12 Inspiring things to See & Do
1. Visit New Zealand’s only active marine volcano
It’s in our nature to impress you and a visit to Whakaari (White Island) is a trip you’ll never forget. Step foot on this geothermal giant and experience the amazing colours, sights and sounds of its volcanic crater. Guided tours are available daily with Frontier or Aerius Helicopters or take a leisurely boat trip from Whakatāne with White Island Tours.
2. Embrace our pristine coastline
Discover the Bay of Plenty’s renowned coastline with Bay Explorer. Learn about the Pacific Ocean’s depths and admire our abundant marine life during a day-long cruise. Some of nature’s finest creatures live here including penguins, seals, dolphins, whales, sunfish, school fish, sharks and orca, depending on the time of year. Make the most of your day on the water with a kayak, stand-up paddle board or swim.
3. Take to the skies
Air Chathams and Classic Flyers together bring you a unique experience and an adventure of a lifetime flying in a 1945 Douglas DC3. The scenic flight captures spectacular views around the city of Tauranga and to other points of interest in the beautiful Bay of Plenty.
4. Visit the house that came home
We are proud to share our Māori heritage and there’s no better place to experience New Zealand’s indigenous culture than at Mātaatua – an authentic meeting house that travelled around the globe for 130 years before returning to Whakatāne. Mātaatua’s digital lightshow ‘HIKO: Legends Carved in Light’ combines history, architecture and technology for a spine-tingling cultural experience.
5. Learn why kiwifruit is king
Our region is blessed with fertile land and the Bay of Plenty is where the world’s healthiest fruit is grown and then exported around the world. Millions of kiwifruit are grown on vines in and around Te Puke. Visit a working orchard and discover what goes on behind the scenes of this important horticultural industry
6. Swim with dolphins in the wild
Tick this off your bucket list and experience the majesty of swimming alongside dolphins in their natural habitat. Our warm coastal waters in the Bay of Plenty attract large pods of dolphins between November and May each year. Join Dolphin Seafaris for an epic adventure – they have a 95 per cent success rate finding dolphins. You may also see orcas, whales, sea turtles and seals along the way.
7. Enjoy a kayak tour through a glow worm canyon
Watch a beautiful canyon come alive with twinkling lights during an evening Waimarino Glow Worm Kayak Tour. Enjoy something to eat and drink as the sun sets before paddling across Lake McLaren, near Tauranga, to witness this magical experience. Daytime kayak tours are also available – enjoy the birdsong and peaceful forest surrounds.
8. Explore Moutohorā Island
One of New Zealand’s little known treasures, this Island is home to a range of rare flora and fauna and endangered native species such as tuatara. Moutohorā sits just o the coast of Whakatāne and is a bird-lovers paradise. Kiwi, kākāriki (New Zealand parakeets), bellbirds and tui all live here. A guided tour is the only way to access this wildlife sanctuary. You’ll also visit a fur seal colony and enjoy a swim at a natural hot water beach
9. Take a self-guided walk up or around Mauao
Mount Maunganui’s iconic dormant volcano, Mauao, offers unbeatable views and is steeped in Māori history and ancient myths. Hear about our region’s unique heritage during a walk with Arataki Cultural Walking Trails App. The base track around Mauao takes about 50 minutes and is one of New Zealand’s most popular walks, while a trek to the top is rewarded with panoramic views across Tauranga and the Pacific Ocean
10. Take a cruise
KEWPIES’ popular tour travels through the Tauranga inner harbour surrounded by the Grand Kaimai range.
Scenic features include the Statue of Tangaroa, a diversity of landscapes from untouched white sandy beaches, lush green forests, islands and small village settlements, contrasted by the massive highly developed port infrastructure. Get close- up with cargo and container ships or visiting cruise ships as we travel through Stella Passage and New Zealand’s largest port.
Wildlife includes blue penguins, sea birds, (marine mammals can be seen occasionally in season, including NZ fur seals, orca, dolphins)
11. Bee inspired by Mother Nature at Comvita
Comvita is globally-renowned for its powerful mānuka honey and associated health and skincare products. Visit their headquarters in Paengaroa to see the world through the eyes of a honeybee. Step inside a virtual beehive and learn about their fascinating lives and how much influence bees have on our food chain, health and wellbeing.
12. Enjoy the fruits of our labour
We love to share our delicious kiwifruit, avocados and fresh produce with the rest of the world. Enjoy the Bay of Plenty’s diverse cuisine at markets, cafes, restaurants and wineries. Pick fresh berries in season and buy products straight from local artisan food producers. Or join a guided tour with Taste of Plentywho will introduce you to our local food heroes.
Created: 11 January 2018
Last updated: 29 March 2018