The coastal Bay of Plenty is steeped in cultural and historical significance. Maori culture is evident throughout the region with sacred spots such as Mauao (Mount Maunganui), the Papamoa Hills and Maketu.
Three of the seven waka (canoe) that formed the original migration of Maori to Aotoaroa (New Zealand) made their first landing in the Bay of Plenty.
Maketu was the landing place of the Te Arawa canoe following the migration of early Maori from Hawaiki. Polynesians settled in the Bay of Plenty about 1,000 years ago.
More than 400 years went by before the Bay of Plenty was given its name by Captain James Cook while circumnavigating New Zealand in 1769. Cook was alluding to the region’s welcoming people and abundant resources.
The Battle of Gate Pa was one of the most notable battles during the land wars of the 1860s and is well documented at the Elms Mission House in Tauranga.