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Kiwi towns

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

  • 3 minutes

Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

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, New Zealand
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.


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

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@Athenree Homestead
Anthenree Hot Pools, New Zealand @athenreehotsprings
@Athenree Homestead


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

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Katikati Fire Station Museum entrance, Bay of Plenty, NZ
Katikati Primary School totem poles, street art, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Katikati Arts Cooperative Arts Centre, Bay of Plenty, NZ


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

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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
Anzac Bay, Bowentown, Waihi, New Zealand


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

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Long sandy beach at Matata in Eastern Bay of Plenty during fishing competition, New Zealand
Fernbird, Matata, Rotopiko, National Wetland Centre, Waikato, New Zealand
Matata conservation campsite Matata area @DOC / David Finn


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

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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


  • 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

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Boats moored in estuary at Omokoroa, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Omokoroa beach, Tauranga, New Zealand


  • Ohope beach cafes
  • Waihi beach cafes
  • Mt Maunganui cafe beach scene is a classic for couples


Also, check out “Bay of Plenty hot pools, mineral springs, and attractions.”

Mount Maunganui beach panorama, New Zealand
Mount Maunganui beach


Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.


Our editors independently visit tour operators, purchase tickets, pay for accommodation, and rate products and places. We are not paid to go on a tour or visit a place. We only make money if you decide to purchase a product through our website links. We promise to never accept free products from manufacturers in return for boosting their products. Read more about our affiliate programme in the terms and conditions HERE.

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