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Last updated 29 July 2013
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Tauranga Harbour - view from the mount.
Tauranga is NZ’s 4th or 5th largest city. Depending on who’s doing the marketing. They keep jostling for position with Dunedin. Which just goes to show it’s a region that’s growing and changing and is becoming quite a popular place to move too for the lifestyle (and that’s families as well as retirees).
It gets called the Port City, which is pretty accurate as the harbour is totally dominated by a somewhat ugly port. However away from the port, there are some lovely bays, many with coastal walks.
The CBD area consists of a string of restaurants on the strand (waterfront), with some shopping on the streets behind, to a long stretch of shops on Devonport Rd, spreading back a couple of streets inland. Although this area is technically on the waterfront, a train line runs along with immediate waterfront, so it’s not a feature. ties you’ll find it here, from paragliding to paddle boarding to fishing charters and of course everything to do with surfing.
Tauranga then has several distinct regions, the suburbs of Matua and Otumoetai, then behind them (heading out of Tauranga) Bethlehem and Te Puna, then to the south of the CBD Greerton and into Welcome Bay or heading over the bridge through the port area into the coastal suburbs Mt Maunganui & Papamoa (which is one long continuous beach / bay).
Mt Maunganui is a major drawcard for Tauranga. It has the feel of a resort town, but is within a big city. The shopping strip has loads of cafes, surf shops, clothing stores and art and gift stores. The whole area is lovely and flat, which makes it very walkable or great for cycling to get around. The mount (the large mountain Maou at the end of Mt Maunganui) and the beach beside it are very walkable, and with loads of cafes and often events is a very busy but lovely place to hang out. More detailed info on the Mount here. If you’re outdoor activities you’ll find it here, from paragliding to paddle boarding to fishing charters and of course everything to do with surfing.
The ‘City’ is pretty small, so whilst it’s lovely to walk around have a bit to eat, not much else to do.
The port in the middle of the city, makes what could be a lovely harbour rather ugly and industrial.
Most accommodation is in downtown Tauranga with a little bit more dotted around and along Cameron Road (the main road through Tauranga). The Mount has accommodation stretching all the down the beach. Without a car, it would be advisable to stay in the CBD or close to the Mount township. Transport between Tauranga and Mt Maunganui is quite frequent and easy to use.
You would be done “seeing” Tauranga CBD after a morning, and happily spend a afternoon or a day in Mt Maunganui, climbing or walking around the mount and going to the hot pools. However with access to car, there’s activities in the area for 2-3 daysMany people would happily spend a week as a beach holiday at the Mount or Papamoa.
Last updated 29 July 2013
Official site for tourism for Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and the Bay of Plenty
Official tourism site for the Bay of Plenty
Nothing beats raw local information from people who live it everyday. Here’s our pick of great websites and blogs that focus on Tauranga. Are we missing one? add it here