94 km (59 miles)
Approximately 1.25 hours
Road Conditions: State Highway
Whangamata is one of the country’s most attractive surf towns. Enjoy the beach, cafes and bush walks. Dive and fishing tours are easily arranged. You can also hire bikes, windsurfers and kayaks. Several charter companies run day trips to Mayor Island, which is actually the summit of a volcano rising from the sea floor.
The journey to Tauranga will take you past historic Waihi, a gold mining town. You’ll enjoy the fresh green scenery of the Athenree Gorge before you come across the town of Katikati, known for its murals. Roadside stalls are an opportunity to buy seasonal fruit, such as oranges, kiwifruit and avocados. Closer to Tauranga, roads on the left offer detours to the beach towns of Te Puna and Omokoroa.
The prosperous city of Tauranga sprawls along the edge of an attractive harbour. There’s a well developed café culture and boat charters are available to take you big game fishing, snorkelling or dolphin watching. Nearby Mt Maunganui is a destination for surfing and beach walking.
Te Puna Quarry Park
A dedicated band of volunteers have created a botanical beauty spot on the site of an old quarry.
The Elms Mission House
If you're in Tauranga on a Sunday or public holiday, you can walk through the historic Elms Mission House.
Wentworth Valley walks
Camp beside a river in a quiet rural valley and walk through native forest to a picturesque waterfall and abandoned gold mines.
Whangamata, Onemana and Opoutere
Great surf breaks, sandy beaches, tranquil harbours, forest walks and rare birds are all part of the magic of these seaside settlements.
Walk through the forest to Kaiate Falls, where water tumbles down a ravine in a series of cascades.
Tuhua (Mayor Island)
Mayor Island is the summit of a volcano rising from the sea floor. It's both a wildlife and marine reserve.
Tuhua Marine Reserve
Mayor Island (Tuhua) is a dormant volcano off the Bay of Plenty coast. It is a sanctuary above and below the water.
Motiti Island is a place to get away from it all. Catch some fish, dive the wreck or just flop on a beach.
Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park
The Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park is a living museum of botanical history with 300 kilometres of tracks to explore.
Bay of Plenty
Kayaking – Fresh Water (1),
Kayaking – Salt Water (6),
Off Road Driving Adventure (1)
Heritage Attractions (1),