The most populous harbor-side city of New Zealand in Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is absolutely gorgeous with plenty of thrilling activities and world-famous beaches. The city is a popular holiday destination among locals and visitors of New Zealand.
It hosts magnificent beaches like Maunganui and Papamoa, historic buildings to get inspired, and amazing art galleries and exhibitions to learn about the culture.
Many spots offering supreme relaxing opportunities like Hot Water Lake in Mt. Maunganui base and Fernland spa are also some of the popular venues of Tauranga. Many exciting fun activities bursting with thrill and adventure also awaits the Tauranga visitors.
Top 18 Things to Do in Tauranga, New Zealand
Plenty of unforgettable adventures and fun activities await you in Tauranga and with so many great options it is hard to choose from. So for the convenience of travelers, the following list is made that will sort out a great plan for a trip to Tauranga. So, here are eighteen things to do in Tauranga whenever you go on your next trip!
1. Hike Up Mt Maunganui
Take a 40-minute walk to the top of the most famous landmark of Tauranga “Mt Maunganui” and enjoy the mesmerizing view of the city.
Maunganui derives its name from the word Mauao that means ‘caught by the dawn’ and it truly stands firm with this. The 232-meter high Mt Maunganui is very popular among hikers and offers a 360-degree view of the breathtaking scenic beauty of Tauranga city, beaches, and the Pacific Ocean.
The tracking here is free and that makes it a morning walk route for many locals which is why it is very busy too. The track is a little bit steep at some points thus a good level of fitness is important for hikers and also carrying a good pair of hiking shoes is advised.
2. Take a Trip to McLaren Falls Park
McLaren Falls Park is truly a heavenly place to escape the trouble of life and get drowned in a peaceful and relaxing off day to recharge yourself for the better.
A 20-minute drive from Tauranga will lead to McLaren Falls Park, where you can spend the whole day relaxing and enjoying the most beautiful creation of nature. Much native and exotic flora here has made this a glorious location where lots of visitors come to take their unforgettable walks through the trees.
The McLaren Lake here is clear and reflective, people come here to take a walk around it and enjoy feeding ducks. At the entrance, there is a beautiful fall too that will awe your eyes. At the park, you can enjoy some peaceful time with family and chill in nature’s calming breeze.
3. Check Out the Blowholes on Leisure Island
Leisure Island is a fascinating island with a colorful history that goes back to Maori settlers. The Island is connected to Mt Maunganui and a 5 to 10 minutes walk will lead you to the iconic blowhole.
The Island is easily accessible and offers a lot of stuff to do that too for free. People here come for a quick stroll and to see the spectacular shooting of water skyward from blowhole during high tides.
Leisure Island is also known for rock fishing and people enjoy their leisure time here spotting the scenic beauty.
4. Culture Yourself at the Tauranga Art Gallery
Opened in 2007 Tauranga Art Gallery is also the first public art gallery of Western Bay of Plenty. Many paintings and Artworks by local artists are showcased here that impart the knowledge and artistic value of the local people.
The Art Gallery offers free entry and displays wonderful creations of artists, the exhibition is a very popular activity for kids in Tauranga.
5. Relax at the Saltwater Hot Pools
At the Mt. Maunganui base is Hot Pools that is very popular as a relaxing spot especially during chilly days. The prices here are very reasonable for general entry at around NZ$20. Also, many accommodation providers from time to time offer many deals to tourists that are an added bonus.
The pools are iconic and very popular amongst locals and visitors alike, and a must-visit venue for one seeking a relaxing time.
6. Hit One of the Markets
Tauranga and Mt Maunganui markets are often involved with some events of the city and offer exciting shopping experiences to tourists and locals.
During summertime, hit The Little Big Market of Mt Maunganui in Coronation Park that is open from 9 am to 2 pm. The market is popular for its delightful food, art, crafts, and amazing designs.
Tauranga Primary School present at Fifth Avenue/Cameron Road holds Famous Tauranga Farmers Market crowded with different stalls and shoppers even on Saturdays.
On Seventeenth Avenue West is a Historic Village that holds Tauranga Market on Sundays on the first and third Sundays of every month.
7. Go on a Street Art Crawl
Street Art is pretty impressive in Tauranga, many murals on walls are spray-painted that holds the eyes of many.
These Street Art are a great way of exploring the city center and offers great pictures to photogenic. Around Spring Street many car parks and parking buildings have amazing artworks.
The Grey Street service lane has a huge mural of a construction worker which is pretty artistic and awestricken.
Some other famous artwork can be checked out on 176 Cameron Road, 24 Dive Crescent, and 53 Strand.
