Tauranga is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty Region of the North Island of New Zealand. 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 City is the center of the fifth largest urban area in New Zealand, with an urban population of 244,596.
The city lies in the north-western corner of the Bay of Plenty, on the south-eastern edge of Tauranga Harbour. The city expands over an area of 65 square miles (168.36 km2), and encompasses the communities of Bethlehem, on the south-western outskirts of the city; Greerton, on the southern outskirts of the city; Matua, west of the central city overlooking Tauranga Harbour; Maungatapu; Mount Maunganui, located north of the central city across the harbour facing the Bay of Plenty; Otumoetai; Papamoa, Tauranga's largest suburb, located on the Bay of Plenty; Tauranga City; Tauranga South; and Welcome Bay.
Tauranga is one of New Zealand's main centers 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 is one of New Zealand's fastest growing cities, with a 14 percent increase in population between the 2001 census and the 2006 census, though that number has slowed to 11% between the 2006 Census and the 2013 Census. This sudden population growth has made Tauranga New Zealand's 5th largest city.
Tauranga is located around a large harbour that extends along the western Bay of Plenty, and is protected by Matakana Island and the extinct volcano of Mauao (Mount Maunganui). Ngamuwahine River is located 19 kilometers southwest of Tauranga.
Situated along a faultline, Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty experience infrequent seismic activity, and there are a few Volcanoes around the area (mainly dormant). The most notable of these are White Island and Mauao, nicknamed "The Mount" by locals.
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.
Much of the countryside surrounding Tauranga is horticultural land, used to grow a wide range of fresh produce for both domestic consumption and export. There are many kiwifruit and avocados orchards as well as other crops.
The Port of Tauranga is New Zealand's largest export port, with brisk but seasonal shipping traffic. It is a regular stop for both container ships and luxury cruise liners.
Tauranga's main shopping mall is Bayfair, in Mount Maunganui. Most of the city's shopping centers are located in the suburbs. They include Fraser Cove, Bethlehem Town Centre, Palm Beach Plaza, Fashion Island, Bayfair Shopping Centre, Bay Central and Greerton Village.