Te Puna Quarry
One of the Bay’s beautiful gardens that has become of place of special beauty, with spectacular panoramic views out over the Bay of Plenty, and a lush variety of gardens around the quarry this is becoming a popular destination in the area with local artist contributing to the “special beauty” with sculptures placed around the park, this is a magical place to explore with walking tracks that are easy for the moderately fit, pack a picnic and enjoy the tranquillity of mother nature’s stunning views.
Mount Maunganui (Mauao)
Mauao also known as Mount Maunganui is an iconic landmark for the Bay of Plenty with the base track being New Zealand’s single most popular walk. Allow 45 minutes and plenty of time to enjoy the crashing ocean waves and views across to Tauranga and Matakana Island. Stop along the rock pools along the way at low tide and let the kids explore. For the more active, the walk to the top of the mountain the views at the top are phenomenal. Mauao is a historic reserve owned by Maori and managed by Tauranga City Council.
Leisure Island (moturiki)
This small island sits just off Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach. In the past, it’s been a Maori pa, a quarry, a marine aquarium and a tourist attraction called Leisure Island. Now it’s a protected reserve with marine wildlife including a colony of blue penguins making this great little place to enjoy a walk, roughly 20minutes return this is a nice relaxed walk to take a different view of Mount Maunganui’s main beach.
Papamoa Hills Regional Park
The Papamoa Hills Regional Park is a hiker’s paradise. Explore the park’s cultural heritage and walk around former pa sites, or challenge yourself to reach the 224m-high summit and enjoy breathtaking views.
The main and most well-known walking track is from the carpark, located on Poplar Lane, to the trig station (at 224 metres). This track leads through pine forest, native bush and open grassland and showcases the terracing on several pa sites and breathtaking views from the top. It takes about 45 minutes and rises relatively steeply.
There are several other tracks which allow you to explore the cultural heritage of the park and make the most of the expansive views, with most tracks leading you to each of the six pa sites within the Park boundary.
Katikati Bird Gardens
These beautiful and tranquil gardens are on the edge of the inner Tauranga harbour. Water-Lilly ponds, mature trees, flower gardens and natural wetlands the gardens are a delight year round. And with many varieties of birds wandering free and in aviaries this special corner of New Zealand is truly unique.
Gift shop. Cafe. Golf car hire. A great family day out and place to unwind.
McLarens Falls Park
McLaren Falls Park is 190 hectares of parkland set alongside Lake McLaren and is just ten minutes by car, from Tauranga. The park is popular for camping, fishing, kayaking, disc golf course, wedding photos, picnics, bush walks and summertime concerts. It is also home to one of the best botanical collections of trees in New Zealand. One of the highlights of the park is the waterfall track where you can see glow worms after dusk. Enjoy a short, easy stroll to the picturesque waterfall and spot the glow worms on either side of the track. Part of the waterfall track is also wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly.