A seaside city in northeastern New Zealand, Tauranga is popular for its sunny weather and wealth of outdoor activities. Thousands of New Zealanders flock there for summer vacation, but you’ll find plenty to enjoy at any time of year. Here are a few ways to make the most of one day in Tauranga.
Waste no time getting the lay of the land by hiking up Mount Maunganui, the hill on a peninsula just north of the city. You won’t need mountaineering equipment for this one, as it’s only 761 feet (232 meters) high. Trails up the mountain are well marked, and start from boardwalks in the Mount Maunganui neighborhood. At the top, savor the sweeping views of Tauranga and the Pacific Ocean.
Time to get out onto the water. Scenic cruises stay within the inner harbor and sail past pretty islands and bays. If you’re a wildlife lover, opt for a dolphin-spotting cruise—you might even get to swim with one (depending on the conditions). If you still have energy to burn after the morning’s hike, join a kayaking tour instead.
For a midsize city, Tauranga has a wide range of eating and drinking options. You’ll find many of these along the Strand in downtown Tauranga, as well as in Mount Maunganui. Choose one of the many spots with outdoor seating, and order some fresh local seafood and New Zealand wine. For a less pricey dinner, you can’t go wrong with fish and chips on the beach.