Tauranga is known for its warm climate, sunny skies, and relaxing atmosphere. Digging your feet in the sand or toes into the water is a great way to spend an afternoon, but there is plenty more to do in the region. Read on for five activities in Tauranga that you don’t want to miss this time of the year.
Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tours
Imagine going kayaking through the caverns lining the shores of Tauranga. As you enter one of the caves, the ceilings begin to glow electric blue with bioluminescence. This mesmerising scene is only possible with a Glow Worm Kayak Tour.
The light-show magic happens each evening, as the glow worms lining the cave walls begin to glow. The intensity of the brightness is such that you won’t even need a flashlight or headlamp to navigate that portion of the waterway. It is the closest you will ever feel to a full immersion in a starry night sky.
The Lord Of The Rings Tour
New Zealand’s connection with Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy is well-documented. Fans from across the globe make the pilgrimage to New Zealand solely to experience the majesty of the sets. With just a short drive outside of Tauranga, you can experience the same movie magic.
The Tauranga region is home to two Hobbiton tours. The first, a two-hour tour, gives you a close-up look into the Hobbiton movie set, serving up once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities as you sip ginger beer. The second tour takes guests through Rotorua and the Whakarewarewa Valley, where you’ll glimpse geysers, mud pools, steam vents, and other natural attractions. You can also enjoy a drink on the house at the Green Dragon Inn in The Shire.
If you are lucky enough to visit Tauranga, be sure to see Mount Maunganui, the picture-perfect beaches, and the waterfront. You can roll all those things into one on a cruise around the Tauranga Harbour. The relaxing glide across the crystalline waters will provide continuous scenery and entertainment.
Along the way, you’ll get to view small village settlements and the State of Tangaroa. If you are lucky, you might also draw some wildlife guests, including fur seals, sea birds, or blue penguins.
Tauranga Art Gallery
The Tauranga Art Gallery isn’t as old or as large as other New Zealand museums. But what it lacks in prestige it makes up for in personality. You’ll see everything from art installations, to work by local artists, to contemporary exhibitions. What’s more, the gallery featured 22 displays from the world-renowned graffiti artist Banksy in 2017. To top it off, entrance to the Tauranga Art Gallery is free.
National Jazz Festival
The National Jazz Festival in Tauranga is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. More than 45,000 people attend each year to listen to local, national, and international jazz talents. The fun begins with a Vintage Parade down Willow Street on Saturday morning and caps off with the captivating headline performances on Sunday.
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