Te Puke is New Zealand’s kiwifruit capital and the horticultural hub of our coastal region. An enormous fiberglass kiwifruit slice towers over SH2 on the outskirts of Te Puke and if you’re driving by it’s a fun place to stop and take a photograph. Climb the internal stairway to the very top and look down over the green countryside below while you smile for the camera.
This novel landmark sits right outside Kiwi360 – a popular tourist attraction designed to showcase our $1.5 billion kiwifruit industry. Browse their enormous range of kiwifruit products and souvenirs including beauty products, jewellery, home wares, clothing, food and wine. This is the biggest gift store of its kind in the Western Bay of Plenty.
Or jump onboard a ‘KiwiKart’ for a guided tour of Kiwi360’s working orchard and discover fascinating facts about this industry and fertile land. Try a chilled glass of kiwifruit wine afterwards from the café and enjoy a kiwifruit muffin or salad in their sunny courtyard.
Te Puke is also home to around 1000 avocado orchards and plenty of other fruit such as feijoas and citrus are also grown here.
Get a bird’s eye view of this rural powerhouse by taking a scenic helicopter flight over Te Puke and out along the nearby coast. Aerius Helicopters are based at Kiwi360 and provide a wide range of charter flights seven days a week. Be amazed by the patchwork of kiwifruit and avocado orchards which sit alongside dairy and sheep farms.
Te Puke is home to just under 10,000 people and is a 25 minute drive southeast of Tauranga. Walk along the main street and browse their variety of shops and cafes. You’ll always get a warm welcome and friendly smile here, and there’s plenty of free parking right outside the door.
If you’re a big fan of manuka honey you won’t want to miss Experience Comvita. Step inside a virtual beehive and see the world through the eyes of a honeybee. Learn about the incredible healing powers of manuka honey and take home some of their health, wellness and beauty treats from Comvita’s retail store at Paengaroa – just a 10 minute drive from Te Puke.
Stroll along the Te Puke Heritage Walkway and relax in the sunny outdoor plaza which links the town centre with nearby Jubilee Park. Admire the carved entranceway which represents local Maori and read about the town’s early heritage on a series of wall displays.
If you love walking, there are plenty of tracks to explore near Te Puke. Wander through native bush, streams and farmland at Roydon Downs Bush Reserve or drive 30 minutes inland and climb Mount Otanewainuku. You’ll be rewarded with amazing views across to the East Cape, Rotorua and as far south as Mount Ruapehu.
If you have young children, let their imaginations run wild at the enchanting Looking Glass Garden. Fairy tales come to life here with storybook scenes set amongst flowers, ponds and trees.
Te Puke is surrounded by fertile land and friendly people, and will give you a perfect snapshot of rural New Zealand life.
For more information on Te Puke please visit http://www.tepukegoodnessgrowshere.com/