Several companies offer the opportunity to get in the water with the common dolphins that live in the bay. Try Butler's Swim With Dolphins, Pier C, Berth C60, Tauranga Bridge Marina (tel. 0508/288-537 in NZ, or 07/578-0821; www.swimwithdolphins.co.nz). Expeditions depart Tauranga daily at 8:45am and the Mount at 9:15am for a full-day outing; and cost around NZ$145 for adults, NZ$110 for kids.
Blue Ocean Charters, Tauranga Bridge Marina, Tauranga (tel. 0800/224-278; www.blueocean.co.nz), offers half- and full-day reef fishing, day and overnight hapuka fishing, and ecotrips to Mayor Island. Prices range from NZ$75 to NZ$100 per person depending on the trip type; kids under 13 cost NZ$50.
Springloaded Fun Park (tel. 0800/867-386 in NZ, or 07/533-1515; www.springloadedfun.co.nz) is at Paengaroa on State Highway 33, a half-hour south of Tauranga. Open daily from 9am (closed Dec 25-26 and Mon-Tues in winter), they have self-drive 4WD cars from NZ$60 for adults and NZ$35 for children ages 14 and under for 3km (2 miles) of fun.
Reliable thrills can be had with Springloaded Jet (tel. 0800/867-386 in NZ, or 07/533-1515; www.springloadedfun.co.nz). Prices start at NZ$95 per adult, NZ$45 for children 15 and over; children 14 and under are not allowed.
Combine gentle kayaking with a lovely glow worm experience on Lake McLaren with Waimarino.com, by the Wairoa River, 36 Taniwha Place, Bethlehem (tel. 07/576-4233; www.waimarino.com). It's New Zealand's only glowworm kayak tour. It costs NZ$125 for a standard tour with refreshments. They also offer a range of more lively options including ocean kayaking.
Tauranga Tandem Skydiving at 2 Kittyhawk Way, Tauranga Airport (tel. 07/576-7990; www.tandemskydive.co.nz) is your best bet. A basic jump will cost NZ$255 to NZ$345.
Hibiscus Surf School, Mount Maunganui (tel. 07/575-3792; www.surfschool.co.nz), offers exclusive personal tuition with surf instructor Rebecca Taylor, who will quickly bring you up to speed on local surf and ocean conditions.
There's no shortage of rafting operators. Wet 'n' Wild Rafting, 2 White St., Rotorua (tel. 0800/462-723 in NZ, or 07/348-3191; www.wetnwildrafting.co.nz), operates on five rivers in this region, offering a wide range of adventures depending on your level of experience. You can add more fun by combining rafting with jet-boating, a helicopter ride, and mountain biking. Prices start at NZ$99 to NZ$110 per person.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.