Hobbiton Movie Set
The Hobbiton Movie Set was a significant location used for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film series. It is situated on a family run farm about 10 kilometres southwest of Matamata, and about 45 minutes away from Tauranga, in Waikato, New Zealand, and is now a Tolkien tourism destination, offering a guided tour of the set. Wikipedia
Hot Water Beach & Cathedral Cove
Hot Water Beach is a beach on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. It is approximately 12 kilometres south east of Whitianga, and approximately a 3 hour drive from Tauranga. Its name comes from underground hot springs that filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches. Wikipedia
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves attraction is a cave at Waitomo on the North Island of New Zealand. It is known for its population of Arachnocampa luminosa, a glowworm species found exclusively in New Zealand. There are organized tours that include a boat ride under the glowworms. Wikipedia
Mount Tongariro National Park
Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand, located in the central North Island. It has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site of mixed cultural and natural values. The active volcanic mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe (i.e. Mt. Doom), and Tongariro are located in the centre of the park. Wikipedia
Tauranga: Our City & Region
Tauranga is a city blessed with sunshine and temperate weather all year long. It’s actually New Zealand’s fastest growing city! Well known as a vacation destination, Tauranga is home to Mount Maunganui, referred to by the locals as “the Mount”. The white sand surf beaches of Mount Maunganui and Papamoa draw thousands of visitors in the summer months. Because of its relative size, there is a lot more to do here than in the smaller coastal towns.
Tauranga and the surrounding area offers a decent range of activities to enjoy like indoor rock climbing, surfing, swimming, sky diving, white water rafting, whale watching, extreme jet boating, and of course, bungy jumping. The Mount is home to lots of different water sports and also hosts the national surf championships.
See below for some amazing things to do in Tauranga and the surrounding area!
1. The Mount
Mount Maunganui, or “The Mount”, is an extinct volcano that divides the Tauranga harbour from the Bay of Plenty. From the 230m peak, you can get a 360° panorama of the city and the surrounding countryside. The beach below is home to surfing, shopping and white sand as far as you can see.
2. Swim With Dolphins
Get in the water and swim with the playful dolphins that call our waters home. There’s a chance you’ll see much more than dolphins, as orcas, humpback and pilot whales, little Blue Penguins, NZ Fur Seals, and much more all make their home in New Zealand’s temperate waters. It’s an experience like no other! See here for more information!
3. Jet Boating
A must-do for anyone travelling to New Zealand, jet-boating offers high-speed entertainment through some of the most scenic places in the world. The nearest jet-boat ride to Tauranga is about 45 minutes away, but there are plenty of options scattered around the country. See here for more information.
4. Rotorua Geothermal Region
Within an hour’s drive of Tauranga city is the world-famous Rotorua Geothermal Region, home to bubbling mud pots, geysers, colourful pools, hot-water rivers, steaming craters, and so much more. Thousands of visitors come from all around the world each year to experience these phenomena. Catch a view of Lake Rotorua after a gondola ride to the top of Mount Ngongotaha, and make sure to hit up the luge!
5. Karangahake Gorge
The remnants of an 1800s gold mine operation, the Karangahake Gorge takes you on a tour through time. Explore the ruins of abandoned batteries, pump houses, tunnels, and mine shafts on this easy set of walking trails. You may even see some glow worms. Bring your torches!
6. White Water Rafting
Just under an hour’s drive away from Tauranga is the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. If you’re brave enough, you can ride the Kaituna River as it plunges down the world-famous Tutea Falls, which is over 7 metres high! This is truly an experience like no other!