The Elms Mission House

Join your Step-on Guide and coach for a short trip across the harbour bridge to first visit the Elms Historic House, which is the oldest European heritage site in the Bay of Plenty, and is an essential stop for cruise visitors to Tauranga.

From this traditional English home, Maori were given the opportunity to learn about Christianity, and were educated in reading and writing, as well as agricultural and domestic skills.

Once the flourishing Te Papa Mission Station, now a tranquil oasis amid the bustle of the modern city of Tauranga, these buildings and gardens carry us back in time to the early nineteenth century.

A family home for 150 years, the mission house is now a museum, showcasing the lives of the three generations who lived within its walls. The house was lived in from 1847 to 1992. The contents reflect the lives of all the occupants. The name was changed to The Elms in 1873, when active mission work ceased.

Imagine sitting down to a meal at the gleaming mahogany table, listening to the old square piano, or using the delicate ivory spools and threads to create exquisite embroidery on a new gown.

Kiwifruit, the world’s most nutrient-dense fruit

A 30 min drive from The Elms will take you to the very centre of the Kiwifruit Capital of the World.

After driving through Te Puke town, where the first commercial kiwifruit plantings of 1937, produced the first fruit to be exported to the UK in 1953, you will see the densely planted patchwork of kiwifruit orchards.

You will be taken to the most beautiful road in the Bay of Plenty, and, at the invitation of one of the pioneering families the Burts, you will be able to walk under their vines with your host.

There, you will learn how we produce, what we call the ‘worlds healthiest fruit’, to the highest quality and in the highest volume per acre than anywhere else in the world.

We will share with you the extraordinary nutritional attributes of the kiwi, and at morning or afternoon tea, at the Village Community Hall, you will not only enjoy a freshly prepared setting, but also taste the fresh kiwifruit, its juices, jams, wines and liqueurs.

Now, kiwifruit production is a giant industry producing in excess of 170 million export trays ( 3.5 kgs, each holding on average, 30 fruit) which brings in revenue of $3b + to the Bay of Plenty region each year, from the exports to 60 countries around the world.


  • All activities and venues
  • Morning or afternoon tea - Coffee, tea, chilled water, freshly baked scone with kiwifruit jam, farm fresh whipped cream, garnished with slices of green or gold kiwifruit.
  • Tastings of fresh fruit, juices, liqueur.

Kiwifruit and Tauranga Highlights'

Itinerary and Time
-30 min
Join Host Driver/Guide at coach on pier
Board coach and prepare for travel
0 Depart pier
15 min Travel over harbour bridge to arrive at Historic Mission House
70 min
Hosted in small groups, by costumed guides, view the exquisite buildings and grounds, and immerse in NZ's past
40 min Depart The Elms and travel through Te Puke (the Kiwifruit Capital of the World) to arrive at kiwifruit orchard.
40 min Walk under the vines with the expert guide to learn about unique production regimes and the incredible nutritional value of kiwifruit
10 min
Depart orchard to travel the short distance to the Paengaroa Community Hall.
40 min Enjoy delightful morning tea, fresh fruit and liqueur tastings and some kiwifruit inspired gifts and souvenirs
40 min Depart Paengaroa for the trip back to the ship via Marine Parade and Pilot Bay
4 hrs
15 mins
Total duration
Two fabulous Bay of Plenty insights in one excursion - experience beauty and elegance of ‘The Elms Mission House’ in Tauranga and to the very heart of Kiwifruit Country where you can walk under the vines with your guide and taste the fresh fruit.
Your hosted tour will take you to the centre of Tauranga to experience beauty and elegance of ‘The Elms Mission House’ an historical venue where you will be transported back in time and immersed in the life of our earliest founding forefathers.
A dramatic contrast is then in store as you are taken to the very heart of Kiwifruit Country where today, the region produces The World’s Healthiest Fruit” – Kiwifruit, better than anywhere else on the planet! Walk under the vines with your guide, taste the fresh fruit, juices, wines and liqueurs and the enjoy a freshly prepared morning or afternoon tea.
Kiwifruit Country Tours