Bay of Plenty
Home to a volcanic island
Named by Captain James Cook for its abundant resources and settlements in 1769, the Bay of Plenty continues to live up to its name with an abundance of fruit, wine and seafood, and plenty of sunshine. Unsurprisingly, this makes it a popular summer holiday destination for kiwis and tourists alike.
Tauranga is the main centre in the region and currently one of the country’s fastest growing cities with an urban population of around 155,000. Known for its coastline which offers hundreds of kilometres of beaches, harbours and islands, the region has something for everyone, from surfing and sea-kayaking to big game fishing. Or you can just kick back and soak in the sun on popular Mount Maunganui beach.
Top things to do in the Bay of Plenty
Looking for ideas to help you plan the ultimate New Zealand outdoor adventure? Here are some of the top things for active travellers to see and do in the Bay of Plenty region.
Climb ‘The Mount’
Mount Maunganui or Mauao, to give it it’s Māori name, is often referred to as just The Mount. This lava dome which formed two to three million years ago, sits at the entrance of Tauranga Harbour. It shares its name with the bustling seaside suburb situated on the sand bar connecting the mount to the mainland. No visit to Tauranga would be complete without climbing The Mount to enjoy the spectacular views and there are a number of tracks leading to the 232m summit.
Experience an evening glow worm kayak tour
Glow worms are a unique and popular attraction in New Zealand, found mostly in caves such as Waitomo and Waipu. As far as we know, there are only three places in New Zealand where you can experience glow worms while kayaking. One of them is on Lake McLaren, just south of Tauranga. Waimarino Kayak Tours offers a fully guided experience which includes pre-paddle refreshments before hitting the water at twilight and then a paddle by torchlight to a glow worm filled canyon.