Answered Why is Tauranga famous

Answered: Why is Tauranga famous? 

Tauranga, one of the fastest-growing cities on the North Island, is quickly becoming a must-visit destination for anyone who knows where the good vibes are in New Zealand. 

If you’re thinking of making a trip to Tauranga, you’re probably wondering . . . why is Tauranga so famous? Well, we’ve got the answer for you! 

Tauranga is famous for its beautiful beaches, engaging water sports, rich arts and culture, hiking and biking, food and wine, and growing economy. 

Let’s take a closer look at why these things make Tauranga famous! 

Beautiful Beaches 

Tauranga’s beaches are famous for their stunning natural beauty, excellent surfing conditions, and the wide range of activities they offer. They provide a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, making them a top choice for beach lovers.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach, a surf spot, or a place to go kayaking or paddleboarding, you’ll find it here. Below are some of the best and most famous beaches in the area if you want to see what we mean: 

  • Mount Maunganui Beach

This white sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, volleyball, and picnics. We also found it an excellent spot for surfing, with consistent waves suitable for all skill levels.

For those who prefer a gentle stroll, the base track of Mauao (the mountain) offers stunning ocean and city views. 

  • Papamoa Beach

Papamoa Beach stretches for miles. We lost track of how much time we walked down the shores!  

It’s less crowded than Mount Maunganui but equally beautiful. Also, for the parents among us, you can rest easy because lifeguards patrol the beach, making it safe for children to swim and bodyboard. 

  • Omanu Beach

Omanu is another excellent surfing beach patrolled by lifeguards in the summer. It’s popular among locals for its relaxing atmosphere, so it’s a great place to mingle and get a feel for the local culture. 

And if you’re not an experienced surfer, they have a beach club here that offers lessons for beginners! 

Engaging Water Sports

Tauranga is famous for its water sports because of its ideal climate and easy access to the Pacific Ocean. Plus, there is an ever-growing water sports community for those who love socialising with fellow water sports fanatics.

As the weather is warm and sunny year-round, with an average temperature of 20°C, water sports are enjoyed here any time of the year! 

Furthermore, many companies in Tauranga offer water sports lessons and rentals. This means that even if you’re a beginner or have no gear of your own, hitting the waves is still possible. 

Here’s a glimpse of the water sports Tauranga has to offer: 

  • Kayaking at Lake McLaren

Lake McLaren offers a serene environment with calm waters, ideal for a relaxing day of kayaking. For an unforgettable experience, we suggest opting for the twilight kayak tour, where you’ll paddle to a glow worm canyon under a starlit sky. 

  • Swimming with Dolphins:

Swimming with the dolphins was something we immediately checked off our adventure bucket list. Most tours—we recommend doing a day tour with Orca Wild Adventure—typically provide wetsuits, masks, and snorkels.  

  • Surfing at the Beach

Most of Tauranga’s beaches offer consistent surf breaks suitable for all levels. The local surf schools here offer private lessons and board rentals, but we suggest going with Average Joe’s Surf Coach if you want group classes. 

  • Sailing in the Bay of Plenty

Sailing here offers breathtaking views of the coastline and marine life. If you charter a yacht or join a tour, no sailing experience is necessary, as you’ll have an experienced skipper guiding you. 

  • Fishing

Tauranga’s is a fantastic spot for fishing for snapper, kingfish, kahawai, trevally, gurnard, tarakihi and more!

Charter fishing boat companies provide everything you need, from rods to bait. But we recommend booking with a private skipper like Lucas with King Tide Salt Fly, who took us to all the best fishing spots! 

Rich Arts & Culture 

In Tauranga, arts and culture are not just an afterthought but integral parts of the city’s identity. The long, rich history behind the place’s arts and culture, world-class institutions, and open-minded art community make it famous for its arts and culture. 

Tauranga was founded by Māori in the 14th century and has been a place of cultural exchange ever since. The city’s Māori heritage is still very much alive today. 

We see it reflected throughout Tauranga’s arts and culture scene every time we visit. Their world-class arts and cultural institutions attract not just Kiwis like us but visitors worldwide!  

The artists in the local arts community are constantly creating new work with help from the local community. Their openness to new ideas helps create a thriving arts and culture scene in Tauranga, as you can see in these places:

  • Tauranga Art Gallery

Website: Tauranga Art Gallery
Address: 108 Willow Street, Tauranga 3141, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 4 PM 
Phone: +64 7 578 7933

The gallery features diverse exhibitions, from traditional Maori art to contemporary installations. It’s a constantly changing program of inspiring artwork from leading local, national, and international artists. 

The gallery’s innovative exhibitions often push boundaries, making it a must-visit destination for art lovers.

  • Creative Bay of Plenty

Website: Creative Bay of Plenty
Address: 143 17th Avenue, Tauranga South, Tauranga 3112, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 5 PM; Saturday & Sunday – Closed 
Phone: +64 07 928 5270

This organisation supports the development and growth of the art and culture sector in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty. They often host workshops, seminars, and networking events that provide valuable opportunities for local artists and art enthusiasts. 

They also manage an online directory of local artists, galleries, and cultural organisations.

  • The Historic Village

Website: The Historic Village
Address: 17th Ave West, Tauranga South, Tauranga 3112, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 8 AM to 12 AM 

Visiting Tauranga’s Historic Village provides a glimpse into the city’s past. This collection of original and replica buildings from early European settlements allows visitors to step back in time and learn about local Maori history.

