EXPLORE THE BAY IN 7 DAYS
If you're looking for the perfect week-long 'vacay' to the Bay of Plenty, then look no further! This itinerary covers the best of the Bay and everything in between.
Downtown Tauranga, V8 Trikes, Waihī Beach, SUP lesson, craft beer tour, drift trikes, kiwifruit, Whakatāne, artisan markets, Bay Explorer.
1: Explore Downtown Tauranga
Lunch at Bobby's Fresh Fish Market, Tauranga
You won’t find fresher fish and chips anywhere than at Bobby’s Fresh Fish Market. Some fishing boats stop here to offload their fresh catch.
Address: 1 Dive Crescent, Tauranga
Check-in to your accommodation, The Clarence Hotel
Located in Tauranga’s CBD is The Clarence Hotel. Originally built in Edwardian Baroque style in 1906, this amazing building was once Tauranga’s Post Office. It has now been refurbished into a boutique 10-room hotel, fine dining restaurant and funky bar and bistro.
V8 Trike Tours
Enjoy a 1.5-hour tour of Tauranga and its surrounding areas by V8 Trike. You’ll be taken on a private tour to the Minden Lookout, offering spectacular views of the Coastal Bay of Plenty.
Enjoy a relaxed stroll around Tauranga
Explore the history of Tauranga or take a walk along the endless waterfront. Check out the local street art and the Hairy Maclary statues at the Tauranga waterfront.
Address: The Strand, Tauranga
Dinner at The Bistro
Clarence Bistro, located downstairs at The Clarence Hotel, offers a sumptuous European-style dining experience and one of the best wine lists in town.
Address: 51 Willow Street, Tauranga | clarencetauranga.co.nz
Fish & chips, Clarence Hotel, V8 Trikes, The Bistro, Downtown Tauranga
2: Discover Waihī Beach
Check-out of The Clarence Hotel and drive to Nourish café in Te Puna
Breakfast at Nourish Café
With a delicious menu, scrummy savoury cabinet options, incredible coffee, and the best salads in town, Nourish has something for everyone.
Address: 4 Te Puna Rd, Te Puna | cafenourish.co.nz.
Drive to Waihī Beach
(approx. 40 minutes from Te Puna)
Walk the Orokawa Trail
The Orokawa Trail is a stunning 45-minute (each way) walk through bush with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the sounds of birdlife as you pass by towering pōhutukawa trees, kauri, puriri and our native nikau palm trees. When you get to Orokawa Bay you can rest under the large pōhutukawa trees on a beach that often has no other people on it.
Location: Very northern end of Waihī Beach (just past the surf lifesaving club).
Swim at Waihī Beach
This is one of the loveliest beaches in the Coastal Bay of Plenty. Enjoy your dip and remember to cover up with sunscreen!
Lunch at The Secret Garden
Relax and enjoy a light lunch at the gorgeous, Balinese-inspired Secret Garden. Serving All Press coffee, superpod smoothies, real fruit ice-cream, herbal teas, salad pods and other tasty morsels.
Address: 17 Wilson Road, Waihī Beach | Phone: 07 863 5155
Stay at The Pacific Apartments, Mount Maunganui
Drive back to Tauranga and check-in to your accommodation at The Pacific Apartments, Mount Maunganui.
Early dinner at Saltwater
One of the Mount’s hottest new restaurants, Saltwater serves the finest kaimoana in the bay.
Glow Worm Kayak Tour with Waimarino Kayak Tours
Waimarino Kayak Tours offers some of New Zealand’s most breath-taking kayak adventures.
Relax on the edge of tranquil Lake McLaren, enjoy locally produced refreshments while watching the ducks and swans go about their evening's preparations. At dusk, Waimarino’s kayak tour guides will lead you on to the lake to watch the sun set over the rolling hills. Gently paddle your kayak into the night and discover the magic of the enchanting glow worm canyon. This kayak tour is truly a wonderful, unique and magical experience.
Nourish Café, Waihī Beach, Orokawa Bay, The Secret Garden, Glow Worm Kayak Tour.
Approximately one hours' drive from downtown Tauranga
3: Beaches & Brews
Breakfast at The General
Within walking distance from your accommodation, The General does a fantastic breakfast. This is a must-do while you’re in the Mount.
Address: 19A Pacific Avenue, Mount Maunganui | [email protected]
Walk up and around the Mount
One of the most Instagrammed locations in New Zealand is in the heart of the Bay of Plenty – Mauao. Hike to the top of the dormant volcano for a view that will take your breath away.
Lunch at Dixie Browns
Fuel up at Dixie Browns, one of the beachside cafés close to Mauao. They offer great food and service with a side helping of fresh, saltwater breeze.
Address: 4 Marine Parade | dixiebrowns.co.nz
SUP lesson with Assault Boardriding Centre
Time for some fun on the water with the crew at Assault Boardriding Centre. You’ll be taken for a paddle around Motuotau (Rabbit Island) – an absolute favourite experience of local SUPers.
You’re about to experience the brave new world of brewing. The Brewbus experts know where the best local brews are made and they’ll get you right inside the craft beer brewing process and drive you safely as you wet your whistle with some of these delicious pours.
Dinner at Hide Bar
Tucked down a laneway, Hide Bar is a local favourite. Enjoy straight-up good food by the open wood fire and carry on the beer theme with a brew from their full range of tap beers.
Address: 147B Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui | hidebar.co.nz
Mauao (Mount Maunganui), SUP