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The stunningly beautiful Tauranga is full of exciting adventures, activities and attractions. Swim along the dolphins, experience a blissful day spa, dine in a fine restaurant or stroll into the crater of the most active volcano in New Zealand. It caters for all sorts of travellers including families and those who are on a budget trip to make it a memorable one. Here are some of the top family travel destinations you can easily access via Tauranga bus hire.
Bay Explorer Island & Wildlife Cruise
Located at the Tauranga waterfront, the Bay Explorer Island & Wildlife Cruise is one of the best family fun spots in the town. Take a glide past the landmark volcanic mountain Mauao and through the beautiful harbour exploring the stretch of coastline to witness exotic marine wildlife, including orca, sharks, school fish, sunfish, whales, dolphins, seals, penguins and seabirds.
The onboard crew will be precise in pointing out all the sightings, so that nobody misses anything. Middle of the day, you take a halt at a local island and treat yourself with barbecue, while you unwind and relax with some drinks from the bar. Those willing to swim, paddle-board or kayak can do so, with a proper guide. The journey will conclude with a cruise back to Tauranga, while reflecting on the day’s discoveries and watching wildlife.
Founded in 2006 by Jean Caillabet, Adrenalin forest was started in the Bay of Plenty region in the year 2011, and has quickly become very popular among the locals and visiting tourists. Suited for all ages and abilities, this is an ideal spot for those who like some adrenaline rush, challenge and freedom in shaping their adventure. You would really enjoy the way you are trained for something you want to do with full independence. Kids can also actively participate with their parents.
The courses offered here are designed to challenge you physically and emotionally, and everything is carried out in a safe environment where all fitness levels are catered to. Three hours of exciting activities come at an affordable price worth each penny.
Rock Climbing is more fun with Rocktopia’s mission to challenge and motivate people of all ages to undertake this adventure in a stimulating environment. They make use of family friendly, safe and secure Clip and Climb walls, with as many as 26 fantastic climbing challenges and 31 amusing climbs to suit all abilities. With the True Blue Belay system, you don’t require a belay person as support. There’s also a dedicated “Rock On” training area for those who want to train for serious sports.
Another key highlight of the place is the ‘Rock On’ bouldering cave, which makes you feel like in the heart of bushland. And as you go higher, you will find yourself in a gloomy cave with glow worms. If you are looking for some more heart-pounding stuff, try Leap of Faith or Vertical Slide challenge. Excursions led by top climbers also take place at the Bay of Plenty.
McLaren Falls Park
Set alongside Lake McLaren on a 190-hectare land, the McLaren Falls Park is a popular spot for summertime concerts, bush walks, picnics, disc golf course, kayaking, fishing and camping. It also boasts a magnificent botanical collection of trees, one of the best in the country.
The key highlight of the park is the waterfall track, where you can spot glow worms after twilight. You will be able to see them on both sides of the track as you take a walk to the scenic waterfall. A portion of the track is friendly for people on wheel chair as well. Three nights is the maximum you can stay for camping, and the designated areas for that purpose include Pin Oak flat, Hamilton Point and Top Flat. The former has free of cost shower facilities as well.
Papamoa Beach Resort
This unique beachfront location is an ideal family weekend getaway, where you can relax, swim, dig for shellfish, go fishing or simply surf at the beach. A wide array of accommodation is available including villas, park motels, self contained units, cabins, caravan and camping sites. The lavish villas are positioned at the edge of the waters having deck facing the ocean. Enjoy the panoramic views, while munching on a bite at a nearby licensed restaurant.
With an adventure playground, summer holiday Kids Club, beachside setting and giant jumping pillow, there is plenty to entertain your children, while you relax and live the freedom. The resort is also a short drive from Rotorua and Mount Maunganui, with easy accessibility to local bars and cafes.
Mataatua Maori Marae Experience
Built in 1975, it travelled across Australian cities, London and South Island before being reconstructed in its original place, Whakatane. Explore the history of a house that has survived the test of time. Mataatua is a living being, and this is a golden opportunity to engage with the people of Ngati Awa. This is the only meeting house in New Zealand to incorporate technology, history and architecture through the digital lightshow HIKO. New Zealand Designers Institute rewarded it with GOLD Nga Aho Award in the year 2011.
You will love to know more about the customs, culture and history of the Maori people, and also participate in range of customary practices and ancient rituals that define the Ngati Awa tribe. You will experience the significance and magic of each moment in a warm environment.
Located north of the Reporoa caldera in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, Waiotapu is an active geothermal area with many hot springs and pools known for their colourful appearance. Other key highlights include boiling mud pools, Primrose Terrace, Artist’s Palette, Champagne Pool and Lady Knox Geyser. You can easily access them by foot for a curated experience. Prior to being occupied by Europeans, Ngati Whaoa tribe were the first inhabitants of the region. The region has a rich history as a family tourist attraction, and has been protected as a reserve since 1931. It runs under the name of ‘Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland’, a business run by a local Maori tribal.