The city of Tauranga is an excellent choice for those seeking to balance work in New Zealand with a fantastic lifestyle. If you are considering moving to Tauranga, read on to discover what you can expect from this naturally beautiful and friendly city on New Zealand’s east coast: weather, work opportunities, things to do, and everything else that you’d need to know to prepare to successfully settle in Tauranga.
Tauranga Population and Demographics
With an estimated population of more than 130,000 people in 2017 according to the Tauranga Statistical Information Report put out in May 2018, Tauranga is a small city – but New Zealand’s sixth-largest by population.
Seventeen percent of the population of Tauranga are of native Maori heritage. Demographics also include a higher-than-average number of people over the age of 65, as Tauranga is considered an excellent place for retirement due to lifestyle and climate considerations.
Tauranga Weather and Climate
Tauranga’s average temperatures reach 20-25 degrees Celsius in summer and drop to around 10-15 degrees Celsius in winter. It doesn’t snow in the city, and the annual rainfall in Tauranga is 1426 mm. Humidity is high in summer.
Tauranga’s climate makes it a pleasant place to be year-round: great weather for the beach in summer, and cool but not freezing cold in winter.
Major Industries in Tauranga
Agriculture and Farming
Looking for the best place to find jobs in your field in New Zealand? Key industries in Tauranga include healthcare, retail, construction and education. There is plenty of hospitality work available in Tauranga, particularly in Mount Maunganui during the summer season.
Tauranga is also a centre for agriculture and farming, which are significant industries for the area. Orchards in and around Tauranga and nearby Te Puke produce a considerable amount of fruit for export.
Places to Live in Tauranga
There is no best or cheapest place to live in Tauranga—there are safe suburbs and great neighbourhoods throughout the city, each with their own features and highlights. There has been a lot of development in the town, and anyone looking to live and work in Tauranga will find plenty of different housing options, from standalone houses on large sections in the outskirts to more high-density options and some apartments in the inner suburbs.
House prices in Tauranga reached a median of $660,000 in 2018. Renters can expect to pay $400-$500 per week for a small house, with prices rising in popular beachside suburbs like Papamoa and Mount Maunganui which are considered among the best areas to live in Tauranga due to the coastal lifestyle.
Cost of Living in Tauranga
While housing is relatively expensive, other living expenses in Tauranga do not differ much from those in other New Zealand cities. High-speed internet will cost around $80-$100 per month, two litres of milk will set you back around $4, and a Big Mac combo, the popular cost-of-living benchmark, costs around $11 in Tauranga and around the nation.
Getting Around in Tauranga
Tauranga’s public transport consists primarily of the Bayhopper bus system, which covers the city, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa with regular bus service. Regular commuters can buy a SmartRide card which offers a discount on single-ride fares. Taxis are another option for public transport in Tauranga, and Uber has recently launched there, too. Tauranga has an airport with regular domestic service to and from Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and several small regional destinations.
Education in Tauranga
There are many primary and secondary schools in Tauranga, each offering a quality learning experience under the New Zealand schooling system. The Education Index published by the UN consistently ranks New Zealand in the top ten nations – so those seeking job opportunities in New Zealand can rest assured that their children will receive a great education. There are both public and private schools in the city.
There is no university in Tauranga as such, but there is the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership which has three campuses throughout the city. Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, an arm of the University of Waikato, and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi (a Maori education provider) share the campuses and provide tertiary courses in Tauranga.
Tauranga Entertainment and Things to Do
There is no shortage of things to do in Tauranga, particularly for those who like to get outdoors. This lovely laid-back city is naturally blessed with a harbour, beaches and the distinctive Mount Maunganui which offers a great, short hike to the top with fantastic views once you get there. Favourite outdoor activities in Tauranga and the surrounding region include boat trips to White Island, an active volcano, surfing at Papamoa, kayaking and fishing in the harbour, walking in McLaren Falls Park and more.
Urbanites will love Tauranga too – you can find many shopping opportunities and restaurants in Tauranga central. The buzzing suburb of Mount Maunganui, which is New Zealand’s own small but charming “Riviera”, is very popular with holidaymakers particularly in the summer. Brunch and coffee by the beach in Papamoa is a very popular weekend activity in Tauranga, and the city hosts an array of musical, cultural and sporting events throughout the year.