After living in Tauranga for over 25 years, I still get blown away by the beauty of this area. If you’re quite new to town or haven’t had time to really explore lately, here’s my list of “must see” spots.
Omokoroa Domain & Crapp Reserve - a gorgeous spot by the harbour looking out to Matakana Island complete with playground and dairy. It’s a safe beach for the kids and Crapp Reserve on the hill above is an old pa site with huge trees.
Te Puna Quarry Park - one of my favourite places to take my boys when they were little. I love all of the different garden zones like the sensory garden and the butterfly garden plus all of the sculptures and mosaics.
Newdicks Beach - around the coast from Maketu, it’s accessible via farmland and so worth the walk. There are beautiful pohutukawa trees, pristine sand and rockpools. It’s a totally hidden gem.
Daisy Hardwick Walkway - right in the heart of the city it’s a magical spot for a walk, run or bike ride alongside the Waikareao Estuary. I love spotting kingfishers and herons and fish in the water.
Op Shops - how do I choose which ones! I can’t but if you head to Greerton, Fraser Cove, Brookfield, Central Parade, downtown the Mount, Papamoa, Bethlehem, Omokoroa, Te Puke or Katikati you’ll find plenty! The Western Bay is a mecca for op shops - you won’t be disappointed!
Otanewainuku Reserve - a stunning spot that’s totally worth the drive, even though the unsealed road towards the end is pretty dusty in summer. You can choose to climb to the summit - it’s tough but the panoramic views in all directions are so worth it - or take the Rimu Loop Track or discover Whataroa Falls. I’ve only done the summit track so far and definitely need to go back to do the other two.
There are so many amazing places around the Bay - it's definitely worth you taking the time to get out and explore. Have fun!