Thursday, February 11, 2010


We had booked a cruise tour for Tauranga because there was a geyser park that we read was about a 90 min drive and we thought this would probably be the best way to see it. In hindsight, we probably should have just hired a private tour company but we did get to see what we had planned and we still had a good time.
Grace decided she wanted to sleep in this morning so we were rushing to get to the meeting point on time. Dustin brought back breakfast (there wasn't even enough time to call for room service!) and Grace finally woke up 10 minutes before meeting time. Dustin took the stairs with her and the food while I waited with the stroller and all of our gear for a lift. After seeing the elevator come and go multiple times without one opening with enough room for the stroller I took the stairs too because I did not want to miss the tour. I had also lost one of my earrings in our room either the night before or that morning so the day didn't get off to the best start (we never found the earring... both us and the room attendant searched the room for it too). We ended up just waiting beside the line to get your bus number until it came to the end so that Grace would have time to eat breakfast. We ended up with bus number 11 out of the 12 buses. I think 8 of them were all doing the exact same tour as us too which is a LOT of people.
So finally we made it to our bus and were ready to go. Our first stop was morning tea at the Blue Baths. There was an entire museum but all I saw of it was the men's dressing area which is where they herded us through to get to the area set up for tea.

{the Blue Baths}

I honestly did not see the front of the building because we were herded in so fast that Dustin had to tell me which picture to use. He had a few minutes to look around and take pictures while I found a restroom to change Grace's diaper. I think we had a total of 20 minutes to spend here which included getting off the bus and going through a line of 3 bus loads of people.

{Having tea in an old pools}
Then we were back on the bus for our next stop which was Te Puia. Here we met up with a tour guide who took us to the kiwi house. We found out later that the kiwi birds had been scared away when a guest on a bus ahead of us went in and shouted "Why is it so dark in here?" after being informed that the birds have sensitive ears. So we think we may have seen a little of a kiwi bird but it is hard to say since it could have easily been a piece of bush. Then it was back to the tour.
{we saw boiling mud}

{and a geyser... this was taken right before it erupted}

Then they gave us about 15 minutes to look around at the Maori village in the park or visit the gift shop.

{Maori village}
Dustin and Grace ran around the grass while I headed to the gift shop for a few souvenirs.
We thought we were finished with the tour but we were told we had one more stop. The tour was supposed to include some shopping so we stopped at the kiwi 360 farm (kiwi fruit) where they gave us an hour! It was going to be well past lunch time when we got back to the ship (we thought we would be back at 1:00) so we grabbed a bite to eat at the cafe and then let Grace run around in the yard since that was about all there was to do there.

{At Kiwi 360)

So the reason we would have done a private tour instead is because everywhere we went we were rushed except at the kiwi farm and there were always 3 buses of people or more at each of our stops. With a private tour we probably could have gone to another geyser that was not at a huge tourist attraction plus saw a lot of the area and spent the amount of time at each place that we wanted to. But we did get to see the geyser erupt which was one of the things we wanted to see most at this port so overall it was a good day, just one we would do differently if we had a do-over.

1 comment:

Melissa Stephens said...

Don't you LOVE Australia and New Zealand?! I think they are my favorite places in the world (other than my home!). Everything is so interesting there. When our kids get older, I want to take Blake there. Maybe with the kids, but that would be super expensive! Glad you had a good time. It looks like Grace did well, too.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin