Long famed for its sun, sand and surf, the Western Bay of Plenty region stretches from Waihi Beach in the North, through Tauranga and Mount Maunganui to Te Puke in the South-East.
Tauranga is a city on the coast that has over 155,000 people, that’s the fifth largest in NZ.
Originally famous for beaches and game fishing, the Western Bay is now known for much more, providing arguably the “ultimate holiday” experience: Adventure pursuits such as kayaking, land yachting, kite surfing, and white-water rafting, leisurely walks and golf, or challenging hikes through magnificent native bush. Check out our things to do in Tauranga section.
Reach new heights
Knowing where to go and what activities are available is key to a successful holiday. Here you’ll find info about art, hotels and more!
The Port of Tauranga located at Mount Manganui is the Bay of Plenty region’s economic engine-room — New Zealand’s biggest export port. The port is home to a big fishing fleet, and plays host to a procession of cruise ships in the summer. But Tauranga not all about the port.
The district also has a growing array of art and cultural attractions and a programme of top-class events, and indulgence for everyone —from seaside cafés, wineries, funky bars and restaurants of every kind, plus plenty of speciality stores to keep you shopping till you drop. And all this is set against a backdrop of outstanding natural beauty (with a live island volcano an hour away!). How apt that Captain Cook should name this the Bay of ‘Plenty’
Food & Fun
We have recently started adding useful information about local services and facilities to our Local Tauranga Info section. Here you will find information about local services such as the Tauranga City Council, Tauranga Library and local transport options from buses and coaches, to taxis, airport shuttles and rental cars. The local newspaper is the Bay of Plenty Times.
Sun & Surf
The Western Bay of Plenty is a veritable fruit bowl. Te Puke is known as the Kiwifruit capital of the world. Tauranga City is well known as one of the leading lifestyle capitals of New Zealand: a place where you can participate in a booming economy but still nip down to the beach after work. Tauranga has one of the most pleasant climates in New Zealand with over 2200 annual sunshine hours. To find the most reliable weather reports see our Tauranga Weather page. ‘Terrific Tauranga’ remains pretty laid back and unspoilt.
A view from
Mount Maunganui, commonly known as “The Mount”, is located just across from the Tauranga harbour.
It’s famous for 20 kilometres of brilliant beach and fabulous surf. The nearby town sits on a sandy peninsula (a tombolo), with the inner harbour on one side, surf beach on the other. At the end of the peninsula is Mauao, the iconic, 232-metre ex-volcanic peak that forms part of the entrance to Tauranga Harbour. Mauao is a crucial cultural and spiritual anchor for local Maori, and offers one of New Zealand’s most stunning short walks.
The Mount’s satellite town of Papamoa is on the way to becoming a coastal city in its own right. It’s more laid back than the Mount, with miles of beach and not-yet-extinct Kiwi campgrounds. You can get buses to both Mt Maunganui and Papamoa using the bright yellow Bay Hopper bus service. Tauranga and the Mount each have a Bay City Cinemas movie complex.