Tauranga

The Te Awanui
Elms Mission House
Hobbiton Movie Set

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Tauranga

Protected by Mount Maunganui

These “sheltered waters”, the meaning of the name Tauranga in Maori, will also shelter you while on an MSC World Cruise in New Zealand.

The city extends along a narrow peninsula dotted with parks and gardens lying behind a vibrant promenade, The Strand. Tauranga is a delightful city in which you can spend half a day wandering around between shops, restaurants and art galleries. If you miss the ocean, you can take a taxi to Mount Maunganui, the name of both the mountain that protects the port of Tauranga and the district overlooking the Pacific, with its long sandy beach and surfers. 
 
One of the city's main attractions is the Tauranga Art Gallery, which opened in 2007. The gallery is housed in a former bank that was transformed inside by creating large exhibition spaces; the exterior is completely sheathed with metal panels, similar to those of medieval armour. On The Strand, there is an ad hoc structure that houses the Te Awanui, a 14-metre long carved Maori war canoe used during ritual ceremonies; it is a truly remarkable example of New Zealand’s indigenous art. If you want to relax, seek out the roses and Begonias in Robbins Park, or if you prefer to dive into the past of Tauranga, there’s nothing better than a visit to the immaculate Elms Mission House, one of New Zealand's oldest standing houses, built between 1835 and 1847 for the first missionaries. A visit to this house, which still has its original furniture, is part of an MSC tour that ensures that you don’t miss out on anything in Tauranga. 
 
If you want to go further afield, about 70 km inland you can visit Tudor-style spa bath houses and the Government Gardens near the town of Rotorua, which are well worth a visit, as are the Glow-Worm Waitomo Caves and the Hobbiton Movie Set, where Peter Jackson reconstructed J.R.R Tolkien’s County for his The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Must see places in Tauranga

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    New Zealand

    Kiwi spotting in a land of pioneers and adventurers
    Kiwi spotting in a land of pioneers and adventurers

    New Zealand lies in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in Oceania.

    It is made up of two main islands: North Island and South Island, as well as numerous smaller islands such as the Chatham Islands. It is a sparsely populated country, full of surprises, rich in natural beauty and vast landscapes. 
     
    A visit to the capital Wellington is a must; a lively and fun city with street musicians and colourful markets. However, New Zealand’s largest city is actually Auckland. Known as the “City of Sails” because of its strong links with the sea and all the activities connected to it, the city enjoys a privileged location between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea. 
     
    A visit to the Sky Tower is a must: from a height of 328 metres you can enjoy a wonderful view that extends for 80 kilometres. Half an hour from the city there are the forests of the Waitakere Ranges, where you can see thousand year old Kauri trees which have trunks with a diameter of several meters, and Piha, which will enchant you with its black volcanic sand beach, a popular destination for surfers from all over the world.