Tauranga boasts the beautiful sandy beaches of the Bay of Plenty. If you want to make your next holiday break memorable, the city has a wide range of attractions for you to enjoy. Let VroomVroomVroom take the worry out of getting the best campervan deal for your Tauranga road trip.
Tauranga is the perfect family getaway because of its beautiful harbour, spacious parks, and close proximity to the popular beaches of Papamoa and Mount Maunganui. Shopaholics, on the other hand, will love the selections at Bayfair Shopping Centre and Palm Beach Plaza. Get ready to explore the coastal city and its surrounds in your campervan.
Some of our favourite things to do year-round in Tauranga are:
Summer (December, January, February): Tauranga is the place to be for outdoorsy folk. The golden beaches and lush parks are the perfect locations for surfing, kitesurfing, golfing and hiking. Only a 15-minute drive from the city, you'll find one of the most impressive beaches in Mount Maunganui. Another popular beach holiday destination is Papamoa, which is just 25 minutes away from the city centre.
Autumn (March, April, May): McLaren Falls Park is just 20 minutes by campervan from Tauranga. Home to one of the best botanical collections of trees in New Zealand, the park is a favourite spot for camping, picnics, fishing and bushwalking. Showcasing performances from some of the best jazz musicians across New Zealand and around the world, the National Jazz festival held each year is an event you shouldn’t miss.
Winter (June, July, August): The coastal Bay of Plenty has plenty of natural hot pools. You can drive east to Whakatāne and experience the Awakeri Hot Springs or take a day trip to Waihi Beach and explore the Athenree Natural Hot Springs. Events such as the New Zealand International Film Festival and Tauranga Zinefest are guaranteed to keep you busy this winter.
Spring (September, October, November): Time your visit between the last week of October and the first week of November for the annual Tauranga Arts Festival. This event, which features a wide variety of arts experiences such as circus, theatre, music, and dance continues to attract more than 50,000 guests each year. Only a 35-minute drive from the city, a day trip to Te Puke known as “The Kiwifruit Capital of the World” is worth a visit.
Year-Round: There are several attractions that you can explore in Tauranga for free. These include the Tauranga Farmers Market and Tauranga Art Gallery. Other favourite highlights in the city include the Kaiate Falls, Mills Reef Winery and Restaurant, and Memorial Park.
Cosy Corner Holiday Park is your perfect beach holiday escape, which is located at 40 Oceanbeach Road, Mount Maunganui. The park is open to campers from the end of October to Easter. It has easy access to the beach and just minutes away from Central Parade's supermarket, shops, and cafes. Guests are treated with Cosy Corner's excellent facilities including a swimming pool, hot tub, and BBQ area.
Omokoroa Kiwi Holiday Park can be found mid-way between Tauranga and Katikati. Enjoy all the conveniences you would expect at a holiday park with powered and non-powered sites, however, this one boasts three natural mineral thermal pools. The water is sourced directly from the hot water-rock spring located metres below the earth’s surface.
Papamoa Beach TOP 10 Holiday Resort is located on Papamoa Beach. The kids will love the jumping pillow, adventure playgrounds, and mini tennis court. Adults can take advantage of the magnificent sunsets and relaxing mood-lit private spa pool. You won't have to compromise on clean facilities either as this resort goes a step further by rating itself as immaculate.
Welcome Bay Hot Pools and Campground is only a 10-minute drive from Papamoa and 15 minutes to Mount Maunganui should you wish to spend the day at some of the popular beaches the area has to offer. This family-friendly swimming pool complex and camping ground is located on the outskirts of Tauranga. This small yet intimate holiday park is set amongst a rural setting which ensures a relaxing stay.
Waimarino Adventure Park is a unique kayak themed day out if you’re looking for a more sedate day on the river. You can hire kayaks by the hour, bounce on their water trampolines, or shoot the one and only kayak slide. They also offer night time glow-worm kayak tours.
Bay of Plenty region is high in sunshine hours. Walk the 16 kilometres of white-sand beach from Mt. Maunganui to Papamoa. Hike the track to the summit of 'The Mount', then finish with a soak in the hot salt-water pools at the bottom.
The Strand area is the perfect spot for art shops and sophisticated dining. There's also one of New Zealand's most rafted rivers in the region; the Wairoa river has several white-water operators. The river is accessible from the lower Kaimai region, just out of Tauranga.
You need to be at least 21 in order to rent a campervan in Tauranga. Some rental providers allow 18-year-old drivers but you may have to pay a young driver’s surcharge.
No, your valid driver's licence is enough. An International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official translation is required if your licence is not printed in English.
Yes, it’s legal. However, you must be in a self-contained vehicle that clearly displays NZS5465:2001 certification. Take note that you are only allowed to freedom camp in a permitted location. You could be fined by the Council if caught breaching the freedom camping bylaw.
There are 25 reserves available for overnight parking in Tauranga, including Fergusson Park, Mitchell Park, Beach Road Reserve, Carlton Street Reserve, Cambridge Park, Maxwells Road Esplanade, Marine Park 1 & 2, Whareroa Reserve, and Mount Greens car park. Take note that these camping reserves all have restrictions on spaces and days. Visit the Tauranga City Council website to know more.
No. While some roads and car parks are available in Tauranga, you can’t park in front of a private home or business. Some places you cannot park overnight include Marine Parade or The Mall, Mount Maunganui, the Maunganui Road car park or the City Council Administration car park, any road with a speed limit over 50 km/hr or any service lane.