The Guide to Tauranga for Families© Tourism Bay of Plenty
The Guide to Tauranga for Families

The Travel Guide to Tauranga for Families

© Tourism Bay of Plenty

Plan a Family Trip to Tauranga

One of the fastest-growing cities in New Zealand, lining gorgeous beaches and home to an array of family-friendly attractions, Tauranga is a fun destination to put onto your family itinerary of the North Island. For families that seek some of the city comforts, culture and want to stay in lavish hotels or kid-friendly motels, Tauranga can provide all of that and more.

So, take a look at this travel guide to Tauranga for families to start planning your getaway with the tribe.

Things to Do in Tauranga with Kids

  • Climb through the trees at Adrenalin Forest
  • Let the kids loose at the Waimarino Adventure Park
  • Go for a walk and have a picnic at McLaren Falls Park
  • Have a beach day in Mt Maunganui or Papamoa Beach
  • Discover the playground, bombing platform and more on the Tauranga Waterfront
  • See warbirds and fighter jets at Classic Flyers NZ
  • Feed the birds at Katikati Bird Gardens
  • Wear the kids out on the climbing walls of Rocktopia
  • Have a splash at one of the Tauranga’s hot pools
  • Explore Te Puna Quarry Park.

For an explanation of all of the above activities, take a look at the 10 Things to Do in Tauranga with Kids.

The Guide to Tauranga for Families© Waimarino Adventure Park

Family Adventure Activities

Just because you’re in the city, doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of outdoor adventures – this is New Zealand, after all!

First on the family bucket list should be the Waimarino Adventure Park, home to New Zealand’s largest catapult, New Zealand’s only kayak slide, climbing walls, inflatable playground and much more. Make sure you bring your swimwear! Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor. Additionally, the Waimarino Adventure Park offers evening glowworm kayaking tours for ages eight and above, which is an excellent kayaking adventure for the whole family. More details about the kayak tour can be found on Viator and Tripadvisor.

More excitement for the active family awaits at Adrenalin Forest, a high-wire obstacle course just outside of Tauranga. There are over 100 obstacles to tackle throughout the pine forest, from the child-friendly to the ultra-challenging. When you’re done, check out the paintball and motorsports also on site. Find out more about Adrenalin Forest on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Nature-lovers of all ages will appreciate seeing the amazing array of native and exotic birds at the Katikati Bird Gardens. Hand-feed the emu, ducklings and doves, see majestic pheasants and peacocks and see some of New Zealand’s natives like little shags (cormorants), royal spoonbill, white-faced herons, paradise shelducks, black teal, wood pigeon, kakariki and more. When you’re done, relax at the cafe and let the kids loose at the playground.

For more ideas, check out the 10 Things to Do in Tauranga with Kids.

The Guide to Tauranga for Families© Tourism Bay of Plenty

Family All-weather Activities

Don’t let your family getaway grind to a halt just because it’s raining. There are plenty of all-weather activities in Tauranga to keep the whole family with smiles on their faces.

Let the kids burn off some energy at Rocktopia in Mt Maunganui, a clip and climb indoor climbing wall facility with an exciting range of climbing walls for kids and adults alike! The clip and climb system means that the kids can climb independently while still keeping safe.

It’s hard not to be impressed by the iconic warbirds and fighter jets of Classic Flyers NZ, also in Mt Maunganui. Aside from getting up-close to the aircraft, you can also strap yourself into the cockpit on one of the simulator challenges.

Finally, with the mantra that you’ll get wet anyway, how about a day at the hot pools? You have a few great options for kids in Tauranga, such as the Mount Hot Pools (9 Adams Avenue, Mount Maunganui) with some fun water features and shade sail at the kiddies pool. The Oropi Hot Pools (1 Warner Road) is a more relaxing and affordable option with a children’s sandpit, playhouse and cafe. Alternatively, there’s plenty of room for kids to play in the large swimming pool of Fernland Spa (250 Cambridge Road).

For more all-weather ideas, see the 10 Things to Do in Tauranga with Kids.

The Guide to Tauranga for Families© Tourism Bay of Plenty

Free Family Activities

Finally, complete the family holiday to Tauranga with some of the free activities. That way, it will be easier to stick to your budget.

McLaren Falls Park has plenty to do to keep the family entertained for a few hours. On the way into the park, marvel at the waterfalls tumbling into the dam then make your way into the park itself where there are short walks to enjoy, picturesque picnic areas, a cafe and more! If you do have a little more room in your budget, visit Marshalls Animal Park where the kids will be able to hand-feed all sorts of farm animals.

While you’re in the city, don’t miss the opportunity to have some beach time at the Main Beach in Mt Maunganui or Papamoa Beach. Enjoy the simple pleasures like building sandcastles, exploring the rock pools, walking the boardwalks, exploring Leisure Island and treat the little ones to a $1 Copenhagen Ice Cream (14 Adams Avenue)!

And if you’re staying in Tauranga city centre, be sure to spend some time on the waterfront with the kids. There are a huge playground, a sandpit and a bombing platform for jumping into the water! You’ll also see an impressive ceremonial waka (Maori canoe), while Kiwi kids might recognise Hairy Maclary and friends from the popular book series in bronze statue form ready to be climbed all over!

For more ideas, check out 10 Things to Do in Tauranga with Kids and the 19 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Tauranga & Mt Maunganui.

More About Tauranga

That’s it from the travel guide to Tauranga for families. Discover even more family trip tips in The Travel Guide to New Zealand for Families.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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