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COVID-19 information: Tauranga is currently at Alert Level 1. All our facilities and venues are open and services are operating as normal. Find out more.



In Tauranga, 28 per cent of people identify as living with a disability. Council strives to make the city accessible to everyone, so that people are able to move about easily and safely without being limited by the environment.

Beach access mat

Tauranga is leading the way in helping everyone enjoy the beach and water, with New Zealand’s first council-owned beach access mat.

The beach access mat is a portable rollout mat that creates a sturdy and visible access path to the beach. Anyone can use the matting, but it is particularly helpful for people who usually can’t get onto the beach and move across the sand (e.g. users of wheelchairs, walkers, mobility scooters, or strollers).

The mat was trialled at Mount Maunganui Main Beach in December 2016 and was a huge success. Fundraising for the mat was successfully led by local businesses and 60 metres of matting was purchased by Council in 2017.

Locations 2020/21

The beach mat is back in place at 136 Marine Parade/Cutters Cove until further notice. Beach mats for Mount Main Beach and Pilot Bay are receiving maintenance checks over winter and will be back on location for spring 2020.

Beach access mat

Beach access mat

An accessible beach buggy and beach chair are available for hire. Bookings are required.

To hire the beach buggy please contact CCS Disability Action Bay of Plenty
To hire the beach chair please contact Hibiscus Surf School

Accessible picnic tables

We’ve starting installing accessible picnic tables at some of our popular locations across the city. The new design enables a wheelchair user to sit in the middle of the table, not just the end. We’re planning to install others, so keep an eye out on this page to see when new locations are added.


  • Papamoa Domain, in front of BlueBiYou restaurant
  • Beachside, opposite Cutterscove Resort Apartments (outside 136 Marine Parade). Beach access mat is also available at this location
  • Tye Park, Welcome Bay
  • Arataki Park (by the BBQ)
  • Cameron Road Reserve 
  • Horoipia Reserve
  • Zespri green space, Maunganui Road

Accessible picnic table

Mobility parking

Information on mobility parking

Tauranga accessibility awards 2019

Nominations for the 2019 accessibility awards have now closed. Thank you to everyone who put forward a nomination. The award ceremony will be held in early 2020 (date to be confirmed).

About the awards

If our environment is accessible for the disability sector, it is accessible for everyone.

The Tauranga accessibility awards seek to recognise developers, architects, builders and business owners/operators who have demonstrated their commitment towards building an inclusive community.  These awards have been established to promote universal design and to celebrate those individuals who have embraced social inclusion in the development of a building or the operation of their business.

Universal design recognises human diversity and various life scenarios such as pregnancy, childhood, injury, disability and ageing in all design.

Last Reviewed: 02/09/2020


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