  • Baycourt Community & Art Centre

Website: Baycourt Community & Art Centre
Address: 38 Durham Street, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
Phone: +64 07 577 7189

Baycourt is a hub of cultural and creative activity, from local community productions to international touring shows. This thriving venue hosts various arts events, including live theatre, music, dance, and exhibitions. 

  • Street Art and Public Installations

Tauranga’s city centre is adorned with vibrant street art and public art installations, making art accessible to everyone. 

Take a self-guided tour (like we did) of the city’s street art using the map available on the Downtown Tauranga website. Don’t miss the Hairy Maclary sculpture park at the waterfront!

  •  Māori Culture

For an immersive experience, consider booking a guided tour that includes visiting a Marae (Maori meeting ground) or a cultural performance. The Elms, one of the oldest European heritage sites in New Zealand, also offers insight into Maori history.

  • Festivals

Plan your visit around one of Tauranga’s many festivals for a memorable cultural experience. The National Jazz Festival in April is one of the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere, while the biennial Tauranga Arts Festival in October offers a wide range of performances and exhibitions.

Hiking and Biking 

Tauranga is famous for its hiking and biking trails because of the beautiful scenery, including mountains, forests, and beaches. There are also many well-maintained trails suitable for beginners, experienced hikers, and bikers. 

Here are some of the top tracks and trails we go to when we’re in town! 

  • Mount Maunganui Summit Track

This walk is steep and challenging, but the panoramic views at the top are worth every step. We took about an hour and a half to complete this track! 

  • Karangahake Windows Walk

This trail offers a unique combination of natural beauty and historical interest. Bring a flashlight as you’ll be walking through old mining tunnels. 

For the most part, the path is well-marked and suitable for most fitness levels. We stopped by the river’s picnic areas to relax and enjoy the scenery.

  • Tuahu Kauri and Waitawheta Tramway

These tracks offer a chance to experience New Zealand’s native forest. The Tuahu Kauri track is a short walk, while the Waitawheta Tramway can be a full-day hike or an overnight tramp with a stay at the Waitawheta Hut (bookings required).

Remember to clean your footwear before and after your walk to prevent the spread of Kauri dieback disease. 

  • Oropi Mountain Bike Park

Here there are cross-country trails, downhill trails, freeride trails, a pump track, and a skills area. The park also has several jumps and drops, so there’s something for everyone.

  • Omokoroa to Tauranga Cycleway

This cycleway offers a safe and scenic route between Omokoroa and Tauranga. It’s mostly flat, making it suitable for all fitness levels. 

We found several points of interest along the way, including the historic Pahoia Domain and the Omokoroa peninsula.

Food & Wine 

In Tauranga, food and wine are more than just sustenance. They are a way of celebrating the region’s natural bounty, culinary creativity, and warm hospitality with fresh seafood and produce, vibrant farmer’s markets, and food and wine festivals. 

Tauranga’s coastal location means it has access to an abundance of fresh seafood. The seafood here is a must-try, from tender green-lipped mussels to succulent snapper. 

The city is also surrounded by rich farmland that yields a variety of fresh produce. Whether avocados, kiwifruit, or sweet corn, local produce take centre stage in Tauranga’s cuisine.

We can’t forget the fact that Tauranga annually hosts several food and wine festivals. These events, such as the Tauranga Food, Wine & Music Festival, offer visitors the opportunity to taste various dishes, sip on fine wines, and enjoy live entertainment.

Here are some famous things and plcaes to check out in Tauranga for foodies and wine lovers. 

  • Tauranga Farmer’s Market

Website: Tauranga Farmer’s Market
Address: 31 Fifth Avenue, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
Hours: Saturday – 7:45 AM to 12 PM

Every Saturday morning, the Tauranga Farmer’s Market is bustling with activity. We found an abundance of artisanal goods here!

  • The Cider Factorie

Website: The Cider Factorie
Address: 50 Oikimoke Road, Te Puna 3176, New Zealand
Hours: Monday & Tuesday – Closed; Wednesday to Sunday –  11 AM to 5 PM
Phone: +64 07 552 4558

The Cider Factorie offers a range of craft ciders made from locally grown apples. Their sun-soaked deck is the perfect place to enjoy a cider-tasting tray while taking in the views of the orchard.

  • Bobby’s Fresh Fish Market

Address: 1 Dive Crescent, Tauranga 3110, New Zealand
Hours: Monday & Tuesday – Closed; Wednesday to Sunday – 8 AM to 6 PM

At Bobby’s Fresh Fish Market on Dive Crescent, you can buy seafood that’s as fresh as it gets. They offer a wide range of fish, shellfish, and ready-to-eat seafood meals.

  • First We Eat: Food & Wine Festival 

This annual festival, usually held in February at Wharepai Domain, offers a day of live music, gourmet food stalls, and wine and craft beer tasting.

  • Tauranga Tasting Tours

These tours offer a chance to explore Tauranga’s food and wine scene with a knowledgeable guide. They offer a variety of tours, including visits to wineries, craft beer breweries, and restaurants.

Growing Economy 

Tauranga is famous for its growing economy, located in the Bay of Plenty region, home to several industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. The city’s economy offers many business advantages, including a skilled workforce, a favourable business environment and more. 

Tauranga’s coastal location and natural deepwater harbour make it a significant logistics and transport hub, boasting New Zealand’s largest port, the Port of Tauranga. This facilitates international trade, contributing significantly to the local and national economy.

Plus Tauranga’s economy is diverse and robust, with key sectors including horticulture (especially kiwifruit and avocados), hospitality, tourism, and construction. The city also has a growing reputation as an innovation hub focusing on high-tech industries.