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How to Spend 1 Day in Tauranga

How to Spend 1 Day in Tauranga

A seaside city in northeastern New Zealand, Tauranga is popular for its sunny weather and wealth of outdoor activities. Thousands of New Zealanders flock there for summer vacation, but you’ll find plenty to enjoy at any time of year. Here are a few ways to make the most of one day in Tauranga.

 

Morning: Hike up Mount Maunganui

Waste no time getting the lay of the land by hiking up Mount Maunganui, the hill on a peninsula just north of the city. You won’t need mountaineering equipment for this one, as it’s only 761 feet (232 meters) high. Trails up the mountain are well marked, and start from boardwalks in the Mount Maunganui neighborhood. At the top, savor the sweeping views of Tauranga and the Pacific Ocean.

Afternoon: Take a cruise

Time to get out onto the water. Scenic cruises stay within the inner harbor and sail past pretty islands and bays. If you’re a wildlife lover, opt for a dolphin-spotting cruise—you might even get to swim with one (depending on the conditions). If you still have energy to burn after the morning’s hike, join a kayaking tour instead.

Night: Dine and drink along the waterfront

For a midsize city, Tauranga has a wide range of eating and drinking options. You’ll find many of these along the Strand in downtown Tauranga, as well as in Mount Maunganui. Choose one of the many spots with outdoor seating, and order some fresh local seafood and New Zealand wine. For a less pricey dinner, you can’t go wrong with fish and chips on the beach.

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7 Tours and Activities

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Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour in Tauranga
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Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour in Tauranga

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Experience the magic of New Zealand’s North Island on this evening glow-worm kayak tour in Tauranga. Begin your tour with refreshments and delicious New Zealand cheeses on the banks of Lake McLaren. As day turns to night, hop into your kayak and paddle with your guide to the glow-worm canyon at the head of Lake McLaren. Marvel at the millions of bright green glow-worms clinging to the towering cliff sides, and gain insight into the life cycle of these fascinating creatures.
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  • 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$103.16
From
US$103.16

4hr Shore Excursion - History and Tasting Tour FREE Kiwifruit Tasting
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4hr Shore Excursion - History and Tasting Tour FREE Kiwifruit Tasting

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Make the most of your time at shore and explore the beautiful Tauranga Harbour during this half-day tour. Visit beautiful beaches, orchards, historical landmarks and more as you listen to engaging commentary from your guide about the history and culture of the region. You even get to sample local produce such as Manuka honey, kiwifruit, and avocado.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$58.57
From
US$58.57

Swim With Wild Dolphins in Tauranga
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Swim With Wild Dolphins in Tauranga

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Get up close to wild dolphins in their natural habitat during a 5-hour dolphin cruise from Tauranga. You can watch from the boat or interact with these playful marine mammals as you swim and snorkel alongside them in the water. Hear informative live commentary and enjoy hot drinks and muffins on board. Tour operates during summer months from November to May.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$99.83
From
US$99.83

Scenic Lake McLaren Kayak Tour
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Scenic Lake McLaren Kayak Tour

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Get up close to New Zealand’s natural beauty on this scenic 3.5-hour Lake McLaren kayak tour. Paddle out onto the calm waters of Lake McLaren with your guide. Discover wildlife native to the region and gain insight into the habitat it calls home. Gaze up at sheer cliff faces towering overhead and enjoy panoramic views over the dense, sun-dappled woodland. Paddle along the tranquil lakeshore and through Mangapapa Canyon, where the water is as deep as the cliffs are high and the dense shrub forms caves along the water’s edge.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$75.09
From
US$75.09

Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour

Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour

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Take a walk around Tauranga and see the city’s landmarks and attractions on this self-guided audio tour. Instead of getting crammed  into a stifling hot tour bus or waiting for other travellers, stroll along the waterfront at your own pace while learning about the history of local iwi (Māori tribe) Te Arawa, then visit significant sites like the Strand, The Elms Mission House and the old cannon at Monmouth Redoubt.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
From
US$15.29
From
US$15.29

Waimarino Adventure Park

Waimarino Adventure Park

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Enjoy wet’n’wild adventure with the family at the Waimarino Adventure Park in Tauranga, New Zealand. Inside the park, choose from a whole host of exciting rides, slides and chutes. Bounce on the water trampoline, test your head for heights on the climbing wall, fly through the air on the Tarzan swing or challenge a friend to a gladiator duel. Hire kayaks and pedalos, or simply soak up the rays at the water’s edge. With all activities included on the pass, enjoy excellent value for money all day long.
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  • 1 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$32.61
From
US$32.61

Craft Beer Tour from Tauranga

Craft Beer Tour from Tauranga

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Spend the afternoon tasting the fruits of Tauranga’s craft beer boom with your friends – all without the risk of drawing the short straw and ending up the sober driver. On this easygoing tour around a handful of the city’s breweries and brewbars, sample a range of beers made in the region and even go behind the scenes at a local brewery to discover how they make their lagers and ales.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$113.14
From
US$113.14