Tauranga is the largest city in the Bay of Plenty and comes from the Maori translation of 'landing place'. The city includes in its inlet Mount Maunganui, which is a famous surfing paradise. The main attraction of the city is the daily boat trips to the islands of the inlet including; Matakana Island, Motuhoa Island and Rangiwaea Island.
The main promenades, where the jetties for the boats are, contain several sights. The first is an ornate traditionally carved Maori war canoe, which is used for ceremonial purposes. At the northern end of the strand is the Elm Mission House, which is New Zealand's oldest house. For the more adventurous visitor the bungee rocket will test the metal of the most avid adrenaline junkie. Like a bungee jump but reversed, it accelerates visitors to 5g. Located to the north, on the tip of the Tauranga peninsula and the southern edge of Mount Maunganui, the port is divided into three sections. These include Sulphur Point, Mount Maunganui North and south.
The first Maori tribes to inhabit the area were the Takitimu and the Mataatua. After European and Australian settlers visited the area warfare lead to the Tuaranga Campaign, which took place in 1864. This climaxed in the famed battle of Gate Pa. Tauranga is now the fastest growing city in New Zealand. This is mainly due to retirees and sun and surf seekers.
The main attraction of Tauranga is the reliable surf and the beautiful islands in the bay of plenty. However, there are many cultural and historical sites for the visitor to explore.