Tauranga is located at the western end of the Bay of Plenty, on the North Island’s central eastern coast. It is built around Tauranga Harbour, a busy port, and the surrounding region is a fertile fruit growing district. It is sheltered to the west by the Kaimai Ranges and to the east by Matakana Island.
Historically, Tauranga was a base for missionaries and for the flax trade. The city is also home to Gate Pa, the site of an historic battle between local Maori and European settlers. Artillery and earthworks can still be seen at the site. Today, Tauranga’s warm climate and coastal location makes the city a popular location to live, and it is the country’s fastest growing centre. Its major attractions are boating, surfing and fishing, and a host of other activities such as water skiing, diving and windsurfing. The city also has some interesting historical buildings and attractions, such as Tauranga Historic Village/Museum.
Nearby Mt Maunganui is built on a long sandy peninsula and can be reached by the harbour bridge or via the coast road. It is a popular resort with a long sandy beach and fine surfing. At the tip of the peninsula is Mt Maunganui itself. This bush clad hill has several walking tracks and excellent views of the area.