Tauranga cruises destination information
|Tauranga itinerary and upcoming sailing dates|
|Dec 4, 2019||New Zealand, 12 nights||from $3759|
|Dec 22, 2019||Australia and New Zealand, 12 nights||from $3389|
|Oct 29, 2019||New Zealand, 12 nights||from $3458|
|Jan 3, 2020||Australia and New Zealand, 10 nights||from $2155|
|Feb 2, 2020||New Zealand, 11 nights||from $3612|
|Dec 29, 2019||New Zealand, 14 nights||from $3360|
|Sep 30, 2019||New Zealand, 13 nights||from $6415|
|Feb 29, 2020||New Zealand, 12 nights||from $3608|
|Nov 24, 2019||New Zealand, 14 nights||from $4183|
|Dec 7, 2019||New Zealand, 13 nights||from $3075|
|Dec 13, 2019||Australia and New Zealand, 14 nights||from $2748|
|Jan 18, 2020||New Zealand, 12 nights||from $3916|
|Nov 3, 2019||New Zealand, 14 nights||from $4115|
|Jan 8, 2020||New Zealand, 13 nights||from $3437|
|Jan 30, 2020||New Zealand, 13 nights||from $1762|
|Feb 2, 2020||New Zealand, 14 nights||from $4519|
|Nov 24, 2019||New Zealand, 13 nights||from $4022|
|Jan 4, 2020||New Zealand Discovery, 14 nights||from $3156|
|Jan 10, 2020||New Zealand, 13 nights||from $3894|
|Dec 20, 2019||New Zealand, 13 nights||from $5355|
The Stunning Main Port of Tauranga
Tauranga, meaning "shelter" (named by Capt. Cook the Bay of Plenty), with its population of 103,000, is a modern thriving city supported by the export of lumber and farming.
The popular seaside suburb of Mount Maunganui is where your cruise ship will berth at Port of Tauranga, and here you will find beautiful white sandy beaches, hot pools, boutique shopping, waterfront cafes and the mighty Mauao. Mauao (more commonly referred to as ‘the Mount’) features popular walking tracks which will give you spectacular views of the region, the Pacific Ocean and outlying islands.
Across the harbour bridge is the heart of Tauranga city, where you can visit the Tauranga Art Gallery, enjoy coffee or lunch in one of the many cafes or restaurants located along the waterfront or visit a number of art or clothing shops. The Tauranga i-SITE visitor centre can provide you with plenty of maps and information about what to see and do.
Rotorua (80km inland from the port of Tauranga) is a geothermal wonderland. Spectacular erupting geysers, bubbling mud pools, hot springs and clouds of billowing steam are visible at every turn. Rotorua is also the heart of Maori culture in , with an historic living village, carving and weaving displays, and Maori music, singing and dancing performances. The region is an adventure hot spot, with plenty of activities – some of them world firsts - to challenge the adrenalin junkie. Its 16 lakes make Rotorua an aquatic paradise ideal for swimming, fishing and other water options, and its range of spas and spa therapies are the perfect way to end a day of sightseeing.
Cruise Port: What to do in Tauranga
Cruising to Tauranga? Once onshore you can stroll the city centre, enjoy the buzzing scene at Mount Maunganui, or take a trip from Tauranga into the beautiful countryside that surrounds it. There are plenty of things to do and see, and the jewel in the crown for this coastal city are its stunning ocean-facing beaches.
Cruise ships visiting Tauranga tie up at Salisbury Wharf in the port of Tauranga. Although a 10-15 minute drive from the city centre, it is very handy to the suburb of Mount Maunganui, Tauranga's answer to the Gold Coast. Although a small terminal, it does provide tourist information and just outside the gates are plenty of tourism operators including rental cars and bus tours.
Local ambassadors are often on hand on or off the ship to help you get situated, so it's easy to get ashore and start exploring.
The currency used in Tauranga is New Zealand dollars - no other currencies will be accepted, but credit cards can be used in many stores and restaurants. There is a Travelex (currency exchange) outlet at 165 Maunganui Road, less than 5 minutes' walk from the cruise terminal, open during business hours. There you can change your foreign currency for NZD. ATMs are also scattered throughout Mount Maunganui and Tauranga, where you can withdraw cash from a credit card.
