New Zealand, Tauranga City. You’re really missing out if you’ve never been. I don’t just say this about any old place. You should get in a plane, train or automobile and get there as soon as possible if you’ve never sat on The Mount watching the sun rise or had a beer on The Strand! You’ll find Tauranga on the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Originally a small coastal town, it’s now New Zealand’s fifth biggest city after Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Hamilton. You’ll see Tauranga harbour and Mauao, Mt Maunganui’s famous dormant volcano when you drive in from the north over the Kaimai mountain range.
Instead of having shopping centres concentrated in one area, Tauranga has them spread out throughout the suburbs. When you have a population of 120,000, traffic can get pretty backed up (although that’s nothing compared to Auckland’s gridlock nightmare), so give yourself plenty of time. Check out these fun activities if you’re looking for something to do. Take a dolphin safari from Tauranga to swim with these beautiful mammals. Just to name a few adrenaline pumping activities, you can windsurf, surf, parasail, hang glide, microlight, skydive, and base jump from Mauao.
Whakatane is only a short drive away where you can take a boat out to White Island and walk around an active volcano! You can watch dolphins and whales on your way out to the island, it’s one of the only places to do this! Try relaxing at one of the many bars and restaurants during Easter and listen to live jazz if adventure isn’t your thing. Make sure you book your Tauranga hotels well in advance so you don’t miss the New Zealand Jazz Festival. Tauranga is a treasure trove of fun and beautiful places. Next time you’re planning your yearly vacation, I’d recommend spending a couple days here.