Did you know...
Despite not actually landing here, Captain James Cook named this region the ‘Bay of Plenty’ in 1769 because he observed many Maori villages with well-tended gardens from his ship the Endeavour.
Our region’s white sandy coastline stretches for 125km, from Waihi Beach through to Ohope.
Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach has been named the best beach in New Zealand, second best in the South Pacific, and ranks in the top 25 beaches in the world according to Trip Advisor.
Mauao is our iconic mountain that stands right at the tip of Mount Maunganui. This extinct volcano sits 232m above sea level and its 3.4km circular base track is one of New Zealand’s most popular walks.
Tauranga is New Zealand’s fifth largest city behind Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Hamilton.
Tauranga Harbour covers an area of 200sq km. A massive 290,000,000 tonnes of water passes through the harbour entrance with each tide.
A bronze statue named Tangaroa (the Maori God of the Sea) has stood at the entrance to Tauranga Harbour since 1976. It originally faced towards the port but in 2007 it was turned around to face the harbour entrance – to challenge visitors and ensure their intentions are friendly when entering and to bid visitors a safe journey as they leave.
Tauranga is the largest cruise tour port destination in New Zealand. Over 80 cruise ships visit each season, bringing more than 160,000 passengers and 70,000 crew to our shores. Cruise ship visits to Tauranga have grown 600% in the last 10 years.
The first Tauranga Harbour Bridge was opened on 13 March 1988. A second bridge was opened on 4 September 2009 to help ease traffic congestion. The bridges sit side-by-side and carry traffic travelling in the opposite direction to one another.
Te Puke is the home of New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry. Commercial export of kiwifruit grown in Te Puke began in 1953 when trays of fruit were first shipped to London. Today 90% of our kiwifruit exports are grown here.
Whakatane is officially the sunniest place in New Zealand, recording 2710 sunshine hours in 2014. The town also won the title in 2013.
Whakatane is the ‘kiwi capital of the world’. Many of these rare, flightless birds live in the bush and reserves that surround the town.
Whaakari (White Island) is a marine volcano that sits 49km offshore from Whakatane. Only the top 321m is visible – most of this vast mountain lies beneath the water. It’s New Zealand’s most frequently active volcano.