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Things to do in Tauranga

Our most recommended things to do in Tauranga

Tauranga: Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour

1. Tauranga: Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour

Try a unique glow worm kayak tour, complete with refreshments, beautiful scenery, fantastic birdlife, and glow worms. Travel over the night waters in Lake McLaren with your guide to take in the glow worms in action. Snack on New Zealand cheeses and other refreshments along the edge of Lake McLaren. Your experienced kayak guide will prepare and brief you on how to kayak effectively before launching you onto picturesque Lake McLaren at twilight. See constellations of glow worms as your guide leads you into the canyon at the top of the lake and learn about the life cycles and peculiarities of this fascinating creature along the way.

From Tauranga: Half-Day Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise

2. From Tauranga: Half-Day Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise

Meet at the Tauranga waterfront jetty and board your vessel. Relax as you leave the city behind and spend the cruise exploring the pristine Bay of Plenty coastline and islands. Watch seasonal seabirds, penguins, seals, whales, sunfish, school fish, sharks, orca, and even turtles. Passenger numbers are limited for comfort and to enable a more personal experience. The large spacious boat is also ideal for families. The Captain and experienced crew will be more than happy to share their marine knowledge with you and will provide fascinating commentary and point out all that they see so you won’t miss a thing. You can also enjoy a drink from the onboard bar as you relax and soak up the sun. Don’t forget your camera as you are able to get up close to wildlife, making it a photographers dream for those once in a lifetime snaps. You will return to Tauranga by 2:00, giving you the rest of the day to explore this beautiful region, the Bay of Plenty, or continue your travels.

From Tauranga: Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour

3. From Tauranga: Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour

Step aboard a purpose-built dolphin-viewing vessel and embark on a wild encounter with the ocean's most fascinating creatures. After meeting your crew at the dock, set off into the open water to several well-known dolphin spotting locations, all the while maintaining a respectful distance. With a crew filled with experience sea-farers and dolphins-watchers, trust that your experience will be thrilling, informative, and above all, humane to the dolphins.  The sunshine capital of New Zealand, the "Bay of Plenty" is home to diverse and spectacular sea life from majestic dolphins and orca to the beautiful fur seals, penguins and marine birds. As you travel from spot to spot, keep your eyes peeled for the plethora of marine life that call the bay home. With your expert crew, you’ve got a great chance to to find a pod of dolphins with which you can swim—which is, without question, a magical experience.

Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

4. Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

Depart from the Port of Tauranga, and begin your journey along Pilot Bay towards the wonderful Mount Maunganui beach. Take photos and hear local facts from your guide along the way. Then, travel to The Shire, home of Bilbo Baggins and his friends. Get a meet and greet at the Hobbiton Movie Set by your official guide. Take a guided tour filled with fun facts, insider stories, and many photo opportunities. Next, sit back and enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Return towards Tauranga, and visit a few special spots along the way for breathtaking views over the Matamata-Piako Plains. Visit the local park to appreciate the beauty of its lake, paddocks, mature trees, and the wonderful wildlife that dwells within its boundaries.

Tauranga: Mount Maunganui Harbour Sightseeing Cruise

5. Tauranga: Mount Maunganui Harbour Sightseeing Cruise

Explore Tauranga Harbour on a sightseeing cruise of New Zealand's largest natural harbor. Marvel at views of Mount Maunganui, search for NZ fur seals and sea birds and enjoy a beach visit on Matakanka Island. Board The Kewpie, a 70-year-old ferry made from native Kauri trees, The Kewpie which boasts an interesting history in New Zealand waters. The 52ft boat has two levels and a licensed bar for a comfortable cruise around Tauranga Harbour. While cruising look out for the Statue of Tangaroa, untouched white sandy beaches, lush green forests, and islands, contrasted by the massive developed port infrastructure. Keep on the lookout for seasonal wildlife on your harbor cruise such as blue penguins, sea birds, or adorable NZ fur seals. Stay on board or disembark to explore Matakana Island. The island's white sandy beach is a favorite spot for beach walks, fishing, swimming, and picnics.

Okere Falls: Zipline over Waterfalls Experience

6. Okere Falls: Zipline over Waterfalls Experience

Are you ready to soar over waterfalls, zoom through pristine native forests, and be enlightened through a hands-on cultural and ecological experience in Okere Falls, Rotorua? If so, then Rotorua Ziplines has you covered. Suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities, a network of ziplines, swing bridges, and boardwalks will have you in awe for 2.5 hours as you fly, walk and gaze at the stunning taiao (Environment) that is Ōkere. Born through an intimate connection with the Ōkere Awa (Kaituna River), this joint venture between Ngāti Hinerangi and Rotorua Rafting’s Ōkere Falls born and bred, Sam Sutton, has been created to showcase its mauri (spirit) and importance with Aotearoa’s soon to be premier zipline experience. End the experience with a tree in your name as the Rotorua Ziplines reforestation project plant it's way towards 60,000 native trees by the end of 2025 to see Ōkere Falls thrive for generations to come.

