Amazing Activities in Tauranga and Mt Maunganui
The ultimate city escape in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga offers the perfect balance of city life and natural attractions. In the city, experience culinary delights on food tours or see it all from an adrenaline-fuelled skydive. Surrounding the city, picturesque parks, the Pacific Ocean with dolphins to swim with, and beautiful waterfalls are just some of the natural sights to admire.
So, if you’re looking for things to do in Tauranga, use this article as a launching pad to the many different types of activities available. There are activities for budget travellers, families, couples and even those seeking a luxury getaway.
While you’re here, get more travel advice in The Complete Guide to Tauranga.
1. Kayak into a Canyon of Glowworms
Tauranga’s surroundings have all sorts of surprises, one of which you can kayak to with Waimarino Kayak Tours. This evening tour begins with a gourmet picnic beside a picture-perfect lake as you watch the sunset. Then, you and your group will delve into a paddling journey under a breathtaking array of glowworms. It’s one of the amazing ways to experience the glowworms in New Zealand!
Location: Waimarino Kayak Tours, Taniwha Place, approximately 9km (6 miles) from Tauranga city centre.
2. Swim with Dolphins
Connect with nature through one of Tauranga’s wildlife tours, such as dolphin swimming. Join either Dolphin Seafaris or Orca Wild Adventures for a day out on the water seeking pods of common dolphins in the waters of the Bay of Plenty. You even have the opportunity to swim with dolphins in their natural environment. From the boat and from in the water, watching the pods of dolphins play is a truly memorable experience.
Location: Both tours depart from 101 Te Awanui Drive.
3. Walk to the Top of The Mount
Standing prominently at the end of Mt Maunganui and its beach is The Mount, also known as Mauao. A climb up the extinct volcano reveals outstanding views of the city, its beaches and the southern Pacific Ocean. There are two routes to get up to the top, either a short but steep way or a more relaxing yet slower way. The climb will take between 20 to 30 minutes. See more activities like this in the 19 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Tauranga & Mt Maunganui.
Location: At the end of Marine Parade, Mt Maunganui.
4. Spend the Day at the Beach
Another fun free thing to do in Tauranga is spend some time on the beach. The most popular choices are the Main Beach in Mt Maunganui and Papamoa Beach. On the Main Beach, check out Moturiki (Leisure Island) connected to the beach by a causeway, or simply enjoy swimming, building sandcastles or whatever it is you like to do in the sand. You can amp up the experience by hiring a surfboard and hitting the waves. Surfboard shops in Mt Maunganui offer surfboard and SUP board hires, while SUP tours are also an option with Eastcoast Paddler.
Location: Main Beach, along Marine Parade in Mt Maunganui. Papamoa Beach, along Papamoa Beach Road, approximately 11km (7 miles) from Tauranga city centre.
5. Climb Through the Trees at Adrenalin Forest
An exciting adventure activity for the whole family, Adrenalin Forest is a treetop obstacle course just outside of Tauranga. Tackle over 100 obstacles throughout the pine forest, from the kid-friendly to the ultra-challenging. When you’re done, check out the paintball and motorsports also on site. See more activities like this in the 10 Things to Do in Tauranga with Kids.
Location: Weld Road, approximately 35km (22 miles) from Tauranga city centre.
6. Go for a Walk and Have a Picnic at McLaren Falls Park
A short drive from the city, McLaren Falls Park is a place to enjoy the great outdoors. What’s more, it’s free! On the way into the park, marvel at the waterfalls tumbling into the dam, then make your way into the park itself where there is a short walk to another waterfall, as well as picturesque picnic areas, a cafe and a farm park.
Location: McLaren Falls Road, approximately 20km (12 miles) from Tauranga city centre.
7. Relax in a Soothing Hot Pool
Soak in mineral-rich thermal pools in Tauranga, of which there are a few fantastic options. Try the Mount Hot Pools at the base of Mauao in Mt Maunganui or the Oropi Hot Pools are a more affordable option. There’s plenty of room for all in the large hot swimming pool and private pools of Fernland Spa or you could amp up the relaxation with a spa day or three-day retreat at Ridge Country Retreat. See more activities like this in the 10 Romantic Activities in Tauranga for Couples.
Location: Mount Hot Pools – 9 Adams Avenue, Mount Maunganui. Oropi Hot Pools – 1 Warner Road. Fernland Spa – 250 Cambridge Road. Ridge Country Retreat – 300 Rocky Cutting Road, Waitao.
8. Check Our Kaiate Falls
A 30-minute drive out of Tauranga is the natural marvel, Kaiate Falls, also known as Te Rerekawau Falls. Follow well-formed tracks through the forest, where it gets steep in some places on your way down to the plunge pool of Kaiata Falls. There are various viewpoints of the waterfall’s multiple tiers, concluded with access to the swimming hole at the base.
Location: Kaiate Falls Road, Waitao, approximately 18km (11 miles) from Tauranga.
9. Skydive Over the City
Combine a scenic aerial experience with adrenaline thrills on a skydive with Skydive Tauranga. They offer tandem skydives from either 10,000ft or 12,000ft where jumps include views of the iconic Mount of Mt Maunganui, the beaches of the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel, the sprawling city of Tauranga and its winding waterways and more! Experience freefalling for 30 to 45 seconds followed by a parachute flight back down to earth. See more aerial adventures in our 8 Luxury Activities in Tauranga.
Location: 2 Kittyhawk Way, Mt Maunganui.
10. Get “Off the Eaten Track” on a Food Tour with Taste of Plenty
See exactly why they call it the “Bay of Plenty” on a culinary tour with Taste of Plenty. The food our company offers a variety of tours to suit various foodie interests, from half-day scenic and food tasting tours to full-day ventures across the bay. On their tours, you often get to taste foods like sourdough, local cheeses, coffee, olive oils, smoked fish, green-lipped mussels, kiwifruit, avocados, manuka honey, gelato, local beers, wine or ciders and the famous New Zealand savoury pies! See more food tour options in the 9 Things to Do in Tauranga for Foodies.
Location: Meeting points are arranged from Mt Maunganui and Tauranga.