We took Archer Tours to Rotorua - one of the best things we did on this cruise. We had booked the tour with Archer Tours several months before arriving. Jim was excellent at communicating with us, emailing us to amend the pick-up time before we even knew that the ship's itinerary had been changed!
Pick-up went smoothly, with Jim waiting with a placard with our name on it, right outside of the ship's exit as he had said. Five couples had reserved and we waited for about 30 minutes for the fifth couple who did not show up. This did not cause a delay in our tour as I believe Jim accounts for this kind of thing in planning the day.
Jim proved to be a wonderful guide full of interesting commentary about what we were seeing. We never felt rushed but we did see such an lot in one day! We began with a trip to a beautiful beach at Tauranga on the Pacific Ocean. We were able to get out of the van and walk on the beach, take some lovely pictures. Then it was off to the kiwi orchard. Again, Jim was a font of interesting information about kiwis, how they're grown, where they came from, and what happens to them after harvest. A tasting of green and gold kiwis, kiwi wine, jams, and liqueur followed by an opportunity for some retail therapy in a very well stocked gift shop. Next was Rotorua to visit the Maori Cultural Centre where we had ample opportunity to walk among the boiling mud fields, see steam vents and visit the geysers. Later came a presentation in the Cultural Centre. Very enjoyable, with fierce Maori warriors confronting our 'chief' (one of the visitors from our group) and then inviting us into the house to watch the greeting ceremony and dancing. We had lunch in the cafe at the Cultural Centre -- good wholesome food, well prepared and for a reasonable price.
We did some more visiting around Rotorua and then it was time to return to our ship, taking a different route back and giving us the opportunity to see even more of the beautiful New Zealand country side. Jim had us back to our ship in plenty of time, tired but happy after a beautiful day. This tour remains one of the great highlights of our 18 day cruise, I have no hesitation in recommending this tour to anyone who wants an excellent day out.