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Bay of Plenty


Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty - on New Zealand's north eastern coast - has a year-round mild climate and long sandy beaches overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Bay of Plenty's coastal holiday atmosphere attracts Kiwis and international visitors looking for relaxed New Zealand seaside holidays.


View Bay of Plenty region maps   

Maps and local travel information for Bay of Plenty.

Natural Attractions

Tauranga, the Bay of Plenty’s main city, is located at the entrance to one of New Zealand’s largest natural harbours, and beside Mauao / Mount Maunganui - a mountain that’s sacred to Māori and a popular walking spot.

Nearby coastal towns Mount Maunganui and Papamoa are popular summer beach holiday destinations. From surfing to fishing to diving, the Bay of Plenty offers plenty of outdoor attractions.

The Bay of Plenty region’s fertile soils and warm climate make it an ideal location for cultivating produce. The small town of Te Puke is the kiwifruit capital of New Zealand. Most of New Zealand’s kiwifruit crop is grown in the Bay of Plenty, along with avocados, grapes, citrus and many subtropical fruits.

The Pacific Coast highway follows the scenic Bay of Plenty coastline.


Bay of Plenty - Scuba diving
Bay of Plenty - Scuba diving


Māori first settled the Bay of Plenty in the late 13th / early 14th century. According to legend, they arrived from their spiritual homeland Hawaiki on three waka (canoes) - Te Arawa, Takitimu and Mataatua. Many Bay of Plenty Māori trace their descent back to these canoes.

The region’s west was settled by the iwi (tribes) of Ngati Ranginui, Ngaiterangi and Ngati Pukenga from the Takitumu and Mataatua canoes. Te Arawa descendants inhabited the east and south to Rotorua.

Māori called the area Te Moana a Toi or 'sea of Toi', honouring their great ancestral explorer, Toitetuatahi. British explorer Captain James Cook gave the name Bay of Plenty in response to the region's welcoming people and abundant resources.

Bay of Plenty - Mount Beach from Mauao
Bay of Plenty - Mount Beach from Mauao

Māori Culture

Bay of Plenty is rich in Māori culture and history with sacred spots such as Mauao, Papamoa Hills and Maketu, and many pa (fortified village) sites. Guided tours to many of these historic sites highlight the area’s cultural history.

Mauao, the sacred mountain at Tauranga’s harbour entrance, translates as ‘caught in the light of the day’.

According to Māori legend, the once nameless mountain was spurned in love by another mountain, the beautiful Pūwhenua. One night Mauao begged the fairy-like creatures of the forest to drag him to the ocean and end his misery, but the creatures fled as the morning sun-rays struck leaving Mauao transfixed to his spot.

Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage regional park (Te Rae o Papamoa) is a significant site. The park has 10 ancient village sites that are amongst New Zealand's oldest. A walking track to the summit reveals views of Tauranga harbour and Mauao.

At Maketu, near Te Puke, a foreshore memorial commemorates the landing place of the Te Arawa canoe during the great migration.

Bay of Plenty - Dolphins
Bay of Plenty - Dolphins

Adventure / Outdoors

Year-round outdoor activities in the rich marine environment include swimming with dolphins and fishing for snapper, kingfish, hapuku and marlin around Tuhua (Mayor Island), and deep-sea fishing at Motiti.

White Island - New Zealand’s only active marine volcano - lies off the Whakatane coast. Accessible by boat or air, there are regular guided tours exploring the island and its active crater edge.

The Bay of Plenty coast is the birthplace of the blokart - a three-wheeled, land based yacht that provides a revolutionary new speed thrill. Visitors can try the blokart on the beach or on a purpose-built track in Papamoa.

Bay of Plenty - Blokarting
Bay of Plenty - Blokarting

Seasonal Highlights

A warm climate, beautiful beaches and matching lifestyle make the Bay of Plenty a year-round destination for active or relaxing Kiwi holidays.

Mount Maunganui, or ’The Mount’ as the locals call it, has long been a favourite summer holiday choice. Main beach, a long white sand beach, is the scene of many activities from beach volleyball to thundercat racing. It’s also the busiest surf break in the region.

The Bay of Plenty attracts large numbers of visitors over the Christmas / New Year summer holiday period. Many events are held in the region during this time, making the Bay of Plenty a festive destination.

Bay of Plenty - Beach at Tauranga
Bay of Plenty - Beach at Tauranga


  • Nearly a million people walk up and around Mauao / Mount Maunganui (232m) each year.
  • Tauranga - one of New Zealand's busiest ports - each year welcomes more than 200,000 cruise ship passengers and crew.
  • Te Puke is the ‘kiwifruit capital of the world’. More than 80 percent of NZ kiwifruit exports are grown in the Bay of Plenty.
  • Tuhua (Mayor Island) has the world’s largest pohutukawa forest.