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What to do in Tauranga
Tauranga is a beautiful sea-side city in the Bay of Plenty, a two and a half hour drive from Auckland. A vital part of the city's economy is based at the Port of Tauranga, but horticulture is also important to the region. The nearby town of Te Puke is a centre for kiwifruit growing. Tauranga is linked by a bridge to the coastal resort suburb of Mount Maunganui, and this glorious stretch of surf and sand reaches for 16 kilometres to include Papamoa Beach. The beaches are dominated by the striking landmark of the mountain.
A brilliant way to get your bearings in this part of the world, is to follow the paths and stairways to the top of Mt Maunganui for incredible views of the city. If you time it right over summer, you may see a cruise ship berthed at the port. When you've had enough of the beach, try the warm salt water pools at the mountain's base.
On the Tauranga side of the harbour, the Strand is a lively water-side street with plenty of pubs and dining options. As you drive into the city, there are a couple of interesting stops. The Te Puna Quarry Park, is an oasis created by volunteers from a disused quarry. There are walking tracks, sculptures, places to picnic, and a butterfly house. Just a little further on, you'll find Waimarino, a kayak themed fun park.
For a slice of Kiwiana, visit the world capital of Kiwifruit, the town of Te Puke, about 20 minutes from Tauranga. You can tour their lush Kiwifruit orchard in a KiwiKart, and take pictures of the giant kiwifruit.
Tauranga boasts some of the best beaches in New Zealand. So book a car rental in Tauranga and enjoy all the atmosphere this coastal town has to offer. Being a popular tourist town, you will find all you need here, including shopping malls, movies, bowling, cafes, restaurants and several different accommodation options, check out our compiled list of favourites below...
Things to Do | Places to Stay | Places to Eat
THINGS TO DO
There are numerous charter companies offering you the once in a life time opportunity to see dolphins up close and personal. It is a breathtaking experience that the whole family will appreciate when you travel to the city in a New Zealand rental car.
Season starts in November.
Glow Worm Kayak Tour
Waimarino Education Trust brings you a once in a life time experience as you kayak your way around the pristine Lake McLaren at sunset to see the enchanting glow worms of the caves. The 3-3 1/2 hr tour includes the equipment, friendly educated guide narrating the history and geography of the area and refreshments from the award winning Mills Reef winery.
BloKart Recreation Park
Address: 176 Parton Rd, Papamoa
Get your car rental and head 17mins South east of Tauranga City Central to bask in the new sport taking the world by storm- BloKart Sailing. A land kart machine powered by the wind that are easy to drive and tons of fun! and if that doesn't sound like your thing, try the new electric drift karts, a 3-wheeled machine with special rear wheels to ensure lots of sideways fun.
The Mount (Mt Mauganui)
10 minutes north of the city centre, you'll discover one of New Zealand's most popular beaches, watched over by the brooding dormant volcanoe. Take a stroll down the beachside boardwalk, or climb the mountain path for amazing views, you'll find yourself with lots of things to do and choose from. Need a rest? head to the Hot Salt Water Pools at the foot of the mountain to soak and relax.
PLACES TO STAY
Trinity Wharf Tauranga
This 4.5 Star Hotel Accommodation is sited on and over the harbour creating a sense of floating on water. Providing the most incredible views from your crisp, modern edgy rooms, an infinity swimming pool, fast free Wi-Fi, 24hr reception service, room service and even baby sitting services; you'll feel like a celebrity.
Harbourside City Backpackers
Ranked #3 of the 38 special Lodging accommodations in the city. This hostel offers a stay in the perfect location, stunning harbour veiws, all at an affordable price. All your travel needs will be met with superb friendly customer service and clean facilities.
PLACES TO EAT
Talk of India
Ranked #1 of the 221 restaurants in the city and headed by 5 star specialist chefs from India, must surely give you some indication of the quality of service and food offered at this restaurant. Classical Indian dishes using the highest quality of ingredients is sure to satisfy those taste buds so get in your rental car and find out for yourself what all the fuss is about.
The Med (Mediterraneo Cafe)
Runner up of Bay of Plenty (Region)
Best Cafe Awards and ranked #2 of the 221 restaurants in the city. This quirky cafe offers the best coffee in town, with a quality breakfast and lunch menu that leave your taste buds and stomach satisfied.
Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m.
Have you traveled to Tauranga? Share your experience and favourite hot spots below.
Must see annual events and festivals to see and experience in Tauranga & Mt Maunganui
Colour Dash Tauranga
A 5km run, walk or crawl where the participants get splashed with different colours of dust along the way. To participate you must register with 50% of your registration fee donated to the Ronald McDonald Charity. You'll receive a free T-shirt, bag of colour and the colourful experience in return. Even if you're not participating, it's a great event to watch and support. Take your rental car and head to the Tauranga Race Course on Cameron Rd to join in on the fun.
Tauranga Arts Festival: 22 October to 1 November
This is Tauranga's flagship arts event, featuring visual arts, writers, dance, theatre and music.
McLaren Valley Festival: 10 - 12 January 2016
There's lots of excitement generating for this inaugural music festival in the idyllic McLaren Falls Park, on the outskirts of Tauranga. The festival is a diverse mix of music, from folk, blues, electronica and alternative over a family-friendly 3 days. Camping is encouraged to get the full atmosphere of the festival.