Like all cities in New Zealand, Tauranga is quite expensive. If you're visiting a nice restaurant, expect to pay somewhere around $20-$30 per person for a meal, and if you're keeping it relaxed you might pay $10-$12 for a casual meal. A glass of wine or a beer could be anywhere between $6-$12. Tipping is completely optional and not very common.
Local life and language
Kiwi culture is alive and well in Tauranga, as in all other New Zealand cruise ports. Locals are often relatively reserved but generally friendly and willing to point lost tourists in the right direction, so be polite and you should have no problems. People dress casually in most cases, especially on and around the beach.
English is spoken as the primary language in New Zealand. You might also come across some Maori words incorporated into signs - and it's the language behind those hard-to-pronounce place names! Tauranga is pronounced more or less â€œtoe-rahng-ahâ€ and Maunganui â€œmohng-ah-noo-ee.â€
What to do in Tauranga
New Zealand never disappoints when it comes to scenery and adventure, and Tauranga is no exception! Here are a few of the activities on offer in the harbour city.
You don't have to give up your sun and sand when you choose a New Zealand cruise over a South Pacific one. Tauranga and the surrounding suburbs have plenty of ocean-facing stretches of sand where you can get your beach fix!
Mount Maunganui, where the ship docks, has a surf beach on one side and a sheltered bay on the other. The sand stretches unbroken down the coast to Papamoa, another popular beachside suburb. If you are willing to make the trip by kayak or around to Omokoroa to get on the ferry, Matakana Island also has some spectacular and uncrowded white beaches.
Both Mount Maunganui and central Tauranga can offer the city slicker some urban fun - restaurants, bars, cafes and shopping. Wander Marine Parade in the Mount for beachside spots, or follow Maunganui Road to the downtown area.
Get a bus or a taxi into Tauranga proper. The CBD i-Site Visitor centre on Willow Street will help to get you situated, and from there you can walk to the majority of the city's eateries and attractions. Don't miss the Tauranga Art Gallery, and the rejuvenated waterfront area which is nearby.
Climb the Mount
Climbing to the top of â€œThe Mountâ€ in Mount Maunganui is a favourite activity for visitors to Tauranga, and offers an iconic photo opportunity from the top. The hike is all uphill (and all downhill on the way back), and can take an hour or so - but it's worth the effort for the views!
To find the track, follow any road towards the mountain (it's hard to miss) and then head towards the harbour side of the peninsula. A road between the water and the Holiday Park, called Pilot Quay, will take you to the trailheads.
Organised vs self-guided
Deciding whether to sign up for a tour organised by the cruise line is always a tough call. The convenience of a pre-planned outing and the reassurance of the ship not leaving you behind are certainly both great reasons to head out with a group from the ship, but there is often more opportunity for adventure if you make your own way.
In Tauranga, the decision comes down to how far you want to go. If you want to head outside of Mount Maunganui or the city centre, a tour is probably your best option as public transport in New Zealand is quite minimal. However if you are happy to do a little exploring, maybe hit the beach or grab a good coffee, and/or climb the Mount as was mentioned above, there is no need to join a tour - there's plenty to see and do near the ship, and regular buses downtown.
Culture and history
Most lines offer a tour which will help you to learn and understand a little more about the place and people. Tours which take in some Maori cultural attractions are a good place to start for those visiting New Zealand, as the native people have a rich and wonderful story to tell. These often involve a visit to a Marae (meeting house) or to Rotorua to see the thermal village, where geothermal activity provides natural hot springs and the Ngati Wahiao people welcome visitors into their community.
Only an hour away by bus, Rotorua is the destination for many tours out of Tauranga due to the many attractions found there. These include the Agrodome, a family-friendly farm centre with daily shows, the many natural thermal attractions, the skyline gondola and luge, and various activities on the lake. Take a look through the options offered by your cruise line for a great Rotorua getaway.
If you like a bit of excitement in your shore tours, you should find it on the excursion menu. White water rafting is often offered, as well as cave kayaking. Speed demons might like the jetboating experience offered on Royal Caribbean cruises.
To sample a bit of everything, sign up for one of the broader sightseeing or highlight tours. These can focus on Tauranga, especially the walking tours, but many venture a little further
afield, often to the â€œKiwi 360â€ kiwifruit farm and attraction in nearby Te Puke. Some lines even offer trips to Hobbiton. As with most destinations, Princess can arrange private cars and
guides for half or full days.
No matter what you choose to do with your day, you can make it a good one in the lovely city of Tauranga!Cruises visiting Tauranga
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