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Kiwi towns

NZ, Bay of Plenty small kiwi towns places to go for selfie & scenic lookouts

  • 3 minutes

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.

Sunset boats in Tauranga Bridge Marina, Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
Sunset boats in Tauranga Bridge Marina

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

ATHENREE

  • Yourself in period costume at Athenree Homestead festival days
  • Indulging in a hot pool spa, geothermal mineral pools

check out
Athenree Homestead, New Zealand @Ulrich Lange Dunedin New Zealand
Athenree Homestead railway station, New Zealand @Waihi Beach
Anthenree Hot Pools, New Zealand @athenreehotsprings

KATIKATI

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

check out
Katikati town mural wander, New Zealand @Tourism Bay of Plenty
Katikati Haiku walk, New Zealand @motowalknz
KatiKati, New Zealand @Eat New Zealand

SCENIC LOCATIONS

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.

WAIHI BEACH

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

check out
Anzac Bay, New Zealand @Waihi Beach
William Wright waterfall, New Zealand @Natasha Jones
Anzac Bay to Shelly Bay, New Zealand @Bay of Plenty

MATATA

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

check out
Matata Lagoon @DOC
Matata DOC camp @kiouwes
Matata beach @Whakatane

OHOPE

  • Explore Nukuhou saltwater marsh
  • Discover heritage site, Ohope Scenic Reserve
  • Take in the sights of Tauranga and Bay of Plenty

check out
Tauwhare Pa site scenic view of Ohope Beach and beyond, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Ohope Scenic Reserve plaques describing signficence of entrance design, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Ohope Scenic Reserve entrance, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

OMOKOROA

  • 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

check out
Omokoroa Domain @Tourism Bay of Plenty
Omokoroa @motowalknz
Omokoroa @Tourism Bay of Plenty

EAT & DRINK

  • Ohope beach cafes
  • Waihi beach cafes
  • Mt Maunganui cafe beach scene is a classic for couples
Mount Maunganui beach panorama, New Zealand
Mount Maunganui beach

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