Are you thinking of having a trip to New Zealand for your next holiday? What cities come to your mind? Whichever cities you are thinking about, make sure that Tauranga is one of them. Set on North Island, the harborside city is most famous for its chill lifestyle along with a massive harbor and remarkable natural landscape. If you want to reconnect with nature and aim at having a relaxing vacation, Tauranga is the ideal destination. From swimming with dolphins and strolling at parks to participating in water activities and enjoying art collection, Tauranga has them all. Here is your guide to the best things to do in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Tauranga is full of splendid things. Prove it by boarding a cruise ship that will bring you for a scenic cruise around Tauranga Harbor. Be ready to meet face to face with Tauranga’s diverse marine life. Say hi to the cute, little blue penguins. Observe the unique behaviors of orcas, dolphins, and fur seals. The cruise ship will also bring you to Matakana Island where you can wander around the sandy beach on your own terms.
1hr Scenic Harbour Cruise Mount Maunganui - Tauranga
Duration: 1 hour
2. Have a stroll and a picnic at Fergusson Park
When you can enjoy both a pleasant stroll and a picnic all in one place, you would not want to skip it, would you? Find your way to Fergusson Park, one of the most beautiful parks that you can find in Tauranga. Apart from its location that is alongside the harbor, the park features walking trails for you to enjoy a pleasant stroll before settling down at a picnic table and recharging your energy over delicious food and drinks. The park also features athletic fields that let you take part in sports like cricket and football if you like.
Address: 90 Tilby Drive, Matua, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
Website: Fergusson Park
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
3. See bronze sculptures of Hairy Maclary and Friends
Have you ever heard of Hairy Maclary and Friends? It is a popular series of picture books for children that is created by a renowned New Zealand author Dame Lynley Dodd. The series is truly dear to the hearts of many children in New Zealand that Tauranga has a special place where you can enjoy life-sized bronze sculptures of the main character Hairy Maclary (a dog) and all of his friends, which happen to also be animals. Take pictures with all of them. After, pause for a while and look around you. The water right in front of you is so beautiful.
Hairy Maclary and Friends Sculpture
Address: The Strand, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Looking for an adventure park in Tauranga? Make a stop at Waimarino Adventure Park, a fun place for the entire family. Do not hold back - it is time to get wet and wild at the amusement park. There are tons of rides and slides to choose from. Would you like to go bouncing on trampolines all day long? The water trampoline will give you an amped up experience. Would you like something more adventurous like climbing the wall or flying through the air like Tarzan? You can do them as well.
Waimarino Adventure Park
Duration: 1 to 7 hours
5. Experience a nature retreat at Gordon Carmichael Reserve
The ultimate nature retreat is what is promised by Gordon Carmichael Reserve. Whether you simply want to soak in a peaceful atmosphere or please your eyes and soothe your mind and soul with the views of lush native plants and wetlands, the nature reserve is the place. It is also known to be home to a wide variety of birds. You can ride a bike or have a leisure walk while at the same time watching the birds.
Gordon Carmichael Reserve
Address: Gordon Carmichael Reserve Walkway, Bethlehem, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
Website: Gordon Carmichael Reserve
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
6. Enjoy some artsy time at Tauranga Art Gallery
Have a change of situation by visiting Tauranga Art Gallery for some enjoyable artsy time. Set in Western Bay, the art gallery boasts a collection of both contemporary and historical artworks of the local artists. The exhibitions change from time to time. But regardless of what the current exhibitions are, they are sure to blow your mind.
Tauranga Art Gallery
Address: 108 Willow Street, Tauranga 3141, New Zealand
Website: Tauranga Art Gallery
Opening hours: 10am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 7 NZD (5 USD)
7. Shop till you drop at The Historic Village
There are many reasons to visit The Historic Village. The first one is, of course, it is a place where you can indulge in a shopping spree for the whole day since it is open as early as 7:30am. But, other than shopping, the vintage shopping complex is also the place where you can have a chic haircut, hit a theater to see your favorite movie, and attend an event, among others. Finally, spare some time to explore the shopping complex with the focus on admiring the views only. If you pay attention, the shopping area is loaded with numerous buildings, both original ones and replicas. You will also love the pretty cobblestone streets.
The Historic Village
Address: 17th Ave West, Tauranga South, Tauranga 3112, New Zealand
Website: The Historic Village
Opening hours: 7:30am - 10pm (daily)
Did you know that you can also skydive in Tauranga? Experience how fun and awesome it is to skydive in the clear blue sky. Do not be afraid to look down to savor the unrivaled views of Bay of Plenty, Mount Taranaki, White Island, and many more from the sky. There will be an experienced instructor with you all the time to control your parachute. There is nothing to worry about.
12,000ft Tandem Skydive
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Another exhilirating experience that is offered by Tauranga is kayaking. To have the best kayak experience, you can never go wrong with the calm water of Lake McLaren. Be gentle when kayaking and be sure to turn your head to any directions because everywhere you look, you will be presented with gorgeous vistas. It can be the views of Mangapapa Canyon, of lush trees, or of the area’s diverse birdlife.
Tauranga: Scenic Lake Mclaren Kayak Tour
Duration: 3 hour
Save the best for last, that is what people say. To complete your vacation in Tauranga, you should not miss this unforgettable activity: swimming with the loveliest marine creature of them all, dolphins. If you wish to swim with the wild dolphins, come to Tauranga between November and May. This five-hour cruise from Tauranga will let you relish the experience. You can swim and snorkel with the dolphins and also learn about them from the guide who’ll accompany you. There’s also food and beverages on board when you need a quick break!
Swim With Wild Dolphins in Tauranga
Duration: 5 hours
Say yes to a wonderful vacation in Tauranga
What do you think of Tauranga? You can now be certain that the city is a place that you have to visit in New Zealand. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your itinerary now and say yes to Tauranga for a wonderful vacation!
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