Quintessential summer holidays
Discover quintessential New Zealand spirit in the small towns of the Bay of Plenty. Find great places for a photo opportunity. Enjoy exploring heritage places where the only people are your family, friends or yourself.
The small kiwi towns below are part of our KIWI TOWNS series. Often the towns are on one of our road trips. Your holiday in the Bay of Plenty offers a number of interesting roadies, places to go from a day exploring gardens and parks to a wander looping through the region. Take time to check out Bay of Plenty day, weekend and road trips for inspiration and stop at the small towns onroute.
- Walks along coastal cliffs where a mosaic sofa invites you to take a break
- Surf Coast Highway with the wild ocean beaches, small towns and quirky culture of Taranaki is personality plus.
- Weekend markets and treasure trove of antiques, second hand stores to find
- New Plymouth art, culture and the every present Mt Taranaki to explore
“Best Bits” take a detour, wander down side roads. The journey is worth it.
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE
Tauranga and the Mount (Manuganui) are the rock stars with sea and water views brushing up against the quirky humour of Hairy MClary sculptures where you can find your inner child and laugh about the stories you read. McLaren park with its spring / autumn foliage, the shimmering lake and quiet walks is a stunning location for photos. Yet the small towns offer a wealth of special places for visitors to capture holiday memories
- Yourself in period costume at Athenree Homestead festival days
- Indulging in a hot pool spa, geothermal mineral pools
A stalwart of kiwi holidays Katikati is an artist haven with owner operated galleries, a glorious beach and holiday spirt embedded in the DNA of the town. A must-go destination for visitors to the Bay of Plenty
- HAIKU WALK, Therapy for the soul. Haiku (peace) poems are carved into boulders and etched into the pavement around the park. With the Uretara Stream running through the park, a footbridge and places to sit, contemplate and relax into the moment, the walk is very special.
- Town street art murals
- Firestation, now museum
The Bay of Plenty is where nature is the backyard. Ohope Scenic Reserve is a must-go destination for its historic significance as well as stunning views over the harbour and district. The quiet surprise of Nukuhou saltwater marsh is well worth the effort to pull over and enjoy the boardwalk through the rushes.
A classic summer holiday destination. Go for a walk and discover the views of the Bay of Plenty from a defensive Maori pa site. Want to capture the summer holiday beach vibe? You can’t go wrong at ANZAC or Shelly Bay.
- It is several minutes short climb to the Te Ho pa site for commanding views over Waihi Beach. The perfect location for a defensive pa site
- WILLIAM WRIGHT FALLS – continue the walk at the end of Orokawa Beach following marker posts. The 1.5km track is medium- advance grade with steeper sections. The William Wright waterfall is 28 metres. The falls cascadel over a sheer rock face in two stages and are farmed by vertical bush hills.
- ANZAC & SHELLY BAYS mature pohututakawa trees
In the vicinity of Matata there are several stops worth your time.
- From Tauranga pull over and soak up the views of pumice cliffs against the sea and sand
- Matata Lagoon
- Explore Nukuhou saltwater marsh
- Discover heritage site, Ohope Scenic Reserve
- Take in the sights of Tauranga and Bay of Plenty
- BIRD TRAIL WALK. Walking around the Omokoroa Peninsula, look out for the signs on the Bird Walk. The map shows the location of all the signs which have been designed and erected by the Omokoroa Bird Group.
- Flat estuarine landscapes are not easy to capture … look low and tilt the camera slightly to get perspective into the shot
EAT & DRINK
- Ohope beach cafes
- Waihi beach cafes
- Mt Maunganui cafe beach scene is a classic for couples