Top 12 things to do in the Bay of Plenty

The coastal Bay of Plenty has long been one of the top holiday spots for Kiwis. Here’s a list of 12 ‘must do’ activities in the Bay of Plenty.

1.   Swim with dolphins

The Bay of Plenty is one of the best places in the world to see dolphins in their natural habitat.  It’s estimated that around 40,000 common dolphins have made the Bay of Plenty their home. 

During a guided trip, you can get up close and personal with these amazing creatures and even hop in the water and swim with them - a unique experience.

2.   Soak in the salt water hot pools at the base of Mauao

There are eleven geothermal hot pools located throughout the Bay of Plenty region, and Mount Maunganui is the only place in New Zealand where you’ll find hot salt water pools

3.   Blast around on a Blokart

The locally invented blokart offers an exhilarating experience.  Papamoa is the only place in New Zealand where you can experience the thrills of flying around the purpose-built track, on the land sailor.

4.   Stroll around and up Mauao

Enjoy a walk around Mauao - Mount Maunganui’s base track - which is one of the most picturesque and walked tracks in New Zealand. 

With some of the best ocean and city views you’ll see anywhere; it’s easy to see why over a million people do this walk each year.

5.   Kayak amongst the twinkling lights of glow-worms

The glow-worm kayaking trip on Lake McLaren is a unique experience the whole family can enjoy.

Kayak at dusk to a rock lined canyon, where you’re greeted by thousands of glow-worms adorning the canyon walls lighting up the night and everything you see.

6.   Visit the giant kiwifruit at Kiwi360

Climb aboard a KiwiKart and tour through lush orchards and onto a horticultural theme park.  You’ll discover why kiwifruit, the world’s healthiest fruit, grows better in the Bay of Plenty than anywhere else on the earth.

7.   Take a spin on the Kaituna River

The Kaituna River jet boat ride winds 12 kilometres through a narrow gorge of native New Zealand bush complete with a heap of 360 degree spins thrown in to get your heart pumping.

8.   Learn to Surf at the Mount

Mount Maunganui is known as one of the safest surf beaches in New Zealand.  The breaks attract surfers year round and it’s the ideal place to hone your surfing skills with a surf lesson or two.

9.   Step back in time at The Elms

The Elms historic house museum is the oldest European heritage site in the Bay of Plenty.  What was once the flourishing Te Papa Mission Station is now a tranquil oasis amid the bustle of the modern city of Tauranga.  The buildings and gardens are a reminder of life in the early nineteenth century.

10.  Sample some award winning food and wine

The distinctive art-deco Mills Reef building boasts full winemaking and bottling facilities, a five hundred barrel cellar, an aged wine cellar and spacious wine tasting areas.  Mills Reef wines have won over 250 medals in both national and international competitions.

11.  Plane spot vintage aircraft

Classic Flyers Museum features a large display of classic aircraft.  Nearly all the working museum’s planes were used during World War II, and the majority of them are still flown.  Some of the other items on display include aircraft engines, field artillery, cannons and machine guns, and World War II vehicles.

12.  Hit the white water on the Wairoa River

A white-water rafting trip on the scenic Wairoa River, one of New Zealand's most exciting raftable rivers, is an adventure.  Open for just 26 days a year, the trip takes you past stunning tree-lined gorges, over turbulent grade five rapids and breathtaking drops.


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