Tauranga is a must-visit if you’re traveling around New Zealand!
With stunning scenery and variety of activities to get involved with, it is guaranteed to offer you a memorable experience! The city is an hour from Rotorua and just over 2 and a half hours from Auckland so easily reachable.
Check out 10 of the top activities you must add to your bucket list when visiting below!
1) Mount Main Beach
Voted as the top NZ beach in the TripAdvisor 2017 Travellers’ Choice Awards, a visit to Tauranga is not complete without a visit to the Mount Main Beach.
The white sandy beach coastline stretches beyond what the eye can see and begins at Mount Maunganui – a breathtaking site by itself.
The large swells of the beach also make it a surfer’s paradise and make sure you look out for the parasailers – they often jump off the top off the mount and circle in the air above the beach! Even in the peak of winter, this area is highly popular and not short of excitement.
Cafes and restaurants stretch along the waterfront as well so this is the perfect location to take in the stunning scenery and a relax with a drink or meal.
2) Mount Maunganui
Whether you want a quiet stroll or are keen to venture to the very top of a mountain, Mount Maunganui is full of walking tracks.
The typical walk around or to the summit will take around 45mins to an hour but you’ll want to plan for more time – you’ll be stopping to take pictures a lot! The panoramic views of the city and sea are absolutely breathtaking.
From the top you’ll get a great appreciation of the Tauranga region from the CBD, beach, harbour and even out to the Kaimai Ranges and surrounding islands.
This is a view certainly reserved for the most iconic postcards!
3) Pilot Bay
Pilot Bay is the tranquil counterpart to the raging surf of the Mount Main beach.
This is one of many spots in the region that looks like it came straight from a postcard. With boats and yachts moored in the calm harbour and the Mount perfectly placed at the end of the beach, you’ll be guaranteed a peaceful sight.
Whether you choose to walk along the beach, relax on the grass or sit on the sand with fish and chips, there’s plenty to do to soak in the atmosphere.
4) The Strand
Conveniently located on the Tauranga central waterfront, the Strand boasts a wide selection of restaurants and bars.
From Indian to Italian to good ol’ pub food, you’ll easily find something to tickle your tastebuds. Bars on the street often have live music entertainment and screen live sports events so it’s no wonder that the Strand is a popular place to relax and unwind.
5) Fishing Charter
Tauranga is the perfect location for deep sea fishing.
There are several fishing charters who can provide all the equipment and expertise you need. From half-day to full-day trips, you really do have the freedom to find one that suits your schedule.
6) Scenic Flight
Experience the Bay of Plenty from the air with a scenic flight!
From helicopter rides to airplane flights and floatplanes, Tauranga gives you the ultimate range of choices to explore the region from above.
You’ll see the vast expanse of landscapes, the coastline, mountain ranges and of course Mount Maunganui.
Some experiences also offer a chance to visit White Island, a nearby active offshore volcano.
7) Dolphin Safari
Tauranga’s crystal clear waters make for a perfect habitat for Dolphins to thrive.
A dolphin safari will give you the perfect chance to get closer and swim with these creatures and also experience the beauty of the region’s waters. You may also see Orcas and Whales depending on the season!
Onboard the luxury 50ft power Cat ‘ Guardian’, you’ll be grouped with a crew of Marine Biologists and Dive masters, who will provide you with expert knowledge.
All the gear you need is supplied as well as a complimentary continental breakfast. This is sure to be a memorable day out.
8) Mc’Claren Falls Park
Mc’Claren Falls Park offers something all year round. With a range of bush walks, waterfalls and a lake it is a picturesque attraction. The animal farm is the perfect place for families, complete with a cafe and picnic spots.
If you’re looking to stay for an extended period, there are excellent camping facilities on site, complete with showers and toilets.
Staying overnight will also give you an opportunity to experience the glow worms. The bush walks are a magical experience at night as the glow worms light up the sides of the paths. This is a completely memorable experience and definitely worth a visit – just make sure to take a torch!
9) Harbour Cruise
A Kewpie harbour cruise is a perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of the Tauranga Harbour and surrounding scenery. The cruise will take you through the busy port and around the nearby islands.
You’ll stop off at Matakana Island, which is a great chance to make a day of this activity. Hop off to explore, relax with a picnic or even have a swim.
The waters are home to wide range of wildlife so it’s not uncommon to see blue penguins, fur seals, orcas and dolphins!
Take the whole family and enjoy this value scenic experience as kids under 12 travel free.
10) Mount Hot Pools
Located at the base of Mount Maunganui, this activity is both relaxing and breathtaking.
The salt water will offer you a chance to rejuvenate and is perfect for unwinding at the end of the day.
There are a variety of pools, from spas to a larger lap pool and even a children’s area. The pools are completely family-friendly and very popular for visitors and locals alike.
Year round, Tauranga offers a variety of activities to get involved with. Make sure to include the city in a self-drive tour of the country!