Destination view


Nestled on one of the country's largest natural harbors, Tauranga shines as the vibrant heart of the Bay of Plenty region. Just a quick 10-minute drive down the highway lands you on the iconic shores of Mount Maunganui beach. With its prime location in a region buzzing with marine activity, don't miss out on the thrilling fishing, sailing, and dolphin tours. For those craving inland adventures, Tauranga's lush rainforests beckon, boasting hidden gems like McLaren Falls and the beloved local's favourite Kaiate Falls, complete with its refreshing swimming hole. Scale the heights of Papamoa Hills Cultural Regional Park for breathtaking views stretching from the coast all the way to Mount Maunganui. Looking to explore the city on foot? Take a leisurely 9km stroll along the Waikareao Estuary loop, winding through marine reserves and scenic boardwalks. And of course, no trip to Tauranga is complete without a jaunt to the sun-kissed strand. In summer, it's buzzing with energy – perfect for a pit stop at Bobby's Fresh Fish Market to savor some of the day's catch in delicious fish and chips. For a dose of culture and creativity, wander over to the Historic Village, where a treasure trove of art awaits, from tattoo studios and record stores to artist galleries and traditional Māori showcases. And when hunger strikes, Tauranga's culinary scene delivers. Start your day right with breakfast delights at cozy spots like You & Me or Elizabeth Cafe & Larder, and come evening, indulge in the flavors of Italy at the ever-popular Sugo. Tauranga invites you to savor every moment of its coastal charm, cultural richness, and culinary delights – an adventure waiting to be savored at every turn.

Waimarino Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour

Waimarino Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour

Relax on the edge of tranquil Lake McLaren, enjoy locally produced refreshments while watching the ducks and swans go about their evenings preparations. At dusk your guide will lead you onto the lake to watch the sun set over the rolling hills. Gently paddle on your kayak into the night and discover the magic of the enchanting glow worm canyon.
This is a truly unique experience; while you can see glow worms elsewhere in New Zealand, and you can paddle a sea kayak in many places around the world, this is the only place when the two combine for a magical and truly unique experience. Enjoy wine from the award winning Mills Reef winery, delicate New Zealand cheeses and refreshments on the edge of Lake McLaren. The glow worms are situated in a narrow, high-sided canyon at the top of the lake, not in a cave, so this tour only departs once a day before sunset. By the time you get to the glow worm canyon it’s completely dark, as required to see the glow worms to the best effect.

It is important you read and understand the risks associated with this activity. For more information please click here.

Big Kanu Glowworm tour with Waimarino

Big Kanu Glowworm tour with Waimarino

Take a trip to one of Tauranga's hidden gems, taking place at Lake McLaren, a short 25-minute drive from the CBD. Launch the big Kanu from the shore as the sun is setting and the night sky is approaching, and paddle with your crew along the calm waters heading for the top of the lake. As you are paddling along appreciate the amazing abundance of birdlife, scenery, and glowworms before reaching the canyon. As you paddle into the high-sided canyon, your guide will teach you about the glowworm's home and fun facts about these interesting worms. Admire the worms and their full luminescent glow as they light up the night, before heading back to the land and being led back to the shore by the light of the moon and stars.

It is important you read and understand the risks associated with this activity. For more information please click here.

Walking tracks in and around Tauranga and Mount Maunganui

Walking tracks in and around Tauranga and Mount Maunganui

Tauranga city and Mount Maunganui cover a large area and is well set up for walkers. Explore the many parks and reserves that are easily accessible throughout the city, many of these tracks and trails are connected which makes it easy to take in the sights of Tauranga. Choose from coastal walks with sweeping views of the harbour and nearby islands, or take a trip inland to check out our waterfalls, scenic lakes and parks.

Mauao (Mount Maunganui) Summit Walk
This walk takes about 40-minutes and requires a good level of fitness. Choose from two scenic tracks to reach the 232-metre high summit. The view at the top is worth the effort.
You can see Mount Maunganui’s iconic mountain, Mauao, for miles around – and when you’re standing at its summit, the view is even more impressive.

Mauao (Mount Maunganui) Base Track
Mauao is an iconic landmark and traversing its 3.4-kilometres base track is New Zealand’s single most popular walk. Allow 45-minutes and plenty of time to enjoy the crashing ocean waves and views across to Tauranga and Matakana Island.
The famous “base track” around Mauao in Mount Maunganui is one of New Zealand’s most popular scenic walks.
The 3.4-kilometres route will take you full circle around this extinct volcano and can be walked in either direction – from the white sand beach beside the ocean right around to the sheltered waters of Pilot Bay and vice versa.

Moturiki (Leisure Island)
This small island sits just off Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach. In the past, it’s been a Māori pā, a quarry, a marine aquarium and a tourist attraction called Leisure Island. Now it’s a protected reserve and a great place to enjoy a walk. This iconic landmark is connected to Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach by a man-made land bridge. A popular walking track will lead you to the northern tip of the island where you’ll find a blowhole which spectacularly shoots water skyward during high tides and large ocean swells. It’ll take you between 5 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.

McLaren Falls Park
McLaren Falls Park is 190-hectares of parkland set alongside Lake McLaren and is just 10-minutes by car from Tauranga. The park is popular for camping, kayaking, its disc golf course, bush walks and summertime concerts. It is also home to one of the best botanical collections of trees in New Zealand.
One of the highlights of the park is the waterfall track where you can see glow worms after dusk. Enjoy a short, easy stroll to the picturesque waterfall and spot the glow worms on either side of the track. Part of the waterfall track is also wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly.

Kaiate Falls
Kaiate Falls (also known as Te Rerekawau Falls) is a 30-minute drive from Tauranga. The walking tracks are well-formed, although quite steep in some places. The main track leads to the top, and then to the base of the upper series of falls before continuing downhill to the lower falls. Another track, just below the car park, follows the stream back to the road bridge. Track junctions are well sign-posted.

New Zealand Touring Styles

A popular style of touring is to take a preplanned self drive road trip.  After a thorough consultation with you we expertly plan and create your self drive tour around New Zealand. These tours allow you the freedom to explore at leisure with the comfort and security of pre-booked activities and accommodations. Route suggestions, APP guidance plus local support mean your New Zealand vacation is in safe hands. See self drive ideas here

If you prefer to let someone else do the work then an escorted small group tour might be for you. Our sister company at New Zealanbd Coach has a range of hand picked small group itineraries are ideal if you prefer to travel in the company of like minded people. Tours are limited to a certain number of participants which means different accommodation options, exclusive activities and of course a knowledgeable guide ensures you get to see the best of New Zealand. See small group tours here. 

A private guided tour offers true flexibility and the security of a knowledgeable local guiding you all the way. Well planned itineraries ensure you see exactly what you want to see but with your own driver-guide you can adapt to suit the day or your preference. 100% tailor-made to suit you a private tour is a great option when travelling as a small group. All our self drive itineraries can be replanned and priced using a private driver and guide, so if it is what you fancy just contact us to discuss.

All North Island touring ideas - See here to explore the diverse North Island - itinerary suggestions.

All South Island touring ideas - Iconic scenery and landscapes await on this made for touring island. See itinerary suggestions

All Nationwide touring ideas - See the best of New Zealand on these all encompassing touring itinerary ideas

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