Tauranga Airport








Where is the branch located?

Located inside the Tauranga Airport arrivals, near baggage collection carousel.

Tauranga Airport Car Rental FAQs

Park vehicle in Thrifty bay in the designated rental return carpark and return key to the Thrifty desk inside the arrivals terminal. There is a key return drop on the counter if unattended.

After hour key return is available until the airport closes at 2100.

Contact the branch directly to arrange after hours collection.

If you are running late and you won't be able to collect your rental car at the allocated time, it is important to get in touch with the branch you are collecting from so that we can make alternate arrangements.

Car Rental Tauranga Airport

You’ve just flown into Tauranga Airport from one of New Zealand’s three big centres – Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington. Well-equipped with your hire car, you’re only moments away from the beautiful harbour city and port of Tauranga, the stunning oasis of Mount Maunganui, and the coastal playground of white sandy beaches the Bay of Plenty is famous for. 

A Māori name, Tauranga fittingly translates as ‘a place of rest and anchorage’. From sailing and swimming, to dolphin and penguin watching, relaxation is the name of the game in Tauranga. Beachside holiday homes (or ‘bachs’) speckle the area; the downtown vibe is lively but laid back; while the region’s largest city enjoys a popularity that’s rapidly growing. Tauranga is also perfectly situated to experience Rotorua’s magical marvels of geysers and hot springs, just an hour down the road.

Lifestyle reigns in Tauranga, and the locals spend their leisure time fishing, diving, kayaking and appreciating the rich marine environment. Take a wildlife cruise to spot the sea life in all its glory; or a carbon-neutral scenic flight to get an overview of the full beauty of Plenty. The landscape is dominated by water: views of bay, beaches, harbour, lakes and surrounding islands will be a stunning feature of all your holiday snaps. Wander down to Tauranga’s vibrant waterfront, The Strand, buzzing with restaurants and cafes, while just across the street, the tidal steps will bring the water right up to your feet. 

Tauranga has many tracks and trails to help walkers or cyclers discover the diverse aspects of the area at their own pace. Public parks and sanctuaries are another local attraction, and easily accessible in your rental car. Spend a sunny afternoon at Te Puna Quarry Park, a magical hillside spot with ponds and gardens, a butterfly house, sculptures, walkways, native vegetation and picnic lawns – all reclaimed from a disused quarry and just 20 minutes from Tauranga Airport. A half-hour drive will take you to McLaren Falls Park. Known for its picturesque waterfall track, twinkling with glow-worms after dusk; it’s also popular with campers, picnickers and kayakers, and is regarded as having one of the best collections of trees in New Zealand. Head further into the hinterland and you’ll arrive at Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park, a highlight of the region that forms a natural border with nearby Waikato. There are over 300 kilometres of track to really get to know this botanical marvel. 

Your hire car allows you to explore the highlights, direct from Tauranga Airport 

You can easily fill your travel itinerary with Tauranga’s art, culture and walks of historical significance. Pop into the Art Gallery Toi Tauranga. Explore the streets for muralist Owen Dippie’s larger-than-life portraits. Head to the markets to get a taste of local produce and score yourself a bargain. Wander through the quaint historic village of 17th Avenue West, through original and replica streetscapes, with wooden buildings and cobblestone, nestled amid gardens and natural bush. Visit the site of St George's Church (Pukehinahina) where the Battle of Gate Pā took place. Stop by The Elms Te Papa Tauranga, another heritage location renowned for early contact. 

While Tauranga offers a wealth of reasons to visit, number one on everyone’s list is Mount Maunganui. Referred to by locals as ‘The Mount’, this most-adored combo of extinct volcano and endless white sands has attracted a plethora of plaudits, both here and abroad. Regarded as New Zealand’s best beach, some say that it’s the perfect blend of sunny California and Australia’s Gold Coast, tied together with a Kiwi charm all of its own.

Before you hit its stunning shoreline, take the walking trails around The Mount’s green slopes; or hike to the summit, where from the top of this panoramic peak, you’ll be rewarded with vast 360-degree vistas that span across the breathtaking Bay of Plenty. The white sands beckon, and fortunately there’s plenty for all to enjoy. Whether you prefer sunbathing, surfing or swimming, big game fishing, diving or whale watching, the Mount offers many brilliant ways to spend your summer holiday, with accommodation options and activities available for every sea and sun seeker. 

Venture further from Tauranga with your hire car

The iconic Mount Maunganui is just a ten-minute getaway across the Tauranga Harbour Bridge. But don’t stop there, take the footbridge connecting the relaxed Main Beach to the surprising island of Moturiki. Once called Leisure Island (featuring tourists attractions such as aquariums, bumper rides and hydro slides) it was also an early quarry taken over from a Māori terraced pā (hillside fortified village). Today, Moturiki Island has been returned to its natural, rugged state. Now all visitors can enjoy walking this protected reserve, be guided to ancient Māori burial caves, witness the spectacular blowhole during ocean swells, do a spot of rock fishing, or simply explore the rock pools. Clamber up the trail for a scenic view back to The Mount, over the Pacific Ocean, and south along the coast towards Pāpāmoa. Set your sights on your next destination near Tauranga, to this pristine beach location. It’s all so easy, getting to where you want to go, in your hire car.

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