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Located long the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway, the coastal Bay of Plenty has long been regarded as one of New Zealand's top holiday destinations for Kiwi's and international travellers alike. Boasting one of the sunniest climates in New Zealand, the Bay of Plenty has it all. From surfing, hiking and skydiving, to wine tasting, luxury accommodation, and world class cuisine, there is something for everyone in the beautiful Bay of Plenty.
Urban lifestyle and beach adventure
- Follow the walking track to the top of Mount Maunganui (Mauao) for truly breathtaking views.
- Take a tour around a working kiwifruit orchard with Kiwi 360.
- Relax at the Mount Hot Salt Water Pools which sit snugly at the foot of Mount Maunganui.
- Stroll The Strand in Tauranga and check out the cafes, bars and restaurants.
- Visit the award winning Fresh Fish Market on Dive Crescent for some of the country's freshest, tastiest fish and chips.
- Enjoy a day on the sand at Mount Maunganui's Main Beach, or along the calm waters of Pilot Bay.
- Browse the designer stores in Tauranga's business district or the surf shops and wonderful gift galleries along the Mount Main Street.
- See what the honey bees have been up to at the Comvita Visitor Centre in Paengaroa or Mossops Honey in Tauranga.
- Wet your pallet wine tasting at two award-winning wineries - Morton Estate in Katikati and Mills Reef in Tauranga.
If you're craving excitement, the Bay of Plenty is sure to delight you.
- Take a guided tour of White Island, New Zealand's only active marine volcano, watch steaming vents and crater lakes that change colour and size almost daily. You can access the island by launch or helicopter.
- Learn to surf in the playful waves off Mount Maunganui's world famous white sand beaches with one of the reputable surf schools in the region.
- Enjoy the thrills of a 30-minute adrenalin-pumping jet boat ride on the spectacular Kaituna River.
- Go fishing. Catch a charter boat to the waters off Motiti and Tuhua (Mayor Island) in searh of a deep-water catch, or stay on land and drop a line off Salisbury wharf in Mount Maunganui's Pilot Bay.
- Race the wind in Papamoa, New Zealand's home of the blow kart.
- Skydive in one of the North Island's most scenic drop zones.
- Jump on a boat to see and swim with the regions friendliest dolphins with one of the many tour operators in the region.
- Enjoy a guided kayaking trip on the Tauranga Harbour, Wairoa River or a night-time glow worm tour on Lake McLaren.
- Dare yourself to take a white-water rafting trip on the lively Wairoa River, which has several grade five rapids.
- Mountain bike through the Oropi Gorge - a hair-raising adventure for thrill seekers.
The Bay of Plenty has a great mix of local and world-class cuisine. Fresh seafood is a specialty in many restaurants due to the regions' proximity to the sea.
- The Strand along the waterfront in Tauranga offers everything from the regions best fish and chips to premium Steak Houses and up-market bars to authentic cultural cuisine.
- Across the harbour bridge you'll find exceptional cafes on the beachfront opposite the Mount's main beach, as well as on Maunganui Road in the shopping district - a great selection of fine dining as well as a casual 'beachie' vibe.
- Find out about the kiwifruit industry at Kiwi360 in Te Puke. You'll enjoy a guided tour on a kiwicart and the chance to taste all sorts of kiwifruit products in the gift shop or café.
- See what the honey bees have been up to at the Comvita Visitor Centre in Paengaroa or Mossops Honey in Tauranga. Shop for all sorts of innovative honey products.
- Explore local viticulture at two award-winning wineries - Morton Estate in Katikati and Mills Reef in Tauranga. Both offer free wine tasting.
- During harvest time, stop at a roadside stall to pick up your fruit and veggies, fresh from the growers' gardens.
Nature and wildlife
Boasting the sunniest climate in the North Island, the Bay of Plenty is a great place to enjoy the outdoors year-round - whether you want to challenge your fitness or simply seek out the perfect picnic spot.
- Visit Kaiate Falls in Welcome Bay, a beautiful native bush reserve where the river runs through a series of stunning waterfalls.
- Take a walk on Moturiki Island, which connects to the main beach at Mount Maunganui. During an easterly swell, the blow hole puts on a spectacular show.
- Visit McLaren Falls, 170 hectares of lake land reserve. It's stunning in any season.
- Experience the historic walkway Nga Tapuwae o Toi (in the footsteps of Toi). Starting and finishing in Whakatane, this superb 16-kilometre walk takes in sea cliffs, ancient pa sites, bird colonies, remote bays and pohutukawa forest.
History, Art and Culture
Arts figure prominently in Tauranga, with the main gallery and creative quarters located in the city-centre.
- The Tauranga Art Gallery on the corner of Wharf and Willow Streets delivers exhibitions of historical, modern and temporary art.
- Learn about the region's history at the Elms Mission House.
- Visit the famous battle site of Gate Pa on the edge of Tauranga.
- Pick up a mural guide map from Katikati's information centre, then stroll the streets to inspect the town's hand painted murals.
- Take a look at the works of master Maori carvers along the main street of Opotiki.
What's your favourite thing to do in the Bay of Plenty? Add your comment below.