Mount Maunganui

Mauao (Mount Maunganui), famous for its great weather and popular surf and swimming beaches, is a holiday destination for overseas visitors and locals alike. Tauranga and "The Mount" offers relaxation, adventure and culture. There are activities for everyone.

The name Tauranga comes from Maori, it roughly translates to "a sheltered anchorage". Tauranga is the largest city in New Zealand with a Maori name instead of a European name.


Tauranga is a port city located in the western Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. It has an urban population of 116,000 from the June 2008 estimate. Tauranga is the largest city and urban area in the Bay of Plenty. Nationwide, Tauranga is currently New Zealand's fifth largest urban area. It is one of New Zealand's fastest growing regions, with a 14 percent increase in population between the 2001 census and the 2006 census.

view from Mauao
Views from Mauao

Port of Tauranga

The origins of today's world-class port at Tauranga can be traced to the 1860s when the first pilot, Captain T S Carmichael, fixed leading buoys and marks in position to define the navigable channel.

Before this time the Port did not have a wharf, and it was common practice to load and unload cargo on the wooden trading vessels at low tide using ox carts.

The 1800s

1828 - The visit of the missionary schooner Herald, probably the first European vessel to enter the harbour.

1853 - Captain Drury in HMS Pandora surveyed and charted the coast and harbour.

1873 - The Port of Tauranga was officially established by order of the Governor of New Zealand.

1882 - The Lady Jocelyn of 2,138 tonnes was the first large sailing vessel to enter the harbour.

The 1900's

1912 - A Tauranga Harbour Board was constituted to administer the affairs of the harbour.

1913 - First meeting of the Tauranga Harbour Board.

1927 - Railway Wharf at Tauranga was completed and used almost exclusively for coastal shipping until the visit of the James Cook in 1948 to load timber for Australia.

1953 - First pile driven for Mount Maunganui wharf. The first ship, the MV Korowai berthed at the new wharf on 5 December 1954.

1957 - First log shipment to Japan - 158 tonnes.

1960 - First tug Mount Maunganui was commissioned at the Port.

1967 - First container unloaded.

1972 - Port Caroline, the world's largest conventional refrigerated cargo liner, visits the Port for the first time.

1978 - Kaimai rail tunnel opened by Sir Robert Muldoon, substantially reducing travelling times between the Port and Hamilton/Rotorua areas.

1979 - $3.9 million heavy lift multi-purpose gantry crane operational.

1985 - New Zealand Steel announce decision to use Tauranga for import/export trade.

1985 - Establishment of Port of Tauranga Limited.

1988 - As a consequence of Government port reform, the Bay of Plenty Harbour Board is disestablished and Port of Tauranga Limited begins operations.

1988 - The Tauranga Harbour Bridge is completed, significantly joining the communities of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.

1990 - Record annual cargo throughput of 5.1 million tonnes.

1992 - $100 million Tauranga Terminal development completed and wharves opened for shipping.

1996 - Formation of The Cargo Company Limited, a joint-venture with Owens Services BOP Limited for on-wharf cargo consolidation.

1998 - Tauranga Container Terminal buys fleet of 10 straddle carriers from Hong Kong. Navis information system commissioned.

1999 - Port of Tauranga establishes New Zealand's first fully integrated inland port service - MetroPort Auckland.

1999 - Australia-New Zealand Direct Line (ANZDL) becomes the first shipping line to use MetroPort Auckland.