With the sun making more of an appearance as we head closer to summer, now is the perfect time to start taking advantage of it and exploring our own backyard! Being a student means sometimes you have to seek out the cheaper options when it comes to weekend activities. So if Tauranga is your backyard, here are some free or cheap opportunities you should definitely check out.
1. MOUNT MAUNGANUI
Of course this had to make an appearance! When summer comes, your Instagram feed will be full of 'candid' summit pics. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the top of Mauao, but it’ll be worth it for the stunning 360 degree views of the entirety of the Western Bay of Plenty. And the best part, apart from getting out into the fresh ocean air and snapping some iconic pics, is that it’s completely free!
Looking for something to do on the mornings before your busy weekend adventures? There are several markets you can visit to pick up some cheap produce or real fruit ice cream. The Little Big Markets are a local favourite, on every first Saturday of the month during summer in Coronation Park - followed the next day by the Farmers Market in the same place. If you live closer to the city, the Tauranga Farmers Market is always a good time!
There are some amazing waterfalls which are 100% worth the drive out to from the city. There’s McLaren Falls Park, just a 20 minute drive out of Tauranga, which you can definitely turn into a day trip. And a 30-minute drive from Tauranga is Kaiate Falls, which showcases a stunning multi- step waterfall. It’s a 1-hour loop track so make sure you wear comfy shoes and bring lots of water!
4. HOT POOLS
If you have indeed gone on any of these walks, chances are you’ll be in the mood for a bit of relaxation. Tauranga has several cheap spots for hot pool swimming, such as the Mount Hot Pools or Fernland Spa. With the former being $14 for general admission and the latter $13, you can take a moment to chill for a reasonable price!
5. TAURANGA CROSSING
If the weather ends up packing in - which knowing NZ, it probably will - spend the rainy day at the new Tauranga Crossing. This shopping centre boasts the largest cinema complex in the Bay of Plenty, and the first VMAX screen outside of Auckland, so check out what’s showing and see a movie - it helps if it’s Cheap Tuesday!