Explore this wonderful city and it’s beautiful scenery. Tauranga walks, parks and reserves
Tauranga is home to some of the most beautiful walking tracks. Whether through parks and reserves, beaches or forests, you’re sure to admire the stunning scenery through all the Tauranga walks.
There are many parks in Tauranga that feature great walks, wonderful play areas and playgrounds for kids. Located all throughout the city are reserves and parks that allow for us all to experience many different kinds of scenery.
When looking to the outskirts of Tauranga, there are a number of forest and bush walks. Each are unique in their own right and offer wonderful flora and fauna. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some of the native birds flying about.
Through the bush walks in Tauranga, there are also a number of waterfalls. Again, each are unique and stunning in their own right. If you happen to explore these waterfalls during the summer, a couple offer wonderful swimming holes at the base of each waterfall. Some are more easily accessible than others and require a reasonable level of fitness.
As for the inner city of Tauranga, the walks are just as serene yet offer a totally different experience. Be it along rivers, through and around estuaries, beaches and garden parks. These are only the tip of the iceberg as to the wonderful walks in Tauranga.
Explore below for all the Tauranga walks. Every walk listed includes both reserves and parks in Tauranga.
Walks in Tauranga – The inner city
Tauranga Walks in the Inner City
- Gordon Carmichael Reserve Walkways
Gordon Carmichael Reserve is 60-hectare of native plants and wetlands. Stretching between the Mayfield subdivision in Bethlehem and the suburb of Brookfield.
Gordon Carmichael Reserve has two kilometres of walkways, including 230 metres of boardwalk. These walkways provide wonderful walking and cycling links between Bethlehem, Brookfield and Bellevue.
Kopurererua Valley Reserve is a natural urban wetland, being one of the largest in Australasia. This wonderful reserve features a variety of different experiences to cherish.
This reserve features native bush, farmland, ponds, animal & aquatic life plus 12km of cycling and walking tracks.
Memorial Park is Tauranga’s Premier park. Featuring two playgrounds, train rides, Humpty Dumpty and much more. This park sits along side the Tauranga Harbour and is a wonderful walk for both adults and kids.
- Ohauiti Reserve walkway
Ohauiti Reserve walkway is a peaceful walk throughout bush, flood plains and pen grasslands.
- Otumoetai foreshore – Matua saltmarsh Walkways
Along the Otumoetai foreshore and Matua saltmarsh (a coastal wetland) are some lovely walking tracks. Included throughout the walk are both Fergusson and Kulim Parks. Both having playgrounds and being wonderful picnic spots.
These walks are rather relaxing as you stroll along the inner edge of Tauranga Harbour, with views of Matakana Island and Mount Maunganui.
- Tauranga-CBD walkway
The Tauranga CBD walkways are through the Tauranga Domain and link out on to the walk along Takitimu drive.
From the domain, you can make your way into the CBD from Cliff Road and explore the Elms Mission House, local rose garden, robbins park, mission cemetery and the subtropical display house.
- The Lakes Walkways
The Lakes is a newly built subdivision with man made parks and lakes. Throughout this new development area are many walking tracks suitable for both mobility scooters and cyclists.
The walking tracks at The Lakes are relatively quiet and serene.
- The Strand Reserve Walkways
The walkways along the waterfront at The Strand in the Tauranga CBD are absolutely stunning. With an outlook to the Tauranga Harbour, walking along you are to see some wonderful sculptures, most notably, Hairy Maclary.
There is also a playground, water features, tidal steps and a pier with bombing platform into the harbour.
- Waikareao Estuary walkway
Waikareao Estuary is a 9km loop walk and cycle way. To complete the loop by walking, takes on average, 2 hours.
The majority of these tracks are flat boardwalks and gravel. These walk and cycle ways flow through bush and wind throughout the estuary.
- Waimapu estuary walkway
The Waimapu estuary track flow through the popular Yatton park. This park features a number of beautiful walking tracks also.
The length of the Waimapu estuary stretches from Turret Rd through Yatton and Grerrton park upon reaching Windemere crossing the footbridge.
Yatton Park/Turret Rd: 1 hour
Esk St/Yatton Park loop: 40 mins return
- Welcome Bay walkway
The tracks throughout Welcome Bay are some of the most scenic walkways in Tauranga. Most notably through Owens Park and Waioraka Reserve.
Walking through both Waipuna park and Johnson Reserve, you follow streams, wetland areas, native bush and open grassed areas.
Allow up to 2 hours to explore these areas and walking tracks completely.
40 mins will allow you to walk from James Cook Drive through Johnson Reserve to Victory St. The smaller loops will also take on average 40 mins.
Inner city Parks in Tauranga
- Carlton Reserve
- Greerton Park
- Liston Park
- Marine Park
- Memorial Park
- Mitchell Park
- Morland Fox Park
- Pemberton park
- Robbins Park
- Te Wati Park
- Tauranga and Wharepai Domains
- Waipuna Park
- Yatton Park
Inner city Reserves in Tauranga
- Carlton Reserve
- Gordon Carmichael Reserve
- Kopurererua Valley Reserve
- The Strand Reserve
Walks on the outskirts of Tauranga
Outer city walks Tauranga Walks
- Aongatete walks
There are four walking tracks here, three being loop tracks. One takes you to Aongatete River while the others are a Nature Trail Loop Track, Short Loop Walk and the Aongatete Long Loop Walk.
