Hey, Tauranga, cheer the hell up!

Man, am I hearing some doom and gloom from people at the moment in the Bay.
Weather this and weather that. Usually followed by a punishing chat about washing drying, or mould, or global warming.

Oh and of course the new fave: Traffic.

Don't get me started. I'm part of the problem. I drive. Sue me.

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I'd also catch the bus, if it was quicker. A train would be where it's at.

So the weather and traffic isn't something we can do much about, really.

The ones who really annoy me involve people saying there's nothing to do in Tauranga in the winter. It kills me because we are a city with so much more choice than we had even a few years back.

Firstly the food and drink part of Tauranga is really coming close to being one of the best boutique cities in Australasia. Find me a relatively small city anywhere near here that has the options we do. The new malls/eating areas, the new eating precincts downtown, basically all of Pāpāmoa. Even a little further afield in Te Puna, Ōmokoroa and Katikati we have more options popping up.

Why not actually leave your house (rather than Uber Eats it) and go and find some delicious carbs? A Carb Tour of Tauranga is something I love taking mates on when they come and visit for the first time, or even if they've been before, there's something new here every couple of months. We are lucky!

Why not experience all the Mount has to offer without the crowds?

The climb to Mount Maunganui's Mauao summit has been rated as one of the best walks in New Zealand.

What about the bunch of little festivals, markets, stage shows and concerts that come through the Bay over winter?

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Why not try something new, you can even learn silks/pole dancing here now.

And we all need to get better on the pole before summer hits, I've always said. Seriously though, I've tried it (don't ask) and it requires such strength and co-ordination. Perfect for that summer body. That summer body that is apparently made in winter. You might need to ease back on the aforementioned Carb Tour of Tauranga.

Even just having a crack at a new movie theatre (of which Tauranga will have like 10 by next winter). That iMAX at The Crossing is so good.

Winter is a great time to get married in the Bay too. I'm a celebrant and did a winter wedding last weekend. It was epic. The rain made it even more moody and the photos will be amazing.

Failing all of this, leave.

I left for a quick trip to Wellington to see family and it really made me realise how great Tauranga is. Compared to Tauranga, most of the rest of the country is average to live in. Take it from a guy who's lived in five different parts of it.

And yes, Wellington was windy and, I think you'll find, is very beatable on a good day.
The only thing Tauranga can't beat it with is these cute nephews of mine!

But even their parents will crumble and move here one day, I'm sure!

— Will Johnston is the local 9am-3pm host for The Hits Bay of Plenty 95FM. He's also a celebrant and MC. Follow Will on Instagram on @radiowill.