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Tauranga is a city in the Bay of Plenty Region in the north of New Zealand's North Island. The city has about 120,000 inhabitants. It was settled by Māori late in the 13th century and by Europeans in the early 19th century and was constituted as a city in 1963. Tauranga is one of New Zealand's main centres for business, international trade, culture, fashion and horticultural science. The Port of Tauranga is New Zealand's largest port in terms of gross export tonnage and efficiency.
Tauranga has an oceanic or maritime temperate climate. It can also be described as subtropical due to high summer humidity.
During the summer months the population swells as the holidaymakers descend on the city, especially along the popular white coastal surf beaches from Mount Maunganui to Papamoa.
Tauranga is located on the East Coast Main Trunk Railway.
Driving routes are State Highway 2 from Waihi, and Auckland via the scenic Karangahake Gorge; SH 29 over the Kaimai Range from the Waikato (also an option from Auckland via SH 27 onto SH 29); SH 36 from Rotorua via Pyes Pa (now sealed all the way); SH 2 from Te Puke, the western Bay of Plenty (and Rotorua via SH 33).
The city is a waypoint for bus travel between cities, with the Bay Hopper, Intercity and NakedBus performing nationwide commutes on a daily schedule.
Centrally located in the Bay of Plenty and home to a deep water harbor, the Port of Tauranga is a popular cruise hub with over 85 ships per year. The cruise port itself is actually located in the township of Mt. Maunganui, a laid back beach town, which is 7 kilometres north of downtown Tauranga.
Main transportation in the city is provided by the BayBus, with twelve routes servicing the city's population. Bay Hopper buses depart the central stops in Tauranga's CBD, Mount Maunganui and Greerton half-hourly, with the routes to Mount Maunganui, Papamoa, Greerton and Ohauiti experiencing an increase in frequency during peak hours.
Tauranga Water Transport operates harbour scenic cruises and historic tours, daily service on the Matakana Ferry between Omokoroa and Opureora, ferry service between Salisbury Wharf in Mount Maunganui and The Strand in the CBD, and other charter services.
People in Tauranga love to eat out. There is a large selection of restaurants to eat at, especially on 'The Strand', which is regarded as the restaurant center of Tauranga.
As with eating, people in Tauranga love cafes. You will also find numerous pubs around the area.
|Harbourside City Backpackers||105 The Strand Tauranga||Hostel||76|
|YHA Tauranga||171 Elizabeth Street||hostel||-|
|Tauranga Central Backpackers||62-64 Willow st Tauranga||Hostel||64|
|Taiparoro Mansion Guesthouse||11 Fifth Avenue||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Internet cafés are widely available throughout New Zealand at rates of around NZ$2-4, though sometimes more in smaller places. Besides internet and e-mail services, most big internet cafés also offer some way for travellers to connect their digital camera and burn cds. Many public libraries have public Internet access, and most of them offer short free internet sessions. Wi-Fi access is getting more and more common in for example coffee places or fast food chains. It is becoming more common for Wi-Fi to be provided at hotels and motels, though sometimes at a fee. Wireless Hotspots are located in many cities and towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Many camping holiday parks also have such services available.
See also International Telephone Calls
Dial 111 for emergency police, fire or ambulance services. The worldwide emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used.
The country code is 64.
Most payphones in New Zealand require the use of phone cards for payment and it is getting harder to find payphones that accept coins. As phone cards are available at a lot of outlets, they are easy to purchase and very handy as a backup in case of emergencies. Many of them also accept creditcards. Local calls are free from residential phones and charges for calling outside that area can be found at the front of the regional phone books, amongst many other services.
Mobile telephone coverage is effectively national in near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that outside the urban areas, and especially away from the main highway system, coverage does have huge dead patches. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous terrain. Mobile telephone users can call 555 only to report Non-emergency traffic safety incidents, such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the Police. There are currently three major mobile carriers in New Zealand.
A prepaid sim-card connection pack with $10 credit from Telecom or Vodafone costs around $30, and prepaid sim-cards from 2degrees cost $10. Telecom has broader coverage in remote areas away from major cities compared to Vodafone and 2degrees.
Most areas have dedicated PostShops, however stamps can also be bought at grocery shops, supermarkets and book stores. There are two main formats for domestic mail, namely Standard Post and Fast Post. Fast Post is used next day delivery between major towns and cities (two days from rural areas), whereas Standard Post will take a few working days to deliver nationwide. Standard costs NZ$0.50 for letters/postcards (NZ$0.80 for larger envelopes), Fast Post costs NZ$0.80 (NZ$1.20 for larger envelopes). International mail takes about 3-6 days to Australia (NZ$1.50), and 6-12 days to Europe, Asia and the United States (NZ$2). Post boxes are white, red and black and can be found in many areas throughout towns and cities, including information about when their contents are collected. Most post offices and smaller post shops have opening hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 12:30pm on Saturday. You can buy stamps here, or at newsagents and general stores. For parcels, you can use the NZ Post or otherwise courier companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.
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