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Population: 116,000

The vivacious waterfront city of Tauranga is the main centre of the region and is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. Tauranga is famous for the sun, sand, sea and numerous places to eat, shop, socialise and recover.

Located at the entrance to one of the largest natural harbours in New Zealand and nestled beside the magnificent Mauao (Mount Maunganui), Tauranga is also home to the country’s biggest export port, Port of Tauranga.

The harbour hosts many cruise ship visits each summer and is popular with windsurfers, jet skiers and all those who love water activities.

Two large marinas hold over 1000 yachts and launches with many charter boat operators taking keen game fishers out to the internationally renowned deep sea fishing waters of the Bay of Plenty. Scuba diving is also enjoyed by many and there are wrecks, reefs and volcanic islands to explorer underwater.

Downtown Tauranga has several historically significant areas to view during a scenic walk around the area. The Strand waterfront area has undergone a major redevelopment in the past few years, and the changes include a children’s play area with water feature, seating areas and cultural artwork. The Strand area also has a number of cafés, restaurants and pubs plus a vibrant nightlife.

Papamoa Beach Resort is the perfect beach base from which to explore Tauranga.