HarbourSide Backpackers
HarbourSide Backpackers

Adventure in the Bay of Plenty

Harbourside City Backpackers is happy to help you book any of the following Bay of Plenty activities - please click here to contact us for more information.
Bay Explorer
Island and wildlife tour – BEST DAY EVER!

Bay Explorer offers you the premium wildlife and adventure experience in the Bay of Plenty, you get the chance to see seasonal marine wildlife; dolphins, seals, penguins, fish, and occasional whale encounters, but you are also able to get up close to wildlife, making it a photographer’s dream! It’s the BEST DAY EVER! Every trip is different, depending on your luck, the pod of dolphin encounters can range from a few animals to hundreds.
You can choose to explore even more at the islands in the Bay. Optional activities include swimming, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). The crew are awesome, and will provide a fascinating commentary on the history, geography and culture of the area. They have knowledge on marine wildlife and personally share with you everything they observe. This will be a day to call home about!

  • A full day cruise on our spacious boat with 360° outdoor views from the largest open-air wildlife watching sun deck
  • Watch seasonal marine wildlife – penguins, seals, dolphins, whales, sunfish, school fish, seabirds, sharks and orca
  • Enjoy an Island stopover and kayak, stand-up paddle board or swim. Water sport training and lifejackets for all ages
  • Free communal on-board BBQ facilities for lunch (BYO food for cooking on the BBQ or bring your own packed lunch)
  • Cold beer and chilled regional wine from our licenced bar
  • On-board commentary and references with facts on the Bay and local marine wildlife


Always wanted to swim with dolphins in the wild? This is your chance! Watching and swimming with dolphins is one of the most awesome and incredible in-water experiences you will ever have! You have the option to just watch, enjoy and experience the magic of dolphin encounters, or swim with the wild dolphins. Some people are very lucky and will even spot pods of orca's and whales!Dolphin Seafaris NZ are the only operator specializing in both types of swimming, free swimming and with swim bars attached to the vessel. This enables you to get closer to the wild dolphins regardless the level of swimming experience you may have. The swim en counters are totally natural with only small groups of 3-8 maximum in the water at one time.


This unique experience will take you to McLaren Falls Park where you can start off the tour with the enjoyment of a beautiful glass of wine and some tasty cheeses and other snacks while watching the sunset across the lake.
As soon as it gets dark you will go out with kayaks on the calm and safe waters of the lake before entering the river which is shrouded in native bush. As it gets dark you can hear the haunting call of our own native owl the Ru Ru (Morepork) and for those who are lucky will catch a full moon!
The kayak trip will take you to a canyon where you will be mesmerised by hundreds or even thousands of glow worms amongst the steep cliffs and bush around you. They are so up close that you could almost touch them. A truly magical and once in a lifetime experience.


Skilled or beginner. Hibiscus Surf School offers first class surfing instructions for all ages and abilities in a fun and safe learning environment. No matter what your level is, these friendly and professional instructors will provide the right lesson for each and everyone of you. Small classes and personal instructions will help you to gain confidence on the board or will give you the extra boost to make you the pro you always wanted to become!
The surf school is located at the main beach in Mount Maunganui. Within the first 1 or 2 hour lesson you will work on your confidence, water skills and balance which results in riding waves at the end of the surf class! Be prepared for great vibes and good times - which can be very addictive!


Looking for the ultimate adrenaline thrill, then look no further! Tauranga Tandem Sky Dive offers the ultimate adrenaline boost in the Bay! They have highly trained and skilled tandem masters which will take you up in the air and make sure you will be landing safe and sound with both feed on the ground again.
The Bay of Plenty region is a stunning place to be seen from air. We've got the clear Pacific Ocean on one side with the blue waters complemented by the majestic backdrop of the Kaimai range and the Papamoa hills on the other side. The best bit of all will be the view of the Mount and it's large inner harbour inlet that will make this a jump to remember!

Looking for an adrenaline boost but not feeling like jumping out of a plane? Then rafting might be the activity for you! Wet 'n Wild Rafting offers 30 years of experience in guided white water rafting. They organize some of the best rafting trips in the country! It's a great experience for families, groups of friends or colleagues as well as individual thrill seekers.

It is all about excitement, relaxation, teamwork, nature and the adrenaline kick you will get from it. On your Wet 'n Wild adventure you will enjoy the exhilaration and thrill from nature's powerful forces at work, the white water and the respect that it commands. You will be in awe of the spectacular scenery along the journey. Definitely an adventure of a lifetime!


Only 30 minute drive from our hostel, nestled in the lush green hills of Matamata lays Hobbiton Movie Set, well known by all for the famous trilogies of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. Discover MIddle-earth andthe village during a fascinating two-hour guided tour where you can experience what it must be like being a hobbit yourself! All tour groups will visit the Green Dragon Inn and receive a complimentary refreshment. There are some spectacular views across the Kaimai ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set, which is still a working sheep and cattle farm, there is an opportunity to cuddle and bottle feed the pet lambs at the right time of year.

This relatively new activity in New Zealand is definitely worth giving it a go! Escape Masters is the first in New Zealand with Escape Rooms. They offer a great escape-adventure game which brings people together in an enjoyable way! Challenge yourself by getting locked up in a room, find clues and solve puzzles to crack the code and escape within one hour! An adrenaline pumping activity!

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