Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty Travel Guide

The Bay of Plenty has a subtropical climate with warm, humid summers and mild winters. The region is one of the warmest in New Zealand, particularly along the coastline, and most areas experience at least 2,000 hours of sunshine per annum.

The favourable climatic and growing conditions around the bay's coast make this area a major fruit and vegetable growing region, with major crops including kiwifruit, avocados and apples. There is also productive pastoral land along the coast utilised for sheep and dairy farming.

The main city in the Bay of Plenty is Tauranga, which has one of New Zealand's largest ports and is visited by cruise ships on a regular basis. Specialist tour companies operate cruise ship land excursions for visitors as well as fishing, diving and boat charters.

Mt Maunganui is a town in the Bay of Plenty located on a peninsula to the north of Tauranga, and is a popular destination for holidaymakers. Ocean Beach, overlooked by the extinct voncanic cone of Mt Maunganui provides great surfing. It is lined with beachside cafes and holiday apartments.

The town of Whakatane in the Eastern Bay of Plenty is situated 90km east of Tauranga. Whakatane is popular for surfing, sailing and kayaking. Boat cruises for whale watching and swimming in dolphins are available. Many hiking trails and bush walks around the Whakatane area offer spectacular views and an interesting look at unique ecology and birdlife – a photographer’s dream. The town has a museum, art & craft galleries, shops and restaurants that can fill a rainy day. There are two golf courses in the immediate area and another three courses south along the Bay.

Ohope Beach was voted as NZ’s most loved beach, with a long beach that is safe for swimming, and great for water sports such as surfing, boating and diving. The beach is 11 km long, a great place for romantic walks and picnics. The playgrounds at Ohope Beach are a favourite with children. Hot mineral pools and a golf course with spectacular coastal views are among other attractions. Stay right on the beach in stunning self-contained apartments. Surf lessons are available here being one of the country’s safest surf beaches.

The Bay of Plenty is famous for its diverse Maori cultural tours, and offers a wide variety of family activities. Accommodation varies to suit all budgets - from luxury lodges, bed & breakfast lodges and motels to budget backpacker hostels and family holiday parks. 

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