2019 HAL World Cruise
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
We have visited Tauranga in the past, but always remained in the Mt. Maunganui area with its resort feel, the beach-side condos, the charming shops and cafes, and Mt. Maunganui’s hiking trails (see the February 2, 2018 post for more.) This time, we decided to visit the Historic District where many of the original buildings have been gathered and renovated. Some of the buildings are re-creations, but the intent is to give visitors the feel of early Tauranga. We had intended to simply take a taxi; but then we saw the HOHO and figured, “Why not?” So, off we went—here are the photos:
We docked in Tauranga, New Zealand and could see Mount Maunganui from our cabin window.
Mt. Maunganui rises from the Tauranga Harbor in the Bay of Plenty. Once a Maori stronghold rife with wars and battles, today it’s a resort area known for its tiled sidewalks lined with palm trees; turquoise streetlamps and gorgeous shoreline.
The hot salt water pools are located at the base of the mountain. Someday, we’ll actually give it a try!
But today, we chose to board the local HOHO. We started out driving through the Mount Maunganui area past the condos and small shopping & cafe complex.
There is a nice boardwalk from the dock into the village of Mount Maunganui.
Because this is a popular resort area, campers and RVs are everywhere. We even saw a mint green VW bus, locally known as a “Hippy Condo”
The ocean side of Mount Maunganui Village has a boardwalk, lots of high-end condos, and a few cafes.
Look at this! Mail Delivery–New Zealand style!
Our ultimate destination is the Historic Village Complex. Along the way, we passed the local airport.
The Tauranga Aviation Museum is located here.
They seem to have a nice assortment of aircraft on display.
As we drove through Tauranga proper, we passed the Rose Garden. This is beloved by the locals, and the HOHO driver made it a point to stop so we could photograph the spot!!
But I was more interested in the shopping complex created from cargo containers!!
How cool is this!!!!
Eventually, we arrived at the Historic Village Complex.
Dedicated in 1977, the Historic Village of Tauranga is, today, a collection of artists working on-site, galleries, cafes, and boutiques.
The Historic Village reminds us of many historic towns we have visited in the U.S. Southwest!!!
The Village Chapel was rebuilt in 1976 to include the special features added by Chief Ngatai when it stood on tribal land in Matapihi. Today, it is an interdenominational place of worship popular for weddings.
The interior of the Village Chapel includes many features special to the Maori: specifiaclly, the rafters and the Kowhaiwhai panels.
After returning to Mount Maunganui Village, we stopped at Latitude 37 for lunch.
And this is where we enjoyed our aftenoon libation while chatting with the MS Amsterdam passengers who passed by.
Lunch consisted of the famous Green Mussels of New Zealand.
And an antipasto board that turned out to be way too big for the two of us!!!! But we gave it our best shot and enjoyed it immensely!
After a very long day of touring and sightseeing, we returned to the ship and called it a day well spent in Tauranga, New Zealand!
Next, we’re off to Wellington, NZ.