Beautiful beaches, delicious food, stunning outdoor scenery – there’s a reason everyone wants to holiday here! If you’ve got friends and family coming to stay, check out these ideas for the best things to do and see in the Bay.
IDEAS FOR BEACH & OCEAN LOVERS
Bay Explorer: cruise out to a local island then swim, kayak or stand up paddle-board on the beautiful waters of Tauranga Moana. Spot marine life with help from the crew and enjoy a BBQ and drinks from the boat’s on-board bar for the perfect day on the water. Full or half day tours.
Dolphin Seafaris: a close-up dolphin encounter is a bucket-list item you can do right here in the Bay. Learn about local marine life from the on-board Wildlife Guides while you look out for dolphins, whales, turtles, little blue penguins and seals.
East Coast Paddler: learn to stand-up paddleboard right under Mauao with the experts from East Coast Paddler. Look out for the orange gazebo at Pilot Bay from October to April.
Surfing: Everyone should try catching a wave at the Mount once and there are plenty of excellent local surf schools to choose from like Hakinini Surf School, Hibiscus Surf School, Mount Maunganui Surf Academy, NZ Surf Academy and South Pacific Surf.
IDEAS FOR ART & CULTURE EXPLORERS
Arataki Trails App: hear the stories of Mauao. Download the Aratakai Cultural Trails app for a guided tour as you walk around the base track of our sacred maunga.
East Coast Paddler: discover how Māori lived on Mauao centuries ago as local Māori guides share legends and history. Join a guided hikoi (walk) with a hand-crafted gift and fresh local fish and chips at the end of the tour.
The Elms: this historic house is one of the oldest heritage sites in New Zealand. Learn the history as you take a tour through the house, grounds and library. Tours run 7-days a week (excluding Christmas Day).
The Historic Village: Tauranga’s thriving centre for arts, retail, weekend markets and community well-being. Drop by and chat to the artists at The Incubator or visit the Whipped Baker for the most incredible donuts!
The Souk: The Bay of Plenty’s coolest little artisan boutique and apothecary can be found at the bottom of the Kaimai Ranges. Stock up on local gifts and art or learn about traditional Māori medicine and healing.
The Tauranga Art Gallery: there’s always a fascinating exhibit on and from November you can see local artist Mr G’s first solo exhibition: “HOME”. A must-see for visitors and locals.
IDEAS FOR OUTDOOR ADVENTURERS
Katikati Bird Gardens: beautiful and tranquil gardens with birds running freely. Wheelchair friendly.
Skydive Tauranga: there’s a reason people travel to the Bay for this tandem skydive – it’s one of the most beautiful in the North Island. A must for thrill-seekers!
Waimarino glowworm kayak tour: start the tour with wine and cheese next to Lake McLaren, then take an easy kayak adventure to the most densely populated glowworm canyon in New Zealand. Something your overseas visitors won’t forget!
V8 Trikes: enjoy a private tour and spectacular coastal views – all from an exciting V8 Trike! 2-seater and 4-seater bikes available.
EXPERIENCE THE BAY'S BOUNTY
Brewbus: if you or your guests love craft beer, the Brewbus tour will take you straight to the Bay’s most delicious pours including backyard brewers you won’t find on the beaten path.
Experience Comvita: discover the world of the honey bee and immerse yourself in a virtual beehive. Visit the retail store after the tour for a range of UMF® Mānuka Honey gifts.
Kiwifruit Country: take a ride through a working orchard on kiwifruit-shaped carriage. See why we make the world’s best kiwifruit – and taste the deliciousness at the shop after the tour.
ASK A LOCAL EXPERT AT THE TAURANGA i-SITE
Book activities, theatre tickets and domestic travel. Pick up gift vouchers to give the gift of an experience for Christmas or drop in for more ideas on what to do and see!
Corner of Willow and Wharf Streets, Tauranga. Open 9-5, seven days.