Tauranga is the largest city in the Bay of Plenty on New Zealands's east coast and one of the fastest growing in the country. It is just a 15 minute drive from one of New Zealand's most popular beach towns, Mount Maunganui. Tauranga will seduce you with its sailing, fishing and dolphin watching, but you can equally take short tours inland to fabulous lakes, hiking trails or, if you're feeling more indulgent, prize-winning wineries. The historic city itself is famous for being the home of Dame Lynley Dodd, the author of the Hairy Maclary children's books, whose character is immortalised in bronze in a playground in town. Just down the road, climb 'The Mount', a large lava dome formed several million years ago and admire the white sandy beach stretching as far as the eye can see. This relaxed beach town is actually a huge sandbar with a sheltered harbour on one side & a magnificent surf beach on the ocean side.