the way back the road was blocked due to some land slides. We had to reverse our route going all the way back to Rotura before getting on the highway.
We still had plenty of time to do the tour of the Kiwi farm and get back to the ship.
Additionally they guarantee that they will get you back, and on the tour Bruce said that they would drive us to our next stop (Auckland) if anything had really gone wrong….but as I said, they have time built in.
I can’t say enough good about Bruce and Irene.
They truly delighted us all…and made me look good since I am the one that recommended the tour to all of our friends.
They are still calling me “chief” from the Maori experience.
Do not hesitate to book them if you are in the area!