Sitting on one of the largest natural harbours in the country, Tauranga is the main city in the Bay of Plenty region. Nestled beside Mount Maunganui, this sunny urban metropolis is renowned for its marine adventures. Fishing, sailing, diving and dolphin tours are abundant - as is the opportunity to swim or surf at one of its remarkable beaches. A visit to McLaren Falls or the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park is a must do, and wandering The Strand - the downtown shopping and dining precinct - is recommended. On the water’s edge, children are easily entertained at the local playground. See the Hairy Maclary bronze sculptures, a story-book scene featuring the popular characters from Tauranga author Dame Lynley Dodd’s famous children’s books.
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.