Plenty of Fun


The view from the Mauao  (Mount Maunganui) summit is breathtaking.
The view from the Mauao (Mount Maunganui) summit is breathtaking.
Ancient forests, famed beaches, dolphin spotting, kayaking & hiking, the Bay of Plenty has something for everyone, including the best kiwifruit & avocados around.

They say that sunshine is good for the soul and nowhere does this ring truer than in the sun-kissed Bay of Plenty. A place where ‘holiday mode’ feels like a permanent state, Te Moananui ā Toi (the Coastal Bay of Plenty) is blessed with sunny skies and some of the best beaches in Aotearoa, so it’s no wonder many Kiwis consider it their ‘happy place’. The region’s pleasant microclimate and rich, fertile soils have made it famous for its produce, cultivated by local people who are passionate about caring for the land. Along with its bountiful crops, this pocket of the North Island’s east coast offers an array of nature-filled experiences. Head out on the ocean and go island-hopping, with the chance to spot dolphins. Or venture inland to the ancient forest at Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park and spot native birds amongst the towering trees. There’s no shortage of soul-enriching wonders in the Bay of Plenty.

Plentiful produce

The Bay of Plenty is said to have been given its name by Captain James Cook after he noticed the bounty of food cultivated by the local Māori in their villages. Today, you can find some of the country’s finest kiwifruit, citrus fruits, Mānuka honey, and even truffles here.

Famous for being the avocado capital of New Zealand, you can sample fresh avos straight from the orchards in Katikati. Avocado Tours guide Tim Rosamond has a wealth of knowledge of the delicious fruit, giving guests a special look behind the shelterbelts of a thriving avocado orchard, with the opportunity to try tasty avocado treats along the way.

Katikati is New Zealand’s avocado capital.

With 125 kilometres of pristine coastline, seafood is, of course, a must-try when visiting the Bay of Plenty. For a one-of-a-kind kaimoana (seafood) experience, join Deon Muir of Muirs Tours on a guided fishing adventure. Drawing on his 30-plus years’ experience fishing and diving, the former New Zealand Māori All Black captain offers guests fishing tours off the coast of Maketū. Head out with Muir on a charter chasing down fish and shellfish as you learn about the values of manaakitanga (hospitality), kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and whanaungatanga (kinship), before finishing with a kaimoana feast and traditional hāngī by famed local chefs Kārena and Kasey Bird.

Try fresh Pacific oysters on a tour with Tio Ōhiwa in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Wonders on water

As the landing place of some of the first waka (canoes) that brought Māori to New Zealand centuries ago, the region’s history and tangata whenua (descendants of its original inhabitants) are deeply entwined. Local Māori guides from Mauao Adventures offer visitors insightful stories behind the region’s most iconic landmark, Mauao (Mount Maunganui). Join them on a hīkoi (walk) around the mountain and a waka ama canoe experience on the crystal clear waters of Pilot Bay, where you can hear about the history of this special place and the work that is going on to protect the land and sea.

For a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, head inland to Lake McLaren and marvel at the magic of glow-worms with Waimarino Kayak Tours. Begin your adventure by savouring locally sourced refreshments at the edge of the beautiful lake. As the sun sets, expert guides lead you along the serene water where you’ll discover canyon walls that are illuminated with thousands of glow-worms, while your friendly guides share fascinating stories about the creatures’ life cycle and habitat preservation.

Experience the magic of glow-worm kayaking with a Waimarino tour.

Best of the Bay

Best beaches

Mount Maunganui Main Beach and Ōhope Beach are regularly named  among the country’s most-loved beaches.

Ancient forest

Whirinaki Te Pua-a Tāne Conservation Park stretches over 55,000 hectares and was called “a living cathedral that dates back 200 million years” by acclaimed British botanist Dr David Bellamy.

Home of the kiwifruit

Te Puke produces 112 million trays of the delicious fruit each year.

Wild Kiwi capital

Whakatāne’s spectacular conservation efforts have seen its kiwi population (the iconic bird) soar, making it the Kiwi Capital of the World.

Leafy wonders

McLaren Falls is home to one of the best botanical tree collections in New Zealand.


Located in the Central North Island of New Zealand, the Bay of Plenty region is an easy three-hour drive from Auckland, 1 hour 20 minutes from Hamilton or 45 minutes from Rotorua.

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