Destination Spotlight: Tauranga

March 10, 2022  |  Share:

Tauranga, New Zealand

Tauranga is a harbourside city sitting on New Zealand’s North Island and is the neighbouring area to the beach town of Mount Maunganui. Tauranga is the largest city in the coastal Bay of Plenty and is famous for its excellent local fishing and diving spots, alongside hiking and water sports.

Getting there

Tauranga can be visited as part of the itinerary on selected sailings when cruising between New Zealand, Australia and Asia. Many ships dock in the nearby town of Mount Maunganui, just a 15-minute drive away from Tauranga, where they either visit for the day or stay overnight in port.

Tauranga is a favourite stop among several ships, including Seabourn and Oceania cruise lines, alongside family-friendly vessels, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean. Year-round, guests can enjoy Tauranga’s pleasant climate and beautiful hidden gems scattered around the city as they embark on combined New Zealand & Australian voyages.

Should your cruise stop at the nearby island of Motiti Island instead, then a 90-minute direct bus journey or a short 10-minute flight can otherwise get you to Tauranga.


Tauranga’s history dates back to the 1830s when the earliest known settlers were Maoris, who arrived from the Takitimu and the Mataatua waka. Tauranga inherited its name from Maori, which means ‘resting place’ and is now the largest city in the bay and one of the fastest-growing population centres in the country.


Mount Maunganui NZ

Mount Maunganui is just 15-minutes away from Tauranga.


Things to do

Tauranga is a metropolitan hub surrounded by a stunning coastline where you can go snorkelling, fishing or sailing and soak up the island’s coastal environment. There are also plenty of scenic hiking and cycling routes around Tauranga, including the summit and base tracks of Mount Maunganui along with the elevated footbridges of Karangahake Reserve, where you can explore among the cliffs, hills and streams of its ‘window walk.’

Twenty-seven kilometres south of Rotorua, you’ll discover Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, better known as New Zealand’s Taupo Volcanic Zone, where you can see the most colourful and diverse geothermal activity on site.

Furthermore, if you like to participate in water-based activities, you can go white water rafting along the Wairoa River, or why not head out for a relaxed evening ‘Glow Worm Kayak Tour’ departing from Waimarino?


Lolly cake is a famous dish in New Zealand

New Zealand is well known for its famous Loly Cake.



New Zealand’s cuisine is quite diverse, with a combination of meats, fish and artisan-inspired dishes. Renowned for its famous traditional pastry pies and sweet malt puddings, you will be spoilt for choice with a selection of the country’s favourite foods.

The Rising Tide at Mount Maunganui is a popular eatery with tourists, offering a wide variety of beer and dumplings. In the dumpling house, you’ll find 39 in-house beers from their craft brewery and an all-you-can-eat station. Outside, there’s a deck for sitting in the sunshine, with the restaurant overlooking a large green reserve.

Clarence Bistro replaced the old Tauranga post office in one of the city’s oldest buildings. As one of the best restaurants in the area, modern bistro dishes are featured along with top-selling cuisines such as pan-roasted market fish and free-farmed pork belly.

Alternatively, if you’re after a quick bite, stop by Baker Bob’s restaurant and tuck into their delicious traditional mince and cheese pies, or indulge in a New Zealand favourite of Loly Cake, consisting of crushed malt biscuits and colourful marshmallows.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Tauranga is between December and March. The warmest months tend to range between late-January and early-February, ideal for making the most of the country’s beautiful hiking routes and sandy beaches. Meanwhile, although still pleasant, the coldest month to visit Tauranga is July.


Tauranga boasts many natural waterfalls and rock formations

Tauranga boasts many natural waterfalls and rock formations.

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