Tauranga is a vibrant city located in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand and is surrounded by sandy beaches, beautiful scenery, the harbor, the Kaimai mountain ranges and Mount Maunganui. It is the largest city in the Bay of Plenty and one of New Zealand's main business hubs as well as a centre for international trade, culture, fashion and horticultural science. Tauranga has several areas that are historically significant and are worth the visit. This dynamic region provides those visiting the opportunity of choosing from a variety of outdoor and indoor activities. There are some Muslim-friendly facilities in Tauranga that Muslim tourists can make use of.
Some popular outdoor activities that visitors can choose from, include; mountain biking, white water rafting, kite surfing, swimming, surfing, golfing, fishing, diving, kayaking, and hiking. Those interested can also arrange a dolphin watching tour as well as one to an active island volcano. Tauranga is located just a mere 15 minute drive from Mount Maunganui, which is one of New Zealand's most popular beach towns, the beaches here are great for surfing among other things. While here, visitors must pay a visit to Mauao, which is a culturally and historically significant extinct volcanic cone. There are a couple of tracks that lead to the summit, some more challenging than others. Once at the summit, visitors are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Pacific Ocean as well as the harbor and beach. There is a large pa (fort) site located on top, making Mauao a popular archaeological site as well.
Another must-visit when in Tauranga is the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. This park is a well-known living museum of natural botanical history. It spans over an area of around 45,000 hectares and is made up of two distinct areas, the Kaimai Range and the Mamaku Plateau. Visitors to the park can explore its 300 kilometres worth of tracks and take part in guided activities, tramping, biking, and hunting, and might also come across a variety of flora and fauna; including ones that are endangered. The main three attractions in the park include; Mount Te Aroha , which is the park’s highest point, the Kaimai Heritage Trail and Karangahake Gorge, where tourists will learn a little about gold mining and its history.
Visitors to the city can also indulge in a bit of shopping, visit the Classic Flyers Museum and can try out some local dishes at the many cafés and restaurants located in Tauranga.
Tauranga’s nearest major airport is Tauranga Airport which is easily accessible and is about 6 kilometres from the city center. The closest international Airport to Tauranga is the Rotorua International Airport located in Rotorua and is approximately 74 kilometres away.
There are only a couple of Halal eateries and restaurants in Tauranga due to its small Muslim population. Most local restaurants in the city also serve vegetarian options which could be a fall-back for Muslims who are not able to find Halal food in Tauranga. Muslim tourists need to be warned that even though some restaurants claim to be Halal, they do serve alcohol.
Since New Zealand exports a large amount of meat to Halal countries all around the world, Muslim visitors can also inquire about the availability of Halal meats at the local butchery.
There is a mosque in Tauranga. The Tauranga Muslim Association Inc which is also known as the Tauranga Masjid, serves the city’s Muslim community and can be used by Muslim tourists for regular daily prayers as well as Jumu’ah.