Harbour views, tree-filled parks and a tight-knit community make Welcome Bay one of the most sought after neighbourhoods in Tauranga. The enclave is a seven-kilometre drive from the city centre and wins visitors over with its laid-back lifestyle and easy access to museums, beaches and the entertainment district.
Things to do
A hub for local sports groups, Waipuna Park features grassy fields and modern facilities. On weekends, you’ll see football, rugby and cricket teams working up a sweat on the fields. Nearby Johnson Reserve is laced with shady bushwalking tracks while the family-friendly Tye Park features a kid’s playground and a grassy foreshore that’s great for picnics.
At just seven kilometres from the CBD, Welcome Bay is a great base for exploring Tauranga. In just 10 minutes you can access attractions such as Tauranga Art Gallery and The Elms historic site. The revitalised waterfront is lined with trendy cafes, bars and restaurants where you can sip cocktails and enjoy freshly-caught seafood.
Perched on the peninsula, Mt Maunganui is one of the most iconic beachside neighbourhoods in New Zealand. Bask on the picture-perfect sandy beach and cool off in the rolling surf. Scenic trails skirt the coastline and reward hikers with stunning ocean views. Refuel with brunch at a trendy café and a spa treatment at the luxurious Mount Hot Pools complex.
Drive 10 minutes south of Welcome Bay and you’ll reach Kaiate Falls, one of Tauranga’s best-kept secrets. Park at the trailhead and follow forested paths to a series of cascading waterfalls that plunge into a picturesque swimming hole.
Welcome Bay is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Local buses run to Tauranga’s city centre in around 25 minutes or you can drive in 10 minutes. Tauranga Airport is a 20-minute drive away.