50 Best Things to Do in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Welcome to my best things to do in Tauranga guide for exploring the stunning coastal city of Tauranga in New Zealand.

Tauranga, situated in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, is a treasure trove of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures. Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a place to relax and unwind, Tauranga has something special to offer. In this comprehensive list, I've curated 50 of the best things to do in Tauranga, ensuring that your visit to this Kiwi paradise is nothing short of unforgettable.

Mount Maunganui Beach with people enjoying the surf, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
Mount Maunganui Beach, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty

From hiking majestic mountains to savouring world-class cuisine, Tauranga invites you to embark on a journey filled with discovery, excitement, and serenity. Let's dive into this remarkable destination and explore all the gems it has to offer.

Outdoor Adventures Things to do in Tauranga

  • Climb Mount Maunganui: Hike up this iconic volcanic cone for breathtaking panoramic views of the Bay of Plenty. There are different walks and hiking paths for various fitness levels around and up to the top of Mt Maunganui.
Mount Maunganui Walking Track, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
Mount Maunganui Hiking Track
  • Relax on Mount Maunganui Beach: Enjoy golden sands and crystal-clear waters for a day of sun and surf. A superb long beach that is loved by all who visit.
  • Enjoy The Mount Hot Pools: Unwind, relax, and heal in the heated salt water hot pools at Mount Maunganui. https://www.mounthotpools.co.nz/
  • Explore Pilot Bay: A serene harbour spot perfect for picnics, swimming, and water-sports.
  • Visit Omanawa Falls: Discover a picturesque waterfall nestled in a lush forest setting.
  • Take a dip in McLaren Falls Park: Swim in the park's serene waters or hike its scenic trails.
  • Go hiking in Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park: Explore lush forests and pristine wilderness on a hike or more leisurely walk.
  • Visit the beautiful Kaiate Falls: Take a short walk to witness cascading waterfalls in a lush native bush environment.
  • Explore the Matua Salt Marsh Walkway: Enjoy a peaceful stroll through a natural wetland habitat.
  • Experience White Island (Whakaari): Discover New Zealand's most active volcano through Whakaari/White Island Experience, viewpoints from a distance, or a scenic flight. (Due to the eruption on 9 December 2019, there are no longer any tours that land on White Island). https://www.whakatane.com/see-and-do/whakaari-white-island
  • Enjoy a day at the beach in Papamoa: Relax on the long stretch of sandy shores and soak up the sun, swim, or play beach games.
  • Take a scenic flight over Tauranga: Soak up views of the city from the sky and admire its coastal beauty.
  • Take a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway: Enjoy stunning coastal vistas on this picturesque drive and choose a few stop of points to relax.
  • Explore the Te Puna Quarry Park: Wander through beautifully landscaped gardens and art installations. Te Puna Quarry Park is suitable for all, has an amazing array of plants, has walks for varied fitness levels, a stunning view, and sometimes events are held there too.
  • Take a yoga or wellness class on the beach: Find inner peace while embracing the tranquil surroundings.
  • Explore the Minden Scenic Reserve: Enjoy bush walks and scenic views of the city.
  • Visit the Tauranga Marina: Stroll along the marina and watch the boats.
  • Explore the Sulphur Point Reserve: Discover an urban wetland with walking and cycling paths.
  • Visit the Bowentown Heads and Anzac Bay: Explore a historic area with stunning coastal views.
  • Take a sunset cruise in Tauranga Harbour: Watch the sun dip below the horizon while aboard a cruise.
  • Enjoy the stunning sunsets over the Bay of Plenty: Savour relaxing tranquil moments with breathtaking views.

Map of Tauranga

Birds, Animals, and Marine Wildlife

More about native birds and wildlife

  • Go on a dolphin or whale watching tour: Witness marine life in its natural habitat. Wwimming with dolphins is also an option in Tauranga.
  • Explore Matakana Island: A short ferry ride away, offers biodiversity in native species of wildlife, birds and plants, along with beaches, forest, and scenic landscapes. https://www.bayofplentynz.com/places/visit-our-islands/discover-matakana-island/
  • Go birdwatching at McLaren Falls Park: Spot diverse native bird species in a serene natural setting.
  • Visit the Tauranga Butterfly House: Marvel at exotic butterflies in a tropical enclosure.
  • Go Kayaking with Glow-worms: A few miles from Tauranga you can kayak with glow-worms and along waterways at Waimarino Kayak Tours.

Sport Activity Things to do in Tauranga

  • Go paddleboarding in Tauranga Harbour
  • Go surfing at Papamoa Beach: Catch some waves at one of the region's renowned surf spots.
  • Go sailing in the Bay of Plenty: Set sail on the pristine waters of the bay.
  • Go fishing in Tauranga Harbour: Try your luck at catching local seafood.
  • Go mountain biking in the forest trails: Navigate thrilling trails through native forests.
  • Go snorkelling or scuba diving in the marine reserves: Explore vibrant underwater ecosystems.
  • Go kayaking in the Bay of Plenty: Paddle through the bay's tranquil waters.
  • Go horseback riding in the countryside: Discover picturesque trails on horseback.
  • Try Sky Diving over Tauranga: What could be more exhilarating than a sky dive experience over the city and Mount Maunganui!
  • Play golf at one of the city's golf courses: Tee off at scenic golf courses with breathtaking views.

Tauranga Cultural and Historical Experiences

  • Visit the Elms Mission House: Step back in time at this historic colonial house and gardens.
  • Explore the Tauranga Art Gallery: Immerse yourself in contemporary and traditional art exhibitions.
  • Attend the Tauranga Arts Festival: Enjoy a cultural extravaganza featuring performing arts and literature. https://www.taurangafestival.co.nz/
  • Discover Maori culture at Wharepai Domain: Engage in traditional Maori experiences and performances.
  • Visit the Classic Flyers Aviation Museum: Discover the history of aviation in New Zealand.
  • Explore the Tauranga Historic Village: Step into the past with heritage buildings and artisan shops.
Tauranga Historic Village Cafe, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
Tauranga Historic Village Cafe
  • Take a cultural tour to learn about Maori heritage: Deepen your understanding of New Zealand's indigenous culture through things to do in Tauranga.
  • Visit the Kiwi360: Learn about kiwifruit production and enjoy tastings.
  • Go on a wine tour in nearby vineyards: Savour award-winning wines in scenic vineyard settings.
  • Explore the nearby city of Rotorua: Experience geothermal wonders, including geysers and hot springs.

Markets in Tauranga

  • Attend local farmers' markets: Sample fresh produce, artisan cheeses, and local treats.
  • Visit the Tauranga Farmers Market: Shop for locally sourced and organic goods.
  • Attend the Little Big Markets: Enjoy a mix of artisan products, food, and live entertainment
  • Explore the Tauranga Art Craft Market: Shop for handmade crafts and gifts.

Map of Tauranga

Sporting Events in Tauranga Things to Do

  • Baypark Speedway: Check out the schedule of events at Baypark Speedway for Sprintcars, Saloons, Stockcars, Mini-Stocks, and Midgets to name just a few. Family friendly events. https://bayparkspeedway.co.nz/
  • Attend a rugby match if there's a game on: Experience the passion for this beloved sport.
  • Visit the Tauranga Racecourse: Enjoy horse racing events and entertainment.


With these activities, Tauranga offers a wide range of experiences for travellers of all interests.

Whether you're interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply unwinding on the beautiful beaches, Tauranga has something for everyone to enjoy.