Tauranga is nestled between Waipu Bay and Tauranga Harbor about halfway along the Bay of Plenty. It’s home to some of the country’s best waterways and beaches, and is surrounded by gorgeous countryside. The local food and wine is excellent, the air is clean, and the atmosphere relaxed.
Throw on your swimwear and go for a dip. Whether you prefer calmer waters or the open surf, you’ll find somewhere to suit your taste. Pilot Bay has a sheltered beach that is great for sunbathing and picnics. Head to Waihi Beach for medium breakers, which is ideal for kids and novice surfers. Check out Mount Maunganui Main Beach for the city’s biggest and most popular waves. It has some of the best waves in the region and a beachfront dotted with cafés and restaurants.
Divers will find some of New Zealand’s best spots around Tauranga. First-timers can organize training sessions and supervised dives. Anyone looking to try their hand at surfing can take lessons with local instructors. Fishing enthusiasts can jump aboard a chartered boat and drop a line. For a truly unusual experience, head over to White Island across the bay; here, you can experience exploring the inner crater of an active volcano.
For a break from the ocean, make your way inland and go exploring. Check out the Te Puna Quarry Park or go further afield to Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. Adventurers can go mountain bike riding around Oropi Grove or the Redwoods. If that’s not extreme enough, make your way to the Wairoa River for some of the best white water rafting in the country, or have a go at kayak sliding.
When it’s time to eat, wander around town and take your pick of the restaurants and cafés. Hang around to see some historic buildings and visit the city’s museums and galleries. History buffs will love the Tauranga Military Collection and Classic Flyers NZ. Art fans will enjoy the Tauranga Art Gallery and the Cargo Shed.
Tauranga is one of New Zealand’s premier seaside destinations. Some great beaches, activities for all ages and a chilled-out atmosphere make many visitors wish they could call it home.