Tauranga  (population 101,000) is the major city of the western Bay of Plenty on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is the sixth largest city in the country, and is 105 km east of Hamilton and 85 km north of Rotorua, and about 20 km north of Te Puke.
Tauranga is located at the head of a large harbour which extends along the western Bay of Plenty, and is protected by Matakana Island. The town and headland of Mount Maunganui stand at the entrance to the harbour, five kilometres north of Tauranga. "The Mount", as it is known, is often regarded as a satellite town of Tauranga, although it is technically a suburb. Its is one of the major resort cities in New Zealand, famous for its beautiful beaches.
The name Tauranga comes from Maori, it roughly translates to "a sheltered anchorage".
Due to its sheltered position on the east coast, Tauranga enjoys a warm, dry climate. This has made it a popular location to retire to. During the summer months the population swells as the holidaymakers descend on the city.
Much of the countryside surrounding Tauranga is horticultural land, used to grow a wide range of fresh produce for both domestic consumption and export. The area is particularly well known for growing tangelos (a grapefruit / tangerine cross) and kiwifruit. The Port of Tauranga also experiences brisk but seasonal shipping traffic and is a regular stop off for both container ships and luxury cruise liners.
If you are coming from Auckland you will have to go along state highway 2. You will need to turn onto 2 then turn onto 27 and then turn again onto 29, this should take you on a straight all the way to Tauranga. Tauranga also has a minor airport with regular Air New Zealand  flights from Auckland and Wellington.
Naked Bus  offers daily departures to most North Island locations, including Waitomo Caves, with fares starting at $1.
Intercity Coachlines  also stop in downtown Tauranga en route from numerous parts of New Zealand.
Tauranga has a bus system which services the Tauranga, Mt Maunganui, Papamoa & Te Puke areas. Most people however rely on their own vehicles, although the bus service is very reliable.
BayHopper Bus Time Tables: 
- White Island - is an active volcano which is biding its time to erupt (New Zealand’s only live maritime volcano). Before stepping on the island, tourists are issued hardhats and gas masks. It is necessary to wear mask because fumes on White Island can affect some people - with headaches or nausea. At the ancient dock of the Island one has to climb along steel ladders and then walk along a concrete wharf, over a rusting steel bridges and then clamber over rocks before you find yourself before a live volcano.
- Mauao - (A small mountain to climb with fantastic views of Mt Maunganui and Tauranga area and coastlines).
- Kiwifruit Country - Te Puke
- Longridge Farm - Te Puke
- Marshalls Farm - Omokaroa
- Te Puna Quarry Park (previously a quarry but turned into a park through voulenteer work) - Te Puna
- Mount Maunganui, . "As New Zealand's Surf City, Mount Maunganui's beaches are great for surfing and diving, with large numbers of visitors wanting to experience the laid-back summery atmosphere."
In the summer most holiday makers travel to "The Mount" to make the most of the beautiful beaches and the great surf. The waters off the coast of Tauranga also are good fishing areas. It also has a good selection of beautiful walks.
- Katikati Bird Gardens, Walker Road East (25 mins drive north of Tauranga off State High Way 2), ☎ 07 549 0912, . 10AM-4:30PM. Lovely old established gardens on the edge of the inner Tauranga harbour. Mostly formal with wetlands area and walk. Golf cart tours and hire. Great café. Native birds on display including the NZ Kea. from $5.
- The Kiwi Asylum, 386 Papamoa Beach Road (Tauranga), ☎ +64 7 218 0355, 027 2732 544, . Dirtsurfing is for the adrenaline junkie in all of us. All that is needed is a willingness to try this inline board sport.Only your imagination will limit what you can do with your Dirtsurfer. A Dirtsurfer is like a combination of a skateboard and a bike molded into one.
There are two main shopping centres in the Tauranga region - Bayfair at 'The Mount' and central Tauranga, or 'town'
People in Tauranga love to eat out. There is a large selection of restaurants to eat at, especially on 'The Strand', which is regarded as the restaurant central of Tauranga.
- Nazar Mediterranean Cafe & Takeaway, 332 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui, ☎ +64 (0)7 5753887, . Mediterranean Cafe & Takeaway Cuisines : Mediterranean , Turkish Payment Options : Cash, EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard, American Express Other : Streetside Outdoor Seating Economical - NZD 10 to 20.
As with eating, people in Tauranga love cafes. You will also find numerous pubs around the area. A double spirit will cost $6-$7NZ.
'The Strand' is the main area for Tauranga's nightlife consisting of a strip of bars, clubs and restaurants.
- The Grumpy Mole - General Mainstream, Top 50 Music
- Krazy Jacks - Alternative / Rock club providing live bands - no dress standard enforced
- The Budda Lounge - Cocktail Lounge with some impressive bartenders working
- Home Bar
- Coyotes - Mainstream music with dance on Saturday nights - high standard of dress
- Crown & Badger - Great pub meals
- De Bier Haus
Various Backpacker/Hostel type accommodation is available in Tauranga.
- Just The Ducks Nuts Backpackers, 6 Vale Street, Phone:+64 7 576 1366 (email:[email protected]), . Located in the Otumoetai/Pillans Point area a 20-25 min walk or short bike from downtown Tauranga.
- YHA Tauranga Hostel, 171 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga. Phone: +64 7 578 506. . Located close to the city, only a 5-10 min walk.
- Genevieves Garage, 2/30 Miro Street, Mount
- Harbourside City Backpackers Tauranga, 105 The Strand Tauranga, Phone: +64 7 579 4066, (email: [email protected]), . Located right in amongst the main restaurant, pub and clubbing area.
- Hotel On Devonport, Devonport Towers, 72 Devonport Road, Tauranga, Phone: +64 7 578 2668, . Noticeable in the heart of downtown Tauranga, it also houses private apartments.
- The Sebel Trinity Wharf Tauranga, 51 Dive Crescent, ☎ 64 7 577 8700, . Stylish 4.5 star North Island hotel in New Zealand. Superb New Zealand accommodation in the heart of Tauranga with Harbour views.