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A Guide to Tauranga
Know Before You Go
- Explore the outskirts of Tauranga. There are plenty of waterfalls, relaxing hot pools and hiking trails around the city.
- Visit New Zealand's best beach. Mt Maunganui is only a short trip from the city and is home to beautiful white sand beaches and a rugged coastline.
- You can drink the tap water. Instead of buying bottled water, pack a reusable bottle and fill up as you explore Tauranga.
- Hire a car and visit McLaren Falls Park. It's free and easy to spend the whole day walking the trails, visiting the falls and kayaking around Lake McLaren.
- Check to see if your hotel or hostel offers free surfboard rental. It's a great way to cut down on costs and try your hand at catching a wave on Mt Maunganui Beach.
- Go on a street art walking tour. You'll be able to explore the city centre, get your bearings and learn about Tauranga's thriving street art scene.
Getting Around Tauranga
- With so many day trips from Tauranga, one of the best ways to get around is with a car. You can rent a motorhome or vehicle at the airport or from one of the many locations in the CBD. All you'll need is a valid driver's license from your home country, or an international driver's permit.
- Hail a taxi. There are plenty of cab drivers around town, but it's often easier to phone ahead and request a ride. Some will have credit card facilities available in the car, while others only take cash.
- If you want to travel between Mount Maunganui and Tauranga CBD, you can take the local shuttle bus. It costs NZD 10 per person and departs from the port every 20-30 minutes from Monday to Saturday.
- Tauranga has an expansive network of local buses. It's an easy and affordable way to travel between the major tourist destinations and the suburbs.
When is The Best Time to Visit Tauranga?
With 2,200 hours of sunshine each year, Tauranga is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand. No matter when you visit, you'll find blue skies and pleasant temperatures for outdoor activities.
Tauranga's high season is from December to April. Visitors from New Zealand and Australia flock here for the end of year summer holidays and prices for hotels skyrocket.
If you want to avoid the crowds and stretch your budget further, plan your trip to Tauranga during winter or spring. From June to October, temperatures hover around 15°C to 21°C during the day but drop to 1°C or 2°C in the evening. The cooler weather means you'll have better luck finding hotel deals and you'll have the city's attractions all to yourself.
Airports in Tauranga
Tauranga Airport is located 3km from the city centre. The airport is served by three airlines and only operates flights to domestic destinations such as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Getting to and from Tauranga Airport
The cheapest way to get into the city is with the airport bus service. It's ideal for backpackers or frugal travellers that want to spend as little money as possible on transportation.
Another affordable option to get from the airport is with the shuttle bus. Several companies will be able to take you to your hotel or any other destination around the city.
Hire a car. Tauranga Airport has a range of car rentals available. From SUVs to campervans, you'll be able to find something that suits your travelling needs.