Tauranga in Bay of Plenty
Tauranga can be reached in only two and a half hours' drive from Auckland.
While it is a rapidly growing city it offers a much more relaxed lifestyle
The beautiful Tauranga harbour has huge appeal for boaties, and two large
marinas hold over a thousand yachts and launches. Charter boats offer game
fishing trips beyond the harbour to fish for marlin off Mayor and White
Beyond the harbour bridge is Mount Maunganui where you can enjoy the
beautiful sandy beaches or walk around the base of "the Mount" - the
dormant volcanic cone known as 'the Mount'. Wherever you go in the Tauranga
the Mount is on the skyline.
Those who want adventure can choose from paragliding, skydiving, jet
skiing, white water rafting, 4WD safaris, gliding, jet boating or swimming
with dolphins. Launches or helicopters take visitors to land at White
Island, which lies 50 kilometres off the Bay of Plenty coast. A flight over
the island is an exciting experience as steam pours from the huge crater.
There is intense thermal activity on the island with steam and natural gas
vents, holes of sulphuric acid and boiling pools. Captain Cook called the
island White Island "because as such it always appeared to us". Its Maori
name, Whakaari, means "to make visible".
Nature lovers can choose among under-water diving, horse
trekking, sailing, numerous unspoiled nature walks, freshwater and
marine fishing, farm and orchard visits and lots of sun, sea and surf.
For those interested in history or in Maori culture there is a wealth of
Visit the country town of Katikati, which was New Zealand's first planned
Irish Ulster settlement, and explore its Heritage Museum, wildlife parks
and gardens. or visit Tauranga's historic buildings, such as the Elms
Mission House, built in the years 1838-47 by Archdeacon A. N. Brown, one of
New Zealand's early missionaries. The Otemahaha Military Cemetery on the
site of an old pa is of interest as the site of the graves of many who fell
in the battles of Gate Pa and Te Ranga fought between the British and Maori
during the Land Wars in 1864.
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