Welcome to the Tauranga cruise port guide. Tauranga cruise port might as well be named after the area “Bay of Plenty”, because there is plenty to do here. Tauranga is often chosen as one of the best ports of call in New Zealand simply because of the variety of activities that the area has to offer. Check out our Tauranga cruise port guide for all the information on where you are docking and how to get around.
Tauranga cruise port: docked at the port of Tauranga
Cruise ships dock at the port of Tauranga. First thing you need to know is that the city center of Tauranga is about a 20 minute drive away and the cruise port of Tauranga is actually situated in front of the Mount Maunganui town center. And although Tauranga is the larger town here we feel like you should definitely not miss out on Mount Maunganui. It is a resort town that really come to live in summertime. There are lots of things to see and in the near area of the ship. You can visit the beach, go shopping or hiking all within minutes walk of the cruise ship.
There is a visitors information center situated on the cruise dock. There are many representatives available at the cruise terminal to answer any kind of questions you might have about your day ashore here. They also have lots of brochures and maps ready for you to take along. There are also local tours offered at the visitors center in the Tauranga cruise port. They offer shore excursions to Rotorua, Te Puie, Wai-o-tapu, Tauranga, Waitomo, Hobbiton and much more. If you are interested in taking one of these tour we highly recommend you to book them early in the morning.
Your cruise ship might run a shuttle bus to the city center of Tauranga, but this is often not the case. Check this information with your cruise line. There is often a local shuttle bus service offered by a Tauranga tour operator. Pay 10 US or NZ dollar for a return ticket per person. This shuttle bus will bring you to Tauranga city center, which is approximately a 20 minute drive.
Usually there are only a few taxis in the morning that might offer to take you around, but please don’t be disappointed if there are none. Perhaps prebook a taxi or make sure to have an alternative ready if it doesn’t work out.
Mount Maunganui trolley train
Mount Maunganui offers a little trolley train to give you a tour around town.
Hop on hop off bus
There is a hop on hop off bus in Tauranga. It doesn’t make a stop at the cruise port, but it will stop at the Mount Hot Salt Water Pools on Adams Ave in Mount Maunganui and Downtown Mount Maunganui. Hop on the bus here and cruise the area.
Public Transporation at the port
Mount Maunganui is provided with a good public transportation system. The Bay Bus can get you easily from point A to B. It’s the yellow (GL), blue (CL) en green (CL) line that run by the Tauranga cruise port. Your closest bus stop to the cruise terminal is Salisbury Avenue: CL (short for City Link), the green line is the line that will get you into town fast! More information on the where these lines go can be found on: https://www.baybus.co.nz/tauranga-western-bay/tauranga-and-western-bay
Walk to the Mount Maunganui town center
The Mount Maunganui city center is only a couple of hundred yards away from the cruise ship. Maunganui Road is the considered to be the main street of the town. To get to the main street simply turn right when you exit the port, follow this road for about 200 yards. You will have Maunganui Road to you left and right when you are at the first crossing. You can easily recognise it because it has a Burger King on one of the corners of the crossing.
One of the first things that will catch your eyes when your cruise ship is docked is Mount Maunganui also known as Mauao. This green, 230 meter high hilltop gives you great hikes and sites to visit. If you are looking into doing something active without having to step on a bus than this is your spot to go. Mount Maunganui offers a couple of hiking routes: – The Base Track: fairly flat and takes about 45 minutes (3,5 km) – Summit Track: The Oruahine and Waikorire track go up the summit. It will take you about an hour to do a hike up to the summit and back.
Additionally to Mount Maunganui you will also find the tiny island of Moturiki located right in front of the town center of Mount Maunganui. You can also spot this island right off the ship as well. You can take a hike around the island. This will take you about 30 minutes. The island gives great views and there is also a blow hole.
Mount hot pools
Another unique thing to do is to visit the Mount Hot Pools. They can be found on the base of Mount Maunganui and are within walking distance of the ship.
Beach near Tauranga cruise port
There are 2 beaches in Mount Maunganui that are within walking distance of the Tauranga cruise port. There is the Mount Maunganui Main Beach. You will find this amazing beach on the other side of peninsula at about 10 minute walk from the port. This is a great beach with lots of things to see and do like volleybal, surfing and lots of food trucks. The waves are high here, which makes it great for surfing but less for swimming. Mount Maunganui peninsula also offers a beach at Pilot Bay. The water is much calmer here which makes it better for other types of watersport like: SUB boarding, kayaking and small sail boats. You will find that there are also a lot of small boats at anchor here in front of the beach. There are no facilities here that will supply sunbaths or restaurants. Pilot Bay beach is only a few minutes walk from the cruise dock. As you exit the cruise dock you will simply see the beach in front of you.
Getting out of town:
Tauranga – which is the main town in the area. Tauranga is about 20 minutes drive from the Tauranga cruise port
Hobbiton – 1 hour drive of the cruise port
Rotorua – Over 1 hour drive south of the port
Wai-o-tapu – 1,5 hour drive to the south of the port.
Waitomo – Over 2 hour drive to the south east of the port.
US dollars are most often not accepted. A combination of New Zealand dollars and a creditcard is the way to go here.
There is no wi-fi available at the Tauranga cruise port, but you will find many restaurants and bars on Mount Maunganui Road (the main street) that offer it. This is only a couple of minutes walk from the cruise port.