- Huharua Harbour Walkway
Huharua Harbour Park Walkways are at the end of Plummers Point Road in Te Puna.
McLaren Falls Park has extensive walkways that stretch all through this wonderful park. To thoroughly walk and experience all this park has to offer would take hours, if not multiple visits.
This lakeland park features a wide variety of botanical trees making it one of the best in the North Island. Go along and explore the lakes, glow worm caves, waterfalls and more… This is a wonderful park out of the city.
- Ngamuwahine Track
This track walks you through dense bush land in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. At the beginning of this track, you cross a river behind the lodge at the end of Ngamuwahine Road. The track finishes at an intersection with the Leyland O’Brien Tramline Track. From here you return the same way.
- Omanawa Falls Walking Tracks
What was once easily accessible is now closed. This is due to safety reasons according to the Tauranga City Council. Although they are seeking funding to improve and develop this park over the coming years.
Omanawa Falls features a wonderful 35m high waterfall and a beautiful swimming hole at the base of this fall. All surrounded by lush bush land. Before continuing on the now closed path to the waterfall, is a viewing platform about 15mins in where you can view the waterfall and swimming hole.
Otanewainuku is 1200 hectares of unlogged forest that has been left alone to become a stunningly beautiful place. The main attractions are the three walks, one to the summit of Mt Otanewainuku, the Rimu Loop Track and Whataroa Falls Track.
Mt Otanewainuku has a summit 640m and the panoramic views are sensational from up here. The Rimu Loop Tracks allows you to experience absolutely breathtaking forest and native trees.. Whataroa Falls is a wonderful walk through bush land to an awesome waterfall and swimming hole.
- Otawa Reservoir Track
Here there are two walks. One which takes you to the reservoir and the other to the Wharetetarakeho trig. The first track takes you to an old dam which was Te Puke’s original water reservoir.
Te Puna Quarry Park was an unused quarry that has now become a popular garden. Covering about 32 hectares, this park features a number of walking tracks through native and exotic gardens, awesome sculptures, garden art, picnic areas and waterways.
A wonderful place to take the kids for a walk and a picnic.
- Tuahu Kauri walking tracks
Feast your eyes on one of the biggest Kauri trees in the Bay Of Plenty. The Kauri being named Tuahu, after its location on an old Maori route that was used as a bridle track in the 1890s.
This track takes you into the Kaimai Mamaku Forest, through native forest and flourishing Rimu and Kauri.
20 Minutes one way
- Wairere Falls Track
On the opposite side of the Kaimai Ranges, near Te Aroha is the one of the tallest and most attractive waterfalls in the North Island. Boasting a height of 153m, this awesome waterfall takes time and effort to reach the top. But is worth the effort with it’s magnificent views.
Walking along the easy track, you cross bridges and walk through forest. There is a viewing platform about half way up, but still requires a reasonable level of fitness and/or time. Wairere Falls is about 45 minutes away from Tauranga.
Allow up to 3-4 hours
Outer city Tauranga Parks
Outer city Tauranga Reserves
- Otanewainuku Forest Reserve
- Otawa Scenic Reserve
Mount Maunganui Walks, Parks and Reserves
Mount Maunganui Walks
The Mount Maunganui base track is 3.4km long, taking around 40 minutes or so to complete. You can begin this walk around Mauao at either side. One nearing Pilot bay and the other nearing the surf lifesaving club.
Standing 232m above sea level, this iconic mountain is significant in many ways. The Mauao summit track is not easy, requiring a reasonably good level of fitness and mobility to climb to the top, but it’s an effort that is well deserved. Be sure to take water and pace yourself.
As you reach the summit of Mauao you will be greeted with unbeatable views. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Mount Maunganui, Papamoa, Matakana Island, Tauranga and beyond.
Mount Drury has a couple of short walks. The most popular is to the summit where you are able to have a little picnic.
Looking for a short, exciting walk somewhere unique? Leisure Island may be just the walk you are looking for.
Moturiki Island, also known as Leisure Island, has a beautiful walk and plenty to offer.
Accessed from a man-made land bridge, off of Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach, this island is well known for its blow hole on the far end of the island, views overlooking the Pacific Ocean and its place for fishing.
Mount Maunganui Parks
- Arataki Park
- Blake Park
- Coronation Park
- Macville Park
Mount Maunganui Reserves
Papamoa Walks, Parks and Reserves
If you love walking along the beach, Papamoa beach is a wonderful place to relax while walking along white sand.
Through Papamoa, the Papamoa Reserve walkways follow the storm water reserves. The pathways are easily accessible and are great for walking and cycling. Perfect for those morning or evening strolls. This is an enjoyable walk and very easygoing.
These pathways provide a link from Pacific View Road to Wairakei Reserve. If you wish, you can also feed the ducks that swim up and down the waterway.
Papamoa Hills offers a walk with unbelievable views once you have reached the top. With the walk beginning from the carpark, this track leads you through pine forests, native bush and across open farmland along the way.
It’ll take you about 45 minutes to complete this steep walk from the carpark to the trig station but the views are definitely worth the effort. Once at the top, you will be standing 234m above sea level.
45 minutes one way
- Gordon Spratt Reserve
- Papamoa Beach Reserve
- Topaz Drive Reserve
Waterfall, Forest and Bush Walks Throughout Tauranga