From Tauranga: Rotorua and Maori Village Shore Excursion

7. From Tauranga: Rotorua and Maori Village Shore Excursion

Travel to Rotorua from Tauranga on a shore excursion, discovering the highlights of the area, with snacks and refreshments provided. Begin with a drive to Mount Maunganui and learn about the region from your guide. Step back in time at Te Puia Maori Village, built above geothermal land, which is home to the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere. Learn about original settlers' tales, and visit the Maori Arts and Crafts school operating on the property. Visit the onsite Kiwi enclosure for your chance to see the native Kiwi bird. Head next to Rotorua Lake – the second-largest lake on the North Island. 

From Tauranga: Skydive over Mount Maunganui

8. From Tauranga: Skydive over Mount Maunganui

Start your adventure with a flight capturing the breathtaking views of Mount Maunganui and its golden beaches expanding as far as the eye can see. Higher up, you'll be able to see White Island, Mount Ruapehu, the Rotorua Lakes, The Coromandel, and Mount Taranaki. The flight will last 20-25 minutes, so there is plenty of time to take it all in. Once at 12,000 or 15,000 feet in the sky, jump out of the plane on a tandem skydive, falling to the earth at over 200km/hour. After some time to feel the adrenaline as you freefall, enjoy a peaceful parachute ride back to base.

Rotorua: Te Puia Maori Village and Rejuvenation Tour

9. Rotorua: Te Puia Maori Village and Rejuvenation Tour

Starting at the Port of Tauranga by the Cruise Ship gateway, you will begin traveling in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle to Rotorua, Bay of Plenty. As you travel along Mt Maunganui, local information and places of interest will be provided to you by your personal tour guide. Your journey will continue toward Rotorua, with an interesting stop at Kiwifruit Country where you will receive a close-up view of the kiwifruit vine. Onsite, you will have the opportunity to learn the history of kiwifruit, including which countries New Zealand exports the fruit and fruit products too. You will also enjoy free tasting samples during this visit. You will then step back in time with a guided tour of historic Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley and Maori life at Te Puia. This village was built above geothermal land and is home to the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere. You will also be provided a buffet lunch in customary Hungi fashion, food that has been cooked in their underground steam ovens. It will then be time to look after yourself at the world famous Polynesian Spa which will rejuvenate you with its healing geo-thermal waters. For decades this water has been used to bath in, and is fantastic for the treatment of arthritis and other ailments. You can turn back the clock as you regain your youthful skin and complexion! Once you have finished in Rotorua, the road leads back to Tauranga where you will have additional informative stops along the way. Assured with this day trip you will be treated to our exclusive experience in comfort with the added provision of water and snacks + wi-fi access. Let us treat you like royalty on the best Shore Excursion available in Tauranga.

Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour

10. Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour

Download a vibrant MP3 self-guided audio tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area of your tour. Immerse yourself in the historic and picturesque city of Tauranga, the arrival point of the Māori in New Zealand. In this audio tour, you will explore the beautiful waterfront and hear the tales of how the Māori crossed the Pacific Ocean in the Arawa Canoe. Visit the Monmouth Redoubt with its old cannon to learn about the battles between the natives and the European colonists at The Elms Missionary. You will also see the Strand, Robbins Park, the Mission Cemetery, the Tauranga Domain Wharepai Reserve, the Old Post Office, the Art Gallery and Brian Watkins House. A diverse and interesting tour with lots of Māori history, myths and legends. This tour takes the frustration out of not knowing what to do, where to go or how to get there. Your tour. Your way.

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What people are saying about Tauranga

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 136 reviews

It was a lot of fun! Two guides who were great, they made the experience.. well worth going .. not just one zip line , there are a few and you can even race your partner or friend .. I won :) Great walking track too, not hard on the unfit! All staff were very friendly, that’s important, it makes the experience more enjoyable :) thanks team it was a great experience!

The guides, Kyle and Jonny, were friendly and engaging, the ziplines were lots of fun and the scenery is beautiful. Even in the rain it was an amazing trip.

Stephen was very knowledgeable and so helpful. Truly enjoyed the visit to the geysers and Māori center. Lunch was excellent, a buffet of typical dishes.

That was an amazing day, great experience and wonderful tour guide.... Thank you, Steven. We enjoyed every minute of it. Highly recommended 5 (stars)

A great introduction to Tauranga such a beautiful place