8. Go Indoor Rock Climbing
Rocktopia is a great indoor climbing venue for those who want to test out their climbing skill and for beginners. The affordable price here is an added advantage and is a great option for climbers on rainy days.
The walls with easy clip and climb arrays are popular among beginners and those with more skills can go for challenging “rock on” walls.
9. Go Surfing at Mt Maunganui
In Tauranga Surfing at Mt Maunganui is a very popular activity. During a swell up, go to Mt Maunganui Beach for Surfing over waves.
Many surf shops are present around Mt Maunganui and from time to time great surf deals are offered. Some accommodation providers also provide their guests with freeboard hire.
The waves here are almost consistent and offer the best swell in the north northeast direction. The Winter season especially the month of January is the best time to visit for surfing Mt Maunganui.
10. Go on a Foodie Crawl Around Tauranga and Mt Maunganui
No trip is complete without tasting the delightful dishes and at Tauranga and Mt Maunganui no one can resist the good food. The seaside city many specialties are must try that can be enjoyed why strolling around.
For tempting Icecreams Mt Maunganui, Copenhagen Cone and Adams Avenue are very famous in the bay. Kiwi Classic Fish and chips in Tauranga from Bobby’s Fresh Fish Markets are a delight that can’t be resisted.
11. Take a Trip to Papamoa
Papamoa is the largest suburb of Tauranga city and has 16 km of beautiful golden-sand beach. For kiwis it is a popular holiday destination, they come here very often for weekends and relaxing.
The Papamoa is filled with many fun activities, sunbathing or a walk on the beach is a great option. There are many great options to choose from such as cafes, pubs, and bistros. Hiking and mountain biking over the Papamoa hill is very popular among locals and visitors.
12. Wander Around the Te Puna Quarry Park
Te Puna Quarry Park is a spectacular place to just roam around and enjoy the magnificent views of the Bay of Plenty.
The Garden is built by surprisingly transforming a disused quarry, which is maintained by volunteers. The park is filled with beautiful sculptures and a variety of native and exotic plant species.
The walkway here is easygoing and provides a lot of opportunities to click amazing photos. The time spends here with family especially with kids is unforgettable.
13. Unwind in the Fernland Spa Pools
Fernland Spa Pools in Cambridge Road in Tauranga are 100% mineral pools that provide great relaxing opportunities. The price is also affordable, per head rate is approx NZ$13 and one can also book a private pool for around NZ$14 for 30 minutes.
Beautiful trees surround the pool that makes it a more relaxing and calming venue to just sit and chat with family and friends. Many accommodation facilities are also available for long stay and alternatively, great deals are offered to visitors.
14. Hang Out at Memorial Park
Memorial Park offers plenty of relaxing space with beautiful scenery around the park. It is Tauranga’s premier park with are of around 11 hectares and the venue is perfect to hang out with friends.
Here Jordan Field and Memorial Field are two big fields that hold many events. The large free ground is perfect for kicking footballs, or for kids to run freely in the playground, free barbecues and mini-golf are like the cherry on the top here.
15. See the Magnificient Kaiate Falls
A 30-minute drive from Tauranga will lead to Kaiate Falls also known as Te Rarekawau Falls. The multistep waterfall is a must-visit for travelers.
The waterfall was formerly known as “Shag Falls”, the shags were powerful black and white shag birds. The fall used to be surrounded by these birds thus got the name.
The walk through the forest that leads to Kaite Falls is truly amazing and adventurous. The Waterfall is very popular among locals who from time to time volunteer to preserve this gorgeous gift of nature.
16. Walk Around the Historic Village
Tauranga grand historic buildings and cobbled streets will take you back in time. This must-see venue is of special importance for history lovers and explorers. Many shops are still opened and sell beautiful art and gifts to take as souvenirs
The place is great for a family tour and learns about the history of New Zealand.
17. Take a Trip to Te Puke
Te Puke in the bay of plenty is a 20-minute drive from Tauranga and is known as the Kiwifruit Capital of the world and is a must-visit venue. It is a world-famous horticulture hub with near to 1000 avocado orchards and large kiwifruit farms.
Take a tour around the kiwi farm and learn about their farming practices. Apart from farms, there are other things that can be enjoyed. Four amazing beaches are nearby with bush and gorgeous waterfalls.
18. Do Some Free Honey Tasting at Mossop’s Honey
Mossop Honey Store near Greerton is a great place to see live beekeeping displays and to taste real Manuka honey. The place offers a perfect opportunity to purchase great NZ honey souvenirs.
The place is great for learning a little about the honey-making process and get fascinated.
Tauranga is full of surprises and wilderness with fascinating scenery and thrilling outdoorsy activities. It embraces many experiences for all types of travelers ranging from relaxing slumbers to breath-taking hiking experiences.