Sometimes, you just need a weekend away with the girls. The Coastal Bay of Plenty has all the good things that make a girls’ getaway one to remember – and it’s a perfect place to visit year-round. We have shopping destinations to rival the big cities, culinary experiences to tease your tastebuds, fresh sea air and beautiful walks that are just as stunning during the cooler months.

We’ve put together some of the best things to do and places to eat and drink during a gals’ getaway to the Coastal Bay of Plenty. All you need to do is find a date and book it in! It's sure to make you smile.

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It wouldn’t be a girls’ weekend without some retail therapy. Tauranga’s shopping experience has recently had a regeneration with major international retailers such as Mecca Maxima (makeup, anyone?) and H&M making their mark firmly in the Bay.

Mount Maunganui’s Bayfair features over 100 retail stores and an all-weather al fresco dining precingt.  Here, you'll find some of the country’s big players including Burger Burger, Mexico and unique restaurants including Māori Japanese fusion restaurant Izakai. Whether you’re going for the food, the shopping, or both, Bayfair is definitely one to add to the must-do list.


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Tauranga Crossing is a shopping mall with over 100 stores to taste and explore located at The Lakes, just 15 minutes from downtown Tauranga. You can shop, dine and catch a movie all in one place. Grab a cocktail at The Tauriko Pub Co, or a tasty ramen from Ippin Ramen, check out H&M, and finish with a wine and movie in Tauranga’s Event cinemas (we recommend the recliner seats!).

If you’re looking for a boutique shopping experience, head to downtown Mount Maunganui and check out some of the local shops including Paper Plane and Blak Chaos. Or venture north to Waihī Beach and pop into Sunday Homestore – a cute little store full of contemporary homeware and other treats. If you're in Ōmokoroa, head over to the newly opened The Village. 

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Dining & cocktails

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating and drinking in the Coastal Bay of Plenty. Keen to have a fancy dinner with the girls while you’re here? Book a table at any one of the top-end restaurants, including Clarence Tauranga, Harbourside, and Mount Maunganui's Solera, and you’ll be treated to stunning food, wine and exceptional cocktails.

Looking for the top breakfast spots? There are so many to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with Mount Maunganui’s Eddie’s and Elspeth, The General, Nourish in Te Puna (you need to try the french toast doughnuts... seriously). The list goes on! Check out our Top 10 'must-try' dishes in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.

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Here are some of the best places to grab a great coffee: Little Drum, Mixture, Henry & Ted, Breadhead, Cafe 88, Tay Street Beach Cafe, or grab one from The Wave caravan (literally a caravan shaped like a wave) on the Mount beachfront and take in the salty sea air. We also have some incredibly good coffee roasters in the Bay, so check out six of our favourite spots.

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Health & wellbeing

It goes without saying that treating yourself to a massage or soak in a hot pool is a must-do on any girls’ weekend. There are plenty of thermal hot pools to choose from in the Coastal Bay of Plenty, including the ever-popular Mount Hot Pools, Fernland Spa, and Sapphire Springs in Katikati. If you’re after a massage, drop in to see the amazing team at Thai Touch (they have three locations in Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Bethlehem). Or for a real treat, book a treatment at Sanctum in Mount Maunganui; their facials and other spa treatments will leave you feeling utterly relaxed. If you love a rejuvenating experience, consider visiting The Sauna Project or Panacea Sauna at the Mount.

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Tracks & trails

It wouldn’t be a visit to the Coastal Bay of Plenty without exploring some of the beautiful scenery right on our doorstep. If you’re staying near Waihī Beach (or even if you’re not, it’s not far to travel) it’s definitely worth walking around the coast to Orokawa Bay, and you can carry on to the next beach – Homunga Bay, where a waterfall lands directly on the beach.

Tauranga and Mount Maunganui have an abundance of walking tracks including one of New Zealand’s most popular short walks – the Mauao base track and summit walk. (You can easily do both if you have a couple of hours up your sleeve.) The views from the top are well worth the hike and, let’s be honest, it’s all for the ‘gram. For something more casual, grab a coffee and head for a stroll along some of the 125 kilometres of coastline – it’s perfect any time of the day!