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Mina’s Natalie Procter shares her local’s guide to the Bay of Plenty

By MiNDFOOD

Beachside treats at Coffee and Cones caravan
Beachside treats at Coffee and Cones caravan
Co-founder of slow fashion label, Mina, Natalie Procter spends half her time in the beautiful Mount Maunganui. She gives us a local's insight into the best restaurants, cafes, boutique shops and swimming spots in the region. 

What do you love about Mount Maunganui and the Bay of Plenty?

Morning walks on the beach before work and the same in the evening after I clock off. A walk on the beach really does wonders. It’s a simple pleasure but it’s the best part of living in Mount Maunganui.

What is your favourite place in the Bay of Plenty?

Mount Maunganui. I grew up in Auckland and haven’t ventured much further along the coast from Tauranga. Although this summer I am looking forward to some camping in Opotiki, I hear it’s beautiful.

A morning walk on Omanu Beach

The best cafes, restaurants and bars:

  • Solera: A new-ish spot with beautiful, understated interiors. Perfect place to go for a really nice meal.
  • Bar Centrale in Tauranga: It’s in an old post bank building so has lots of character. Cool vibe with Italian inspired food.
  • Picknika: Also very new. Beautiful interior and the food is amazing. I can also confirm the cocktails are very good.
  • Hello Banh Mi in central Mount Maunganui: Amazing casual Vietnamese, the lemongrass chicken noodle salad is a winner. Perfect for lunch after a morning at the beach.
  • Sea People: Plant-based ice cream in the Mount. The cones are not like your average waffle cones, so delicious and the ice cream is so dedicant and creamy. Perfect dairy free option as it’s made from cashew and coconut milk.

Favourite boutiques to shop at:

  • Paper Plane: Beautiful homewares and stockist of Mina
  • Be Organics: Natural skincare and fresh produce
  • Nine Lives: Vintage boutique
  • The Gilded Edge: All the kitchen things you didn’t think you needed
  • Breadhead: A small hole in the wall bakery with the best sourdough in the area.

Secret swimming spots:

Omanu Beach is our backyard so I am biased and would say this is my favourite swimming area. On the weekend a ‘coffee and cones’ caravan parks up with coffees and real fruit ice cream.
Otherwise a little further away, Homunga Bay near Waihi Beach. And the Blue Lakes at Lake Rotoma are so lovely for swimming!

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