Things to do in Tauranga
is in the heart of one of the fastest growing regions in New Zealand,
the Western Bay of Plenty.
it is easy to say why as the place has a relaxed feel and is bounded
by some excellent beaches. These coastal strips at Mount
Maunganui and Papamoa
are great for surfing, fishing or just messing about on the white
are around 100,000 people in Tauranga and its main entertainment
area - The Strand - is lined with cafes and restaurants that offer
a range of meals from pub standards, to Turkish and Indian.
don't forget to check out Cafe Versailles
- a fabulous restaurant in nearby Grey St. It is run by Michellin-awarded
chef Maurice Mourali and his partner Maurine and you won't get better
French food anywhere.
restaurants in Tauranga that we enjoyed include: Spuntino (Italian),
Gold Mela (Italian/French), Zeytin (both Mount and Tauranga), Takara
(Japanese), Little India and India Today (surprisingly these are
Indian), Volare (Italian), Milanos (pizza/Italian).
Tauranga is more an outdoors place with plenty of great places to
walk, swim, bike or drive around.
far from The Strand are interesting historical places - the Monmouth
Redoubt, used during the Maori/Land Wars, and the Elms Mission Station
House, one of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. The
grounds of the mission are great to walk around.
most significant landmark at Mount
Maunganui, is Mauao, an
impressive volcanic cone that sits 232 metres above the entrance
to the port of Tauranga.
is a circular walk around the base, but for fantastic views pack
a bottle of water and a snack and head off up to the top of the
Mount. It takes about 40 minutes but the views from there are well
worth the effort.
got some fabulous pictures
of Mauao and the sights you can see from walking its tracks
and to the summit.
can see all the way down the ocean beaches from the Mount to Papamoa
and beyond to the Maketu Peninsula.
you will be the city and port, to the north the island of Matakana
and more coastline heading towards the Coromandel
ahead - nothing but ocean dotted with islands. Even whiney children
will be stunned, albeit momentarily, into silence.
enjoy a bath in hot water pools
at the base of the Mount, or grab a latte at any one of a dozen
cafes lining the beach.
a great place to visit is the
Classic Flyers Aviation Museum
near Tauranga airport.
Tauranga there are a mass of seacruises, fishing charters or nautical
adventures to participate in. Dolphin
Seafaris offers amazing voyages out to watch, or swim with,
If big game fishing is your passion then a trip out to Mayor Island
(35km off Tauranga) will put you right into the middle of prime
fishing waters for marlin, tuna, sharks and kingfish.
can also drive down to Whakatane
and take a day trip out to White
Island, New Zealand's only live marine volcano.
from Papamoa Beach are the Papamoa Hills, where you can take a good
stroll up to the summit and see the area for miles around.
the hinterland from Papamoa are the impressive Kaiate
Falls - just perfect for summer picnics and swimming.
the eastern border of the Bay of Plenty are the Kaimai Ranges (Kaimais)
and on the foothills there is a wonderful spot to relax in relative
is the McLaren Falls
a series of small waterfalls and rock pools that stretch away into
and its port is also a major base of kiwifruit and citrus growing
in New Zealand and there is usually plenty of seasonal work available
for pickers and packers.
is a 2.5 hour drive from Auckland, 45
minutes from Rotorua and about an hour-and-a-half