I have just returned from cruising New Zealand on the Rhapsody of the Seas. I was lucky enough to find a tour company before I left Sydney. I got in touch with Des Harris who is the owner of Indigenous Trails (www.itrails.co.nz
) and booked a tour with him from Tauranga to Rotorua.
He impressed me straight away by telling me he would not be putting the charges through my credit card until the day of my tour in case of delays, etc. I told him I would be telling other people on the ship about his tour We arrived in Tauranga and there were 6 who did the tour. It was an AMAZING tour. Des went out of his way to show us as much as he could. I was really pleased by the fact we finally had a local (Maori) guide to show us around. Des pulled a lot of strings to show us things no normal tourists would have seen. One of them being Gideon's Fields. Such a lovely, spiritual place with 2 beautiful people, Jan and Brian taking us on the trail to see the waterfalls and the walks.
This tour was the highlight of our 14 days cruise. I recommend that you should try this company if you are looking for something unique and cultural as well as not too touristy!