Tauranga Waterfront

Some of the greatest cities in the world have iconic waterfronts and we firmly and passionately believe we are one of them!

Our stunning waterfront plays a vital role in our city centre, connecting us to our heritage, creating a beautiful spot for a lunch break or a stroll in the fresh air.  It also provides a beautiful backdrop to our city and reminds us every day as the sun rises up why we choose this place to call home.  What’s more even our most famous dog, Hairy Maclary, calls it home!

Hairy Maclary & Friends Tauranga Waterfront Sculpture

“Out of the gate and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy.”

In 2015 Hairy Maclary author Dame Lynley Dodd declared herself humbled and overwhelmed when statues of her world famous story book characters were opened on the waterfront in Downtown Tauranga.

The five year project had finally been realised and Prime Minister John Key attended the gala opening along with a 300-strong crowd.  A fitting home for the sculptures given that creator Lynley Dodd has spent most of her life here in Tauranga.

Now locals and visitors alike can enjoy these stunning life sized sculptures, that were lovingly crafted by Brigitte Wuest , lead sculptor for none other than Sir Peter Jackson at Weta Works oin Wellington.  Brigitte took the two dimensional characters and re-created them in three, under Dame Lynley Dodd’s watchful gaze.

The project was developed and led by Creative Tauranga’s then CEO Tracey Rudduck-Gudsell and achieved a "storybook scene" of permanent bronze sculptures of Hairy Maclary and some of his friends – Scarface Claw, Slinky Malinki, Hercules Morse, Muffin McLay, Bottomley Potts, Schnitzel von Krumm, Bitzer Maloney and Zachary Quack. 

The larger-than-life public art display allows kids of all ages to get up close to these giants fo the children’s book world in an iconic setting on the waterfront.  

If you know even a little of this iconic book series this sculpture display is well worth a stop and some great photos.

The Tidal Steps Project 
Our waterfront has been recently transformed and we can now dip our toes in the water, jump off the wharf, enjoy a coffee or a bite to eat from the local shops whilst sitting on the steps and soaking up Tauranga’s beautiful harbour.

A karakia and story about Tauranga has been carved and painted on the stairs and you will be able to see different parts of this depending on the tide level. The beautiful Karakia o Mauao has been blessed by local tangata whenua and tells of how the mountain arrived at its present home at the water’s edge and how the features of the land and harbour were formed on its journey. The poem etched alongside the Karakia, written by artist Elliot Collins in English, tells a different story of the feeling and experiences we have on the waterfront now.