Summer beckons, The Bay of Plenty is traditionally viewed as an annual Christmas holiday destination for its beaches, beautiful scenery and farm to plate eating culture. Delicious kiwifruit, berry farms, craft breweries, artisan baked goods and deli favourites stock well laden weekend markets. Festivals galore during the summer months create a happy buzz with live music, street entertainers and pop up stalls from Waihi Beach to Opotiki. The rich soil is New Zealand’s fruit basket with avocados, berries and oranges gracing the farm to plate culture of restaurants and cafes.
Linger on art trails, in galleries and studios. The Bay, with its glorious weather has attracted artists, crafty people and creative talent who relish the climate and sense of space the area has to offer.
Unearth the Bay’s secrets and discover places where peace and quiet are guaranteed. And the Bay is a treasure trove of attractions and events year round. Delve into what the Bay has to offer you will not be disappointed.
The regional hub for the Bay Tauranga & Mount Maunganui naturally attract the majority of visitors with a wealth of attractions from climbing the Mount to watch skydivers and the panoramic views, kayaking to observe glow worms on Lake McLaren or taking a cruise to Matakana Island for a day.
The balmy weather, the year round temperate climate encourages visitors to get out and into the action whether on the water, in the air or through forests.
Check What’s so great about Kawerau.
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Temptation the name is the Bay with its shops, galleries showing creative talent and markets with its foodie treats.
Apart from the local regional parks of Papamoa Hills Regional Park and McLaren Falls Park there are glorious native bush / forested areas to explore ancient landscapes nearby. For holiday inspiration check out what Whirinaki Forest best bits are or 4 Aongatete Forest special places to visit, things to see and ideas for a road trip to Whitianga with a stop in Aongatete Forest. One of the best ways to explore outdoors for visitors short on time is to check Bay of Plenty 10 short walks.
Whakatane to Opotiki is extraordinary.
The Bay of Plenty is ideal for families with the range and diversity of attractions for kids, adults and family members.
The urban vibe of Tauranga / Mount Maunganui is a contrast in the quiet rural areas of the Bay. From camping by the beach or situated on the Mount’s waterfront the choice is yours. For visitors based in Tauranga / Mount Maunganui check out Tauranga romantic places, things to do for couples.
From Waihi Beach in the northern part of the Bay to Opotiki, gateway to the East Cape Bay of Plenty is summer magic. There are surf beaches with a nifty sandbar creating a marvellous paddling experience for kids in Omokoroa Beach or Pilot beach. Mt Maunganui Main Beach offers visitors surfing, sand and people watching. Nearby cafes ensure you have lots of foodie treats. Coastal walks, beaches off the beaten track and places where the sea, land and shore create wildlife refuge invite you to further explore the coastline in Bowentown.
Waihi Beach hosts a summer festival season with the beach the place to hang out. Nearby Katikati joins in the fun with weekend markets and street art for beach goers who need a change of scenery. Savour the sheer enormity of Papamoa Beach with over 16 km of white sandy beach to find a quiet space for yourself and family.
Ohope Beach is an ode to summer with the choice of the safe estuary harbour beach or the Ohope Beach with its summer scene, lifeguards and the thread of cafes. For visitors short on time check Bay of Plenty top 5 beaches where to get a taste of beach culture and beach buffs who want the quiet beaches with space to spare check out Bay of Plenty beaches, places to go.
Geothermal natural energy supports a number of hot pools in the Bay. Hot mineralised alkaline water is a balm for the soul sourced deep from the earth. Soothing, warm baths, nothing says it better than a leisurely soak. For details where to go for your hot pool experience check out Bay of Plenty hot pools.
Learn about the Bay through its rural settlements and summer beachside towns. Follow the coastline and unearth summer holidays where the beach beckons surfers to try out their new boards and kids paddle in estuaries. Spend days supine under the beach umbrella. Beachside communities tempt visitors with cafes offering ice creams in dripping cones, cool freshly squeezed juices and snacks to keep the energy levels up. Waihi Beach is a favourite escape for city dwellers and the astute visitor alike. Athenree with its historic homestead and quiet cliff top walks to historic Maori pa (fortified villages) sites is a welcome respite for heritage buffs. Katikati is fun with amusing street art and owner operated studios to linger in.
Find out where you want to go below, discover the hidden gems beyond cosmopolitan Tauranga / Mount Maunganui.
Tauranga and The Mount are ridiculously close to major North Island attractions creating an ideal hub to explore further. Read more In a day Hobbiton, Lord of the Rings day trip from Tauranga.
|Tauranga||Whatakane: Maori cultural attractions||92km|
|Tauranga||Taupo: water sport heaven||136 km|
|Tauranga||Rotorua: Mineral hot springs anyone?||57 km|
|Tauranga||Hobbiton: plenty of time to meet & greet the hobbits of Lord of the Rings film trilogy||58 km|
The Bay of Plenty is an invitation to let the hair down, wind down the window and take to the road.
Find out what the Bay has to offer on an art, craft and culture trail where living in Maori culture is a contemporary experience for visitors or find a historic homestead 19th century settlers once called home. The Bay with its temperate climate, lush landscapes is a mecca for artists with studios, street art and workshops to linger in. Read more Bay of Plenty art, craft and culture road trip and Bay of Plenty five day family road trip.
Tauranga / Mount Maunganui is a natural hub for attractions and festivals. For a weekend or several days checking out what the area has to offer it is an ideal place to base yourself. For an extended holiday check out the Bay of Plenty towns with their art galleries, beaches and walks and you could be tempted to explore further. For camping ideas check Camping in the Bay of Plenty for inspiration.
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