Veto’s Charlotte Greer’s Guide to Downtown Tauranga

A woman holding paper bags and smiling to camera.

Meet Charlotte Greer. She runs Veto, which produces everyday cleaning products designed to save money and space without causing waste. Here’s her guide to Downtown Tauranga.

Photos by: Anna Briggs

I’ve lived in Tauranga my whole life, well, since I was 4, and I can’t imagine growing up anywhere else. Being able to stomp into the ocean at the end of a shirty day is a bloody luxury! I work in the CBD and had a pop-up store over the summer. Downtown Tauranga has been my playground my whole life; I love the village feel and its street style of shopping. You’re surrounded by epic local-grown shops and cafes that will show you a city’s inherent personality.

I launched Veto back in 2020 because my travel plans got shot down (thanks ‘rona). I had studied supply chains and circularity at university and, to no surprise with having the attention span of a carrot, by the end of my degree, I was sick of reading case studies about circular supply chains. So, for me to understand what I was studying, I began putting the theory into practice by making zero-waste, multipurpose cleaning products that ticked all the right boxes while being highly effective. For example, the OG product, our dual-purpose washing powder, is designed as both a laundry detergent and dishwashing powder in one. So, if you could only make one sustainable swap, you would be able to nail the plastic and harsh toxins in at least two areas of your home. But why cleaning products? Remember that dingy flat where you lived with randoms and asbestos? Yeah, that's why cleaning products.

Coffee (and Gigs!) at Folk Coffee Roasters

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148 Durham Street, Tauranga

A coffee snob’s dream! Tucked in the front of the Tauranga’s funky co-working space Basestation on Durham Street, Folk Brewers is all about quality blends, artisan passion and connection. If you work remotely and want a change of scenery, Folk makes for a super engaging space, and you may even catch an acoustic gig while you’re there, too!

Gin and Dancing at Miss Gee's

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3/59 The Strand, Tauranga

I love gin and dancing, and Miss Gee’s is the best place for it. You get this indoor-outdoor flow where, in one moment, you’re enjoying the most tart, tangy Bramable under the sun, then you’re cutting absolute shapes during one of their guest DJ nights. Vibrant decor, yummy food and great tunes - what more could you want?!

Walking and Cycling the Waikareao Estuary Walkway

Tauranga has some amazing walks, but the Waikareao Walkway tends to be everyone’s favourite. Just over eight kilometres, you can walk or cycle the loop track surrounded by native plants and wildlife living in the tidal wetland. The track changes from gravel to boardwalks to sealed pathways, so is wide enough for you to enjoy with dogs and easy to complete with prams. It's absolutely stunning walking when the tide is in, the sun’s out and you have a sparkling view of Mauao.

Workshops at The Pottery Studio

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109 Devonport Road, Tauranga

Started by a group of artisans, The Pottery Studio is an interactive art space. Its free-flowing workshops let you create different ceramic pieces while facilitators with expertise in various techniques help guide your creative process. But ultimately, you can just throw and go! It's fun to do it with friends! My mates have made some wild pieces that act as real conversation starters.

Pizza and Cocktails at Clarence

Inside Tauranga’s historic post office building is my favourite place for pizza and cocktails. Clarence combines sophisticated European bistro dining with local history. I can be an absolute old lady at times, but if I get an opportunity to eat the yummiest truffle ham and mushroom pizza while sipping a negroni, I’ll be there in a flash! Also, the boutique hotel inside Clarence makes you feel like you've been transported to a whole other place.

Filling up on Cookie Pies at Little Long

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39 Spring Street, Tauranga

I recently renovated my first home, and suddenly, interior design is the first thing I notice with places. Little Long has the most stunning interior! The natural light that streams in from the skylight surrounded by hanging indoor plants makes the place feel bright and inviting when having a coffee or one of their decadent cookie pies.

Bottomless Dinners and Margaritas at Doca

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6 Wharf Street, Tauranga

Bottomless Margaritas, anyone? Doca is the place to kick off a night out in the city. They have bottomless dinners on Friday and Saturday nights, where you can have a grazing plate and flowing cocktails with some epic tunes. It's definitely something to do with mates to set the tone for the weekend. Also, Doca is a cafe during the day, so after the night out, Doca is perfect for the Sunday brunch debrief over smashed avocado on toast. 

Sampling the Blends at Mt Zion Coffee Co

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27 Spring Street, Tauranga

Another crack-in-the-wall coffee spot Mt Zion Coffee, is probably where I consume most of my flat whites. Matt is that sort of barrister whose love for coffee and people makes for a match made in Heaven ;) you’ll be introduced to something new and shown the many flavours of different blends. If you manage to get a seat out front of Mt Zion, it’ll be the best coffee with a view of the ocean under the sun.

Perusing the Bookshelves at Books A Plenty

74 Grey Street, Tauranga

You can’t beat a good bookstore, and Books A Plenty is the best independent bookseller in the city. The owners, Sheree and Scott, are so lovely and can help find literally any book. I think there’s something super calming about slowly perusing bookshelves to see if something pops out, and with Books A Plenty, it’s very likely something will. They also have Bookshop Sessions, where local musicians, poets and writers perform intimate, ambient gigs, which make for the cosiest late-night activity.

Sampling the Goods at the Tauranga Farmers Market on Saturdays

The farmers market every Saturday is where I go to get the best locally-grown fruits and veges. Held on the grounds of Tauranga Primary School, there’s live music playing while you casually stroll around, tasting and talking to local growers. I love grabbing some nibbly bits. The flatbreads are amazing, and the chutneys, so delicious!

Neat Downtown Tauranga Places

Luxe Cinemas

The counter at Luxe Cinema Tauranga.
Place Downtown Tauranga
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If you believe going to the cinema should be about the full experience, look no further.

The Hop House

The bar seating area inside The Hop House Tauranga.
Place Downtown Tauranga
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Housed in a beautifully restored 1920’s building amongst the pedestrianised Wharf Street Precinct, The Hop House in Tauranga has become an obvious destination for...

Folk Coffee Roasters

A staff member being served at Folk Brewers Tauranga.
Place Downtown Tauranga
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Folk Coffee Roasters provides specialty coffee with purpose, knowledge, and experience.

Clarence Hotel & Restaurant

The covered dining area at Clarence Boutique Hotel in Tauranga.
Place Downtown Tauranga
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Situated in the soulful, historic post office building, the Clarence is the only boutique hotel in downtown Tauranga.