Looking for things to do in Tauranga? This is your guide. Tauranga is the biggest city in the Bay of Plenty. It is among the fastest growing population centers in the nation. It is also about a 15-minute drive from one of New Zealand’s most famous beach towns, Mount Maunganui. The bright city of Tauranga will entice you with marine adventures. Go fishing, sailing or dolphin watching and absorb the spectacular coastal environment.
The downtown Tauranga has numerous historically significant places to view. The Strand waterfront region is the most happening part of Tauranga. It is home to a number of restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and pubs as well as a variety of accommodation options.
Tauranga’s harbor is in evidence almost wherever you go, featuring the urban area with a gorgeous waterfront setting. Day tours are easy to arrange. There are also several local beauty spots like McLaren Falls or the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. With such wide variety of things to do in Tauranga, you will never feel the lack of fun Things to do in Tauranga.
So, here are some of the top things to do in Tauranga.
Top Things to do in Tauranga
1.) Catch Some Waves At Mount Maunganui
Tauranga is well recognized in New Zealand as a surfer’s paradise. The wider area like Mount Maunganui is usually seen as the Kiwi answer to Australia’s Gold Coast. Huge swells are very common at the Mount Maunganui beach. So, you don’t have to wait long to catch a wave. If you want to try your hand at surfing, then there are a number of surf schools in the region operating on a regular basis.
2.) The Elms Historic Mission House And Gardens
The oldest European heritage site in the Bay of Plenty, The Elms Historic Mission House and Gardens is the place from where Maori learned about Christianity. They were educated in reading and writing from European settlers. The mission house and its gardens have been converted into a museum and visitor attraction. The mission house and chapel are recognized by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as a place of historic interest. It is located about a 10-minute walk from the center of Tauranga. It is a must-see attraction to know about the New Zealand history.
3.) Walk to the Top of the Mount and Take in the View
If you wish to experience one of the most spectacular views in all of New Zealand then Mount Maunganui summit is what you need to visit. With a bit of walking exercise, this place worth the huffing and puffing. This walk is known to be testing, and might take you around 1 hour or more to complete. It depends on how strong stamina you have. But, once you are on the top of the Mount you will be amazed at the views of the inner harbor and port, Matakana Island. The best thing here is that the fantastic experience which will cost you nothing. This is one of the free things to do in Tauranga.
4.) Racing at the Blokart Recreation Park
If you are one of those adrenaline junkies and speed demons, then Blokart Recreation Park is your place. Also known as Blokart Heaven, it’s among the best things to do in Tauranga. Here you can race around a custom-built track in a wind-powered kart at breakneck speeds. The Blokart Recreation Park also offers drift kart racing for the, even more, adventurous visitors. You can find out booking information and more about the Blokart Recreation Park in their official website.
5.) Maunganui Beach
Maunganui Beach is a shorter version of the world renowned surfers paradise in Australia. Maunganui Beach is a beautiful, vast sandy beach with plenty of accommodation facilities. The main beach street is loaded with Restaurants, cafes and shops. The beach has a beautiful backdrop of a huge volcano which adds to the majestic view of the place. If you haven’t seen it while you are here, surely your visit to Tauranga can’t be complete. Visiting this beach is one of the top things to do in Tauranga.
6.) McLaren Falls Park
The McLaren Falls Park is famous for fishing, camping, picnics, kayaking, wedding photos, bush walks and summertime concerts. The McLaren Falls Park is also home to one of the finest botanical assortment of trees in the Northern Island. The Waterfall Track where you can watch glow worms after dusk is among the highlights of the park.
Here, you can enjoy a small, easy stroll to the pictorial waterfall and the glow worms on either side of the track adds feathers to the scene. The Marshalls Animal Park is near the park only. It has exotic animals, a nice place to visit, especially with kids.
7.) Pilot Bay
Pilot Bay is a secluded bay situated on the inner harbor. Pilot Bay is a major swim and picnic spot. The bay has impressive wide grassed areas which allow you to avoid sand in your sammies. Pilot Bay is a favorite of families with kids. It is an ideal alternative to the Main Beach. You can rent a kayak or catamaran during the season. Pilot Bay has modern public toilets with outside showers. The bay also has a boat ramp and ample parking space.
8.) Mauao (The Mount) Beaches
At one end of Pilot Bay, you can see the soaring 232-meter peak of Mauao. Mauao is a nice place with its widely popular base track. Too lesser known but fine beaches can be found on the side of this track. Strolling around the harbor part of Mauao, you can see white sandy beach which is an ideal spot to view Tangaroa. Tangaroa is a bronze statue, which marks the harbor entrance. A few minutes further, you can see an another small but wonderful beach which faces out towards the Matakana Island. It is located on the other side of the harbor entrance. Swimming can be done at both beaches, but beware of fast outgoing tides.
9.) Baypark Stadium
The Baypark Stadium is the home of local speedway and first division rugby. This stadium is a top multi-purpose venue for hosting big events, including the major rock concerts. The stadium is well known for hosting top rock acts like the Beach Boys, CCR and Chicago along with major rugby matches. The stadium has a capacity of over 18,000 with a wide parking space.
This stadium is also a home to racing. It has a 470-meter speedway track which is among the best in the country. It has a seating capacity of around 17,500 with 3,500 car parks. Here, you can watch sprint cars, stock cars, saloons and mini-stocks and more.
10.) Tauranga Kayaking and Rafting
Rafting, sledding, and kayaking are famous around the Western Bay of Plenty district. Wairoa River close to Tauranga is among the best-known whitewater playgrounds in the nation. The Wairoa adventure experience is not for the faint-hearted. It offers a ride through grade 3 to breathtaking grade 5 rapids. The River is controlled by a hydro-scheme and is only available 26 days of the year for rafting. So, prior bookings are suggested. Another attraction, the Kaituna River is also perfect for rafters.