EXPLORE OUR OCEAN PARADISE
Welcome to Tauranga and Mount Maunganui - home to New Zealand's best beaches (we're not just saying that; it's true!). This part of Te Moananui ā Toi (the Coastal Bay of Plenty) has long been a top holiday destination for Kiwis; the endless beaches, stunning harbour and abundant marine life make it an epic destination for ocean lovers and beachgoers.
Home to New Zealand's best beaches, Tauranga & Mount Maunganui is an amazing place to visit if you're looking for an ocean adventure!
By Car (to Tauranga):
From Auckland: 2 hours and 45 minutes
From Hamilton: 1 hour and 30 minutes
From New Plymouth: 4 hours and 15 minutes
From Napier: 3 hours and 45 minutes
From Wellington: 6 hours and 30 minutes
Visible from anywhere in Mount Maunganui is our beautiful maunga, Mauao. Perched at the entrance to Tauranga Moana, Mauao means "caught by the morning light" - and an adventure to the summit at sunrise is a pretty special way to start the day. Not so keen on an early start? No worries! Walking to the top of Mauao (or around the base track) is memorable at any time of the day and the view from the top is worth the walk.
There is a lot of history and stories to be shared; download the Arataki Cultural Trails app and learn the legends as you walk.
After a long day exploring, there's no better way to relax than with a soak at Mount Hot Pools which are located at the foot of Mauao. These are the only hot ocean water pools in the world. Enjoy the healing properties of bathing in warm salted water - it's good for the soul!
Visit one of New Zealand's most Instagrammed locations.
Oh, the ocean!
You can't visit the Bay of Plenty without experiencing some of our epic ocean activities! Whether you want to get up close to some of our friendly marine wildlife, or you want to pick up a new skill, there'll be something to suit you here.
Here are some top experiences on the water:
- Bay Explorer's half-day Dolphin & Wildlife Cruise
- Dolphin Seafaris' Dolphin Encounter (swim with dolphins)
- 1-hour Scenic Cruise (with optional stop-off at Matakana Island) with Kewpie Cruises
- Learn to paddleboard with Mauao Adventures
- Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour with Waimarino Kayak Tours
At the end of the day, grab some fish and chips and chill out at Pilot Bay to watch the sunset.
Dolphin and wildlife encounters, and glow worm-filled canyons.
Mount Main Beach has consistently been voted as New Zealand's best beach – and it's not hard to see why! This safe swimming beach is great for swimming in all year round (okay, it might get a bit cold in winter, but there are always people surfing and swimming!). It's a super accessible beach, with plenty of parking, public facilities, cafés and restaurants, and some of the best ice cream shops around!
The Mount is a great place to grab a surf lesson; you'll find plenty of instructors dotted along the beach.
Hang out at New Zealand's best beach.
Ways to see Tauranga & the Mount
There are plenty of ways to get out and see the Bay of Plenty. Here are a couple of extra special ideas:
- Book a tour with V8 Trikes; these epic trikes are the ideal way to see a bit more of the area - and loads of fun to boot! There is a range of tours to choose from, or customise your own if there's somewhere special you want to go.
- For an extra special treat - book a scenic flight with Adventure Helicopters; choose from an epic range of packages and flight options, these guys will have you flying above Mauao, up the coast, out to a winery - or wherever you choose!
See the Bay by trike or from the air!
Where to stay
There's plenty of accommodation to choose from during your time at the Mount and Tauranga. Some popular options include: Pacific Coast Lodge & Backpackers, Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park, Mission Belle Motel, The Beaumont Apartments, or Mount Backpackers.
Where to eat
Downtown Tauranga has a wide range of delicious eateries, from high-end waterfront dining at Harbourside, to the best falafel at Falafel Metro. Stroll along The Strand and choose from one of the bars, restaurants or cafés and sit back, relax and watch the world (and a few boats) go past.
Mount Main Street is a busy hub of restaurants, bars and boutique shopping. No matter what you're in the mood for, you'll find something tasty to satisfy your tastebuds. The laidback, surf vibe at Astrolabe is appealing if you're after a casual meal or drink. The casual restaurant is also great for families with its large outdoor area. For something a little more fancy, head to Saltwater, Solera or Alpino. Rice Rice Baby is newish to the Mount; it's always busy and once you've been, you'll see why!
Where to start! Choose from a HUGE range of epic eateries, bars and cafés.