A trip to the heart of Tauranga’s city centre is an opportunity to sample a great range of dining, shopping, and cultural experiences, as well as take in the spectacular views out over Tauranga Moana. Here’s some places we think shouldn’t be missed if you’re stopping by this part of the Bay!
Johney’s Dumpling House
The best dumplings in town! Situated within Our Place (an epic container village bringing the local community together with food, social enterprise experiences, shopping, events, and more), Johney’s Dumplings have made a name for themselves in the local street food scene - the handcrafted morsels of goodness are not to be missed! (You can also find Johney’s Dumplings at The Rising Tide in Mount Maunganui).
Clarence Bistro and IKI Bar
This is the new kid on the block. The historic Tauranga Post Office building has been lovingly restored into a 10-room boutique hotel with a fine dining bistro and a cocktail bar. IKI Bar is perfect for a laidback drink with Asian infusion tapas (the Korean Fried Chicken is a MUST). If you’re after a fine dining experience, then be sure to book a table in the Bistro – their twist on Italian cuisine is stunning – this is definitely a place where you could easily wile away a few hours with good food, great wine and exceptional hospitality.
Bobby’s Fresh Fish MarketThis is a Tauranga institution. If you haven’t had fish and chips from Bobby’s, you haven’t lived. Fresh off the boat every day (they’re literally on the water, you can’t get fresher than that!) – the battered fish from Bobby’s is worth the calories. Grab a table on the wharf and take in the vistas of Tauranga Moana. Be prepared to wait – you can’t pre-order, so it can get busy at peak times, but that just means it’s good! Bobby's is located on the waterfront at 1 Dive Crescent, Tauranga.
Tauranga Art Gallery
The Tauranga Art Gallery has been open since 2007 and over that time has had a diverse and exciting range of exhibitions. Exhibitions range from contemporary and historical projects by national and local artists to high-profile international exhibitions – such as Banksy. The gallery is free to visit but donations are greatly appreciated.
Downtown Tauranga Art Lovers’ Walk
When you wander around the Tauranga CBD you might notice huge murals and public art installations; drop into the Art Gallery or the Tauranga i-SITE to pick up a map and follow the walk around town, it’s a great way to see the art!
The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga
The Elms is one of the Bay of Plenty’s oldest heritage sites. The property played a significant part in early contact between Māori and Pākehā and remains at the centre of Tauranga’s history and identity. Located a short walk from the Tauranga CBD, The Elms comprises category one heritage listed buildings and lush gardens – it’s a must-see for visitors and locals alike!
The perfect hangout spot for music lovers, coffee drinkers, start-ups, and everyone in between! Time your visit with a live gig so you can sit back and take in some sweet sounds, shop for records, apparel, kiwiana, and more.
There’s a bunch of cool shops to check out at Our Place – from up-cycled clothing and vintage items, beautiful handmade ceramics, skincare, NZ-made jewellery and popup shops. It’s worth heading down there to check out the vibe – they run loads of events and initiatives to bring the community together.
Tips & Info
There’s a lot of transformative development work happening in our city right now. Downtown Tauranga has placed signs letting passersby know what exciting build is taking place behind the construction. Find out what Tauranga locals are proud of in their CBD.
Enjoy FREE parking on the weekends!
Our Place image credit: Erin Cave