Tuhua (Mayor) Island
Considering Tuhua, or Mayor Island’s unique geological elements, its kelp bush, warm climate and the subtropical inhabitants of the surrounding reef, it’s perhaps our favourite stop on the Bay Explorer trip. A true blessing for its eco-system, the area has been protected to avoid mass tourists, thus making it a haven for those who do get to visit. The clear waters have a visibility range from 11 to 24m, attracting keen underwater explorers, divers and snorkelers.
Mayor Island can be found 35km north of Tauranga, and the land covers around 13km². The Island is now an impressive dormant shield volcano, but it’s respected in the community for its remarkable explosive volcanic history. The volcano summit is the land we can see above the sea floor, and thankfully there have been no eruptions for around 6,000 years. Past volcanic activity has created interesting land formations which can be seen today. The area is soaked in history and is yours to enjoy as part of Bay Explorer’s ‘Best Day Ever.’
History & Culture
Tuhua is the ancestral home of Te Whānau A Tauwhao ki Tūhua. It is privately owned and is administered by the Tuhua Trust Board on behalf of its beneficiaries.
Tuhua is also the Māori name of obsidian and is one of the few places in Aotearoa where this important precolonial resource can be found. Te Whānau A Tauwhao consider themselves the guardians of the island’s resources and prohibit the unauthorised removal of the jet black glassy stone.
Kaitiakitanga or guardianship is a concept that is deeply embedded in Maori lore. The Trust takes this responsibility seriously and is actively involved in maintaining the island’s natural character as much as possible.
Manaakitanga or hospitality is another important concept that easily aligns with guardianship. The Trust welcomes visitors to share the unique experiences associated with the island. Its pristine waters and rugged natural environment are available for everyone to share and enjoy.
The Bay Explorer
Bay Explorer are local boat tour specialists who are passionate about all our region has to offer. We are proudly Kiwi owned and operated, with plenty of experience running day trips from Tauranga.