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Bay of Plenty art & heritage trail road trip

A road trip focused on art, culture and heritage places, artists and venues. Travel from Whitianga on the Pacific Coast road journey to Whakatane. Visit artist studios, passionate local collectives where exhibitions and festivals flourish. Katikati is a must-go destination with its street art murals and local artists.

Trip Overview

Art studios, museums, galleries, art festivals and markets

Duration: 2 - 4 days
Start Waihi
Finish Ohope


Waihi Beach, Athenree, Katikati, Tauranga, Matata, Paengaroa, Kawera, Ohope, Whakatane. This is a specialised road trip augmenting the Pacific Coast Journey. Whitianga (Coromandel Peninsula) to Gisborne.

Best time to go to Bay of Plenty art & heritage trail

Year round as you are largely indoors.

Waihi Beach
Pathway to the beach protects sand dunes and wild life at Waihi Beach, a popular swimming and surfing beach for both locals and tourists, New Zealand
Waihi Beach

The quintessential summer holiday town is also the location for several significant heritage pre-European Maori pa sites. The BOWENTOWN DOMAIN (128 hectares) is the place to start your exploration. There are picnic tables, toilets and water taps available.

Read more about What’s so great about Waihi Beach.

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@Athenree Homestead
@Athenree Homestead

Home to Athenree Homestead and heritage railway station. Athenree is located in the Tauranga Harbour, on a small promontory. Athenree is part of a string of seaside settlements with access to sheltered harbours reflecting over 800 years of human occupation. Athenree is mostly known for the large settler homestead, a charitable trust estate and hot mineral springs. Athenree is a summer holiday destination offering visitors easy access to the Bay of Plenty attractions as well as the option of a convenient hot spring pool to soak in.

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Katikati Fire Station Museum entrance, Bay of Plenty, NZ
Katikati town mural wander @Tourism Bay of Plenty

A drawcard in the Bay of Plenty is the vibrant, diverse arts community of Katikati. The Western Bay of Plenty Museum is an innovative contemporary museum with a series of interactive experiences telling the story of the district. It is fun and you will enjoy the bright red former fire station building the museum is housed in. It is likely you might want to linger in Katikati exploring the area and visiting artist’s studios.

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Tauranga offers visitors a potpourri of activities from a rich tapestry of street art, a well regarded art gallery, community art centres to pop into and a chance to visit one of Aotearoa’s premier Maori Meeting House with its exquisite carvings and stories.

Begin the day exploring the Tauranga Art Gallery. The gallery is a veteran public exhibit space and focuses on the region, new, emerging and established artists. There is a great gift shop as part of the exhibition space.

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Whakatane Society of Arts and Crafts

The Art House is used seven days a week and comprises several groups working in various mediums. It was formed in 1960, as the “Form & Colour Group” by a group of painters and potters who were interested in promoting art & craft in the community. There are a number of regular exhibitions throughout the year.

Whakatane Museum and Arts is a must go destination for visitors interested in local new and emerging artists in Whakatane.

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4 Art Sake dealer, marketing collectables, jewellery, modern art by new and emerging local artists.

Read more What’s so great about Ohope.

The journey finishes in Whakatane with options to continue exploring Gisborne and the East Cape, check Pacific Coast road trip East Cape for details. For details of the museums in the Bay of Plenty check Tauranga guide to activities & things to do.

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