Today Tauranga joined more than 2000 cities around the world to celebrate World Car Free Day.

A section of First Ave was transformed into an area of family-friendly activities for the day - a free community event organised by the Tauranga City Council.

The event offered inspiration to consider new travel habits and included family-friendly activities such as a pop-up ice-skating rink, giant games, a treasure hunt, an urban chill-out zone, radio entertainment and more.

It highlighted various public transport and non-motorised transport options, such as the Bay of Plenty Regional Council displaying how to use the bike rack on its buses.


For World Car Free Day people were encouraged to travel to the event by bus, bike, foot or scooter. The Bayhopper bus service was also free all day.

City council transport manager Martin Parkes said the sunshine helped bring a lot of people out and it was nice to see so many interested in the event.

He said he would like to see more of this type of event in Tauranga.

Parkes said lots of people were cycling there and making use of the day's free buses which was great to see.

The pop-up ice-skating rink at Tauranga's World Car Free Day community event. Photo / George Novak
The pop-up ice-skating rink at Tauranga's World Car Free Day community event. Photo / George Novak

"I think it's important the community start to think about how they travel around the city."

He said pollution from single-occupancy cars was quite significant and reducing the level of this pollution would be good for the health of the environment and the city's residents.

Parkes said they also wanted to leave a legacy for future generations.

Abigail McGregor went along to the event with her daughter Harper McGregor, 4, who brought along her scooter for some fun.


McGregor said it was the type of event she loved in Tauranga.

"This is a great idea, doing more things in the city and things that bring awareness to thinking twice and taking a bike or a bus instead."

Harper said she had fun at the event, and that what she loves about scootering is going fast and taking turns.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council sustainable transport officer Jenny Mack said the day had been getting a great response.

She said community events raising this type of awareness were important because cycling, walking or car-sharing could help lessen the impacts of transport emissions and reduce congestion.