Discover our stories
Tauranga is the biggest city in the Coastal Bay of Plenty and has a rich history and flourishing arts scene. Just across the bridge, beautiful Mount Maunganui is alive with foodie spots, boutique shopping and iconic Mauao (Mount Maunganui) - one of Aotearoa's most popular short walks and a heritage site with a fascinating history.
Street art, galleries, heritage sites, Māori cultural story-telling experiences and foodie delights!
By Car (to Tauranga):
From Auckland: 2 hours and 45 minutes
From Hamilton: 1 hour and 30 minutes
From New Plymouth: 4 hours and 15 minutes
From Napier: 3 hours and 45 minutes
From Wellington: 6 hours and 30 minutes
There are so many artistic stories in Tauranga – and you can discover many of them on foot.
Start off at the Tauranga Art Gallery on Wharf Street and take in a local or international exhibition. The building has gone through many makeovers since it was first built in 1873 and is now a contemporary gallery with excellent exhibition spaces.
Continue your creative adventures as you scout out the street art around Tauranga. The CBD features works by artists such as Owen Dippie, Mr G, Jacob Yikes, Lucy McLauchlan and Fintan Magee. Download a copy of the Art Lovers’ Walk or check out the brand new City Art Walk app.
Be sure to take in the beautiful pou (carvings) outside the University of Waikato campus on Durham Street or the Matariki pou on The Strand.
Other must-see spots around Tauranga's CBD include:
- Tauranga Mission Cemetery (Otamataha Pā) - the oldest European cemetery in New Zealand, it is now the final resting place for European and Māori who were killed in Tauranga battles during the 19th century
- The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga - one of Tauranga's oldest heritage sites
- The Monmouth Redoubt - built during the New Zealand Land Wars.
Where to stay: The Clarence Hotel, built in 1906 in Edwardian Baroque style offers a boutique accommodation option, while Trinity Wharf Hotel sits out over the water for a true harbourfront stay – and views to boot!
Tauranga Art Gallery, historic spots, street art and great coffee.
Trinity Wharf Tauranga
The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga
Hotel Armitage and Conference Centre
Hotel on Devonport
Outer Tauranga Suburbs
There's still so much to see and do in wider Tauranga, so hold on because this journey of discovery is far from over!
Start your day with a visit to The Historic Village. This charming spot is full of creatives, artisans, galleries - and some incredible doughnuts. Pay a visit to The Incubator - the hub for Tauranga's creatives - and check out the art being made by the region's up and coming artists.
Carry on to the Gate Pā Memorial Reserve, just six minutes' drive away. This significant battleground from the New Zealand Land Wars is notable for the ferocity of the fighting, the brilliant use of trench warfare by Māori and the bravery of Hēni Te Kiri Karamū, who risked her life to give water to dying British soldiers. At the entrance to the memorial reserve is a carved tomokanga (gateway) and it is the only battlefield in New Zealand to be set within a city's boundaries. Take a self-guided tour, or hear from expert local historian, Buddy Mikaere, on a guided tour of the site.
If all this history and art has you feeling hungry, head to Rosie & Breadhead on Ninth Avenue. The excellent little café serves up style, coffee and next-level cabinet food, while a few shops down is the bakery (or “dough workroom”) that creates heavenly sourdough.
Meet the artists, visit a battlefield, and eat delicious treats.
The Historic Village
St George's Church Gate Pa Talks & Tours
Mount Maunganui or “The Mount” has been a favourite Kiwi holiday spot for generations. But in addition to the beautiful beach, boutique shopping and chilled-out eateries, there’s also a treasure trove of stories and legends to uncover.
Standing guard over the town is Mauao (Mount Maunganui) – a sacred taonga (treasure) with plenty of history. Discover the stories on a hikoi (guided walk) around Mauao with East Coast Paddler. Learn about current environmental efforts to keep Mauao and the surrounding ocean waters pristine and keep an eye out for local marine life! If you prefer a self-guided walk, download the Arataki Trails app and hear the stories as you enjoy the beauty of this stunning coastal walk.
Carry on the journey – but this time from the water! Get into the ocean groove with a stand-up paddle-boarding lesson as the crew at East Coast Paddler shares their love of the ocean with you.
For a memorable Mount experience, take an exciting V8 Trike Tour. They'll show you around beautiful Mount Maunganui and along the Mount Main Beach in style!
If you're ready to try out The Mount's dining scene, you are in for a treat. There are so many great restaurants and cafés packed into this little area, it's hard to know where to start! Foodies should definitely check out Fife Lane, No. 8 and Satori Lounge - and for an ice-cream experience you won't forget in a hurry, check out the Polar Dessert Bar on the main street.
Discover the stories of Mauao, take a V8 Trike tour, eat, shop and enjoy being in one of
New Zealand's most beautiful seaside towns!