1. Wander Mauao's famous base track
We guessed it! The coastal base track of Mauao is your number one must-do activity in the Bay of Plenty. A relatively easy walk, the base track is approximately 3.5 km in length. It's not uncommon to see playful seals in the shallows, and if your really lucky - you might even spot a pod of orca enjoying the Tauranga Moana!
2. Explore McLaren Falls Park
One of our favourite local gems. McLaren Falls is a popular spot for bush walks, picnics, fishing and kayaking. Enjoy a short, easy stroll to the picturesque waterfall and spot the glow worms on either side of the track after dark. Grab a hot chocolate at the Falls Cafe to sweeten the adventure!
3. Tauranga Art Gallery and City Art Walk
Admission to the Tauranga Art Gallery is free and for those with an artistic flair, well worth a visit! Most recent exhibitions include the largest Banksy collection in Australasia - a show that proved highly popular with the locals. There's plenty of street art to be admired around the city thanks to Paradox: Tauranga Street Art Festival. Why not spend an afternoon seeking out new murals in our city hub?
4. Enjoy the view from the Papamoa Hills Regional Park
The Papamoa Hills Regional Park is a hiker’s paradise. Explore the Park’s cultural heritage and walk around former pā sites, or challenge yourself to reach the 224m-high summit and enjoy breathtaking views.
5. Waihi Beach and Orokawa Bay
To experience pure paradise, follow the well-marked track over the headland at Waihi Beach to Orokawa Bay. Soak up spectacular ocean views along the 45 minute walkway and enjoy a picnic on the sand under pohutukawa trees when you arrive. Orokawa Bay is also a fantastic place to swim, surf and fish, making it an ideal day-trip for all ages.
6. Discover the Te Puna Quarry Park
There is something for everyone at Te Puna Quarry Park, to enjoy: picnic lawns, panoramic views, sculptures, bush walks, butterfly house, specialised gardens, and more.
7. The untouched Whirinaki Forest
Towering trees, rushing rivers, diverse habitats and a fascinating past combine to create the Whirinaki Forest Park. It’s one of the New Zealand’s most remarkable and significant forests and a must-see biodiversity hotspot for nature lovers!
8. Check out the local artisan markets
Keep an eye on bayofplentynz.com/events for information about local markets. There's plenty to choose from through the winter months. Little Big Markets are a must, featuring local arts, crafts and delicious food.
9. A walk to see the blowhole on Moturiki (Leisure) Island
You won’t find an island more accessible than Moturiki. It’ll take you between five and 10 minutes to reach the blowhole from Mount Maunganui’s main beach. Follow the well-marked track up the gentle slopes and scramble over the rocks at the top for the best vantage point. Just make sure you choose a spot where you’ll be safe from rouge waves and high seas!
10. Spend an afternoon on the Tauranga Waterfront
Our waterfront has never looked better! Grab a coffee from one of the amazing cafes, find the secret message on the tidal steps and visit Hairy Maclary and Friends. When the water's warmer, have a go at traditional Kiwi 'bombs' from the purpose built platform on the wharf.