A Royal New Zealand Navy ship cruised into Tauranga Harbour this morning.
The HMNZS Wellington will be docked near Salisbury Wharf until Monday.
Among those on board were former Rotorua resident Hannah Hughes, an able electronics technician.
The 19-year-old former John Paul College student said she always wanted to join the navy.
"It's been a dream for me since I was quite young," she said.
Combat systems specialist Te Naawe Tupe was also on board. He is originally from the Eastern Bay of Plenty and attended Whakatāne High School.
The 24-year-old said joining the navy was a "spontaneous decision" after recruiters visited his school.
He had travelled to 45 countries with the navy but it was the first time he had seen Mauao from the sea.
According to the Navy's website, the HMNZS Wellington was a protector-class offshore patrol vessel of the Royal New Zealand Navy.
It was one of the navy's two offshore patrol vessels which patrol and do missions around New Zealand's coast, the southern ocean and into the Pacific.