It all started here...

It all started here...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tauranga, New Zealand

The Bay of Plenty--Tauranga, New Zealand--Radiance OTS, Day 9,  March 27, 2014

The ship was in port before 7:00 am and we got off at 8:30. It was colder than expected so we had to go back and get our jackets before heading outside. Friendly volunteers were at the port offering help in getting tours, maps, and shuttle tickets to town. Most passengers seemed to have excursions to nearby Rotorua, a geothermal site with bubbling mud pools and silicone terraces. We, on the other hand, enjoy just walking around town and experience the local life when we are in ports. 

Other than Rotorua, there are two different parts that can be explored in Tauranga. The ship actually docked at the Port of Tauranga in Mauao. There are two beaches with the gentle beach near the port and the surfing beach on the other side of town. We decided to take the shuttle to downtown Tauranga, which is on the other side of the bridge.

The first shuttle started operating at 9:00am.

The line for the first shuttle. Cost, $5 pp round trip.

Information center, where tour reservations, shuttle tickets, maps are available inside this huge tent.

The shuttle dropped us off near the i-Site Corner on Willow and Wharf Street.

Very quiet on Willow Street.

We had to use the ATM and caught this cute 'pig' on the sidewalk.

Want to play some music?

From Willow Street, we followed the Historic Heritage Walk shown on the map that was given to us. 

The Old Post Office

Te Awanui Waka

The sign in front of the Old Bond Store.

After walking up to the Begonia House/Rose Garden area, this was what we saw. I believe that's the bridge that we were on coming from the port.

"Welcome" in Chinese characters

Flowers inside the Begonia House. It is just a very small and simple greenhouse.

Then we reached the Rose Garden.

It turned out to be a beautiful day!

Some nice houses near the garden.

Following this sign

The Elms Mission House on Mission Street

The Mission House is now a museum in a picturesque garden setting. Entrance fee to the museum is $5 but free entry to the garden.

Artists at work in the garden

After the Mission House, we continued our walk towards the Mission Cemetery.

Crossing the railway tracks on the overpass.

The overpass on Marsh Street.

The Mission Cemetery, interesting looking tree

Then we walked down to Dive Crescent, heading over to the Strand. That was the overpass that we were on earlier.

We were up there at the Rose Garden.

The Cargo Shed where local and national artists exhibit and sell their artworks.

When we reached "Fisherman's Wharf", this was what we found--Bobby's Fresh Fish Market. It was about lunch time, so we decided to try their Fish and Chips. It turned out to be excellent value and the food was great!

The fish was hot, delicious, and fresh. $4 for a piece of fish only.

Menu on the wall. I thought the prices were quite reasonable.

Inside the market. At one time the line was out the door. This is a very busy place at noon. The wait could be long but the food definitely fresh.

The kitchen

Even though they had our orders wrong both times, we still enjoyed our lunch here.

2nd order, more fish

Waterfront along the Strand

The Strand

mosaic on the pavement

As I was taking pictures of the mosaic, the artist walked by and identified himself. Here is a picture of the artist and his creation. He said he and his friends did all these art work in town.

Back to the shuttle stop

shuttle stop corner

waiting for the shuttle back to port

From the port, we took a right turn to the Mauao (Mount Maunganui) part of town.
The beach was an easy walk from the port with Mount Maunganui in full sight.

Salisbury Wharf

For those who likes to hike, there are trails around the base and on the mount.

Beach on the Mall

View of the ship from the beach.

Mansions along the beach front

I think this is Maunganui Road, the main business district.

Another good place for pies on Maunganui Road near Salisbury Avenue.

The Police Station near the port exit on Salisbury Avenue.

We had a great day at Tauranga. It was relaxing, enjoyable and slow pace. We were back on the ship in time to enjoy an afternoon tea at the Windjammer. Having enough activities around the port area including swimming, surfing, hiking, and shopping, no wonder there were not that many people visiting downtown Tauranga.

Dinner at Cascade