Rich in food and forest, Tauranga was occupied by various Maori tribes for more than seven centuries. James Farrow was the bay’s first permanent trader, coming to Tauranga in 1829, and the Church Missionary Society established a mission at Te Papa in 1835. Tauranga wasn’t recognised as a city until 1882 when the population reached 100,000.
Locals call it "The Mount", and Mount Maunganui is one of Tauranga’s most memorable sights. This big green extinct volcano stands at the western end of Main Beach. Start trekking up it and in just an hour you’ll arrive at the summit, which has an amazing view of the city, the beach, the port and the harbour. Of course, you might just want to chill out on Main Beach (and fair enough too!), swim or surf, or try out one of the nearby cafes.
Check out Waimarino Adventure Park for activities like the Tarzan Swing, the Gladiator Pole and the only kayak slide in New Zealand. If you have a thirst for adventure, take a Waimarino kayak tour. You’ll paddle into the calm waters of Lake McLaren at night and follow your guides to a canyon wall sparkling with glow worms.
If you really, really want to get away from it all, Motiti Island is just a ten-minute flight away. With only about 30 residents, you’ll have plenty of quiet on this island of wide green spaces, rocky beaches with top diving opportunities, and Maori fort sites.
Shop at Tauranga Farmer’s Market, Bayfair Shopping Centre or Downtown Tauranga’s boutiques and department stores. When the time comes to eat, there’s fine food on the shores of Tauranga Harbour, cafes downtown, international cuisine and cosy village-style bars.
Tauranga is two and a half hours away from Auckland, and you can get there by booking one of our flights to Auckland and hiring a car or catching a bus to Tauranga. In the Bay of Plenty, you’ll find plenty to love, so snap up some of our Tauranga accommodation now.
Need insider tips on must-see attractions in Tauranga? Check out our Tauranga travel guide!
Hotels in Tauranga start at AU$84 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.