Tauranga - the largest city in the Bay of Plenty - was once home to three Maori tribes and visual evidence of early settlement can be seen dotted around the hills surrounding the harbour.[ReadmoreMob] Today it is a vibrant and attractive modern city, with many scenic walking routes, a pretty waterfront and plenty of cafes, shops and pubs to discover and enjoy.
Captain Cook - the first European to arrive here - named this area picturesque part of the world the “Bay of Plenty” and was followed by many 19th century missionaries. In Tauranga, the Elms Mission House dates from this period and is furnished in the same way as when it was home to the Reverend Alfred Brown and his family. His four-poster bed and his desk, complete with quill pen, are on show, along with household equipment, including a hand plough.
Mount Maunganui, overlooking the town and harbour, offers spectacular views for those energetic enough to hike to the top, while at the base of the hill, the Mount Hot Pools are the only hot sea-water pools in the country – they are filled with naturally heated salt water.