Whether you are a mum who is new to Tauranga or would like to know what there is to do with your toddler or preschooler, here is a list of 12 fun activities you can do in Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and the surrounding areas.
1. Go rock hunting at Te Puna Quarry Park
The latest Facebook craze of painting rocks and hiding them in secret places for others to find has been a huge hit for both children and parent. And Te Puna Quarry Park is the best park to find lots of these hidden treasures. Spend a morning or afternoon there, take a picnic and go exploring around the quarry. The park features walking tracks, picnic areas, sculptures, beautiful gardens, ponds, water features, a natural amphitheatre, butterfly house and garden.
Make sure you join Tauranga Rocks Facebook Group to post your finds 🙂
2. Splash at Baywave
If your child loves the water, then Baywave will be sure to impress. Baywave has the biggest wave pool in New Zealand and the wave machine operates on the hour. Next to the wave pool is the toddlers pool which has water fountains and a waterfall for children to splash in.
3. Coffee date at AvGas Café & Bar
When you visit AvGas Cafe, located at the Classic Flyers Museum, order the “Little Friends” coffee deal: consisting of a coffee, muffin, fluffy and a ride in the pedal car for only $8 during 9-11am weekdays. Kids can play in the enclosed play area inside or outside in the large playground with a mini plane and train, swing, slide, underground tunnel, life-size war planes and helicopters that you can climb inside and play. Rain or shine, your little one will have enough to keep them entertained while you enjoy your coffee. Discover other child-friendly cafes here.
4. Feed the animals at Marshalls Animal Park
Marshalls Animal Park is situated within McLaren Falls Park and is home to many domestic and exotic animals. Kids will experience an up-close and personal encounter with the animals and will be able to feed and play with a host of farmyard animals and other exotic wildlife. You will find emus, ostriches, goats, pigs, sheep, rabbits, birds, horses, deers, cattle, guinea pigs and more. Sheltered picnic spots with tables allow you to enjoy the attractions at your leisure and there is also a playground complete with flying foxes, swings and slides.
5. Get active at Tumble Time
A great way to burn off some energy for your toddler or preschooler is Tumble Time. The kids will love the trampolines, bouncy castle, obstacle courses, moon hoppers, scooters, trikes, bikes, balls, scooters, gymnastic equipment, slides, little tykes cars and much more! A sure way to tire your little one for their afternoon nap! Check out session times here.
6. Have fun at Memorial Park
Memorial Park is Tauranga’s central city’s premier park. The park makes up 11 hectares of land sitting next to the harbour between 11th and 7th Avenues. The park boasts two large playgrounds complete with swings, slides, climbing equipment, sea-saws, bridges, climbing ropes and monkey bars. Also at the park is a water fountain, skate ramp, free BBQs, swimming pools, miniature railway train and a mini golf course. This fantastic park makes it a fun filled day for the whole family. Discover other fun park/playgrounds here.
7. Visit the many beaches
You won’t need to travel far to enjoy the stunning beaches in Tauranga. Whether you soak up the sun at the Mount or at Papamoa, the golden sand beaches provide a great opportunity to build sandcastles, dip your feet in the incoming tide, collect sea shells or enjoy an ice cream. Discover other beautiful beaches here.
8. Ride the train
A must-see attraction at Memorial Park is the miniature railway. Your little one will love the train ride as it navigates its way along the tracks, through the tunnels, over the bridge and through the train crossing. Only $2 per person (free for under 2s), one ride is never enough and you’ll want to go again!
9. Visit Hairy Maclary and Friends
Scattered along the waterfront in the strand are nine characters from Lynley Dodd’s ‘Hairy Maclary’ books in the form of bronze sculptures. These larger than life statues have become a popular attraction for both the young and old. Located next to the sculptures is the Strand Waterfront Playground. Designed for children of all ages, it includes a lighthouse tower with slides and life buoy, a pirate ship, dancing snake swing, flying saucer swing, a sandpit with ride-on digger and a water feature where kids can run through water fountains.
10. Have a Picnic at McLaren Falls Park
Take a picnic to McLaren Falls Park and enjoy the 190 hectares of secluded parkland surroundings. Here you can explore the bush walks, feed the ducks or have a dip in the lake. A popular spot for fishing, swimming, kayaking, camping and swimming, this picturesque park is only 20 minutes drive from Tauranga’s CBD.
11. Soak n Splash at the Mount Hot Pools
At the Mount Hot Pools every Thursday morning you can bring your preschooler for Soak ‘n Splash – a preschool aqua play. A great opportunity to give your child a head-start in water confidence and an amazing bonding experience for you and your little one.
12. Toddler Time at the Library
If your toddler or preschooler loves books and nursery rhymes then Toddler Time at the Library is a must visit. Toddler Time is a 30 minute fun, free session featuring songs, finger and action rhymes, stories and movement. Afterwards, you can play with the toys and puzzles available at the library or peruse the books to take home. Find out where your nearest session is here.