Bay of Plenty
The sunny city of Tauranga will tempt you with marine adventures. Go sailing, fishing or dolphin-watching and soak up the stunning coastal environment.
Tauranga is the largest city in the Bay of Plenty and one of the fastest growing population centres in the country. Downtown Tauranga has several historically significant areas to view during a scenic walk around the area. The Strand waterfront area is modern and always buzzing, and is home to a number of cafes, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs, as well as a range of accommodation options.
Tauranga’s harbour can be seen almost everywhere you go, providing the urban area with an attractive waterfront setting. Fishing, sailing, diving and dolphin tours are easy to arrange, or check out one of the local beauty spots – McLaren Falls or the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park.
'The Mount' is the colloquial name for Mount Maunganui, a relaxed beach town that occupies a peninsula at the southern end of Tauranga Harbour. The peninsula is actually a huge sandbar, with a sheltered bay on the inner harbour side and a magnificent surf beach on the ocean side.
At the very tip of the peninsula is a distinctive peak - Mauao - which rises to 230 metres above sea level. There is a choice of tracks leading to the summit, some more challenging than others. Huge views of the harbour, beach and Pacific Ocean make the effort totally worthwhile.
For around 55 days a year, Whakatane records the highest temperature in New Zealand. This sunny town is known for fishing trips and volcano visits.
The main centre for the eastern Bay of Plenty, Whakatane is one of the sunniest towns in New Zealand. Just off shore is White Island a spectacular active volcano that can be visited by launch or helicopter, where guided tours of the island necessitate a gas mask and hard hat. Whakatane is also known for its fishing – more yellow fin tuna are caught here than anywhere else in the country.
Other Whakatane attractions include the museum, an observatory and Maori historical sites. The Nga Tapuwae o Toi walkway leads to pa sites, native forest and seabird colonies. Dolphin and seal tours, which can include swimming encounters, start in November. There are guided Kayak tours on offer around Ohiwa Harbour and Whale Island.
The Infinity Experience
White IslandRob Suisted
Mt Maunganui BeachShutterstock
Content & assistance provided by Tourism New Zealand.