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How to Spend 3 Days in Tauranga

How to Spend 3 Days in Tauranga

A beautiful small city in northeastern New Zealand, Tauranga is a fun alternative to staying in Rotorua or Taupo. There’s plenty to see and do in the city itself, plus it’s a convenient base for exploring the upper North Island. Here are some ways to make the most of three days in Tauranga.

Day 1: See the city

Nature is the star of Tauranga’s show, and you don’t have to leave the city to experience it. On your first day, hike up 761-foot (232-meter) Mount Maunganui for sweeping views of the city and ocean. Alternatively, wander around town on a self-guided walking tour. In the afternoon, head out onto the water on a sightseeing cruise, a dolphin-spotting excursion, or a kayaking tour, stopping at some of the islands and bays around Tauranga Harbour. In the evening, try some local seafood and North Island wine at a waterfront restaurant.

Day 2: Visit White Island

Take a day trip to White Island, an active volcano just 56 miles (90 kilometers) off the coast of Tauranga. One of the most accessible active volcanoes in the world, White Island can be reached by helicopter (the more expensive option) or boat. See steam vents, bubbling mud, and lakes of acid while learning about the local geology. You might even get to go for a swim—at a safe distance from any geothermal activity, that is. Safety equipment is provided if needed, so just relax and enjoy the experience. 

Day 3: Get active

New Zealand is an outdoor adventure lover’s playground, and some of the best adrenaline-inducing activities in the country are just a short trip from Tauranga. For white-water rafting (no prior experience necessary) or kayaking, head to the Wairoa River or Kaituna River. Alternatively, go hiking in one of the natural areas near Tauranga, such as McLaren Falls Park, where you’ll find waterfalls, dense native bush, and many trails to follow.

Round off your stay in and around Tauranga with a late afternoon or evening dip in one of the city’s famous public pools. Soak in saltwater baths and naturally sourced hot pools, a restorative way to revive your tired body after a busy three days. 

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5 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

Waimarino Adventure Park

Waimarino Adventure Park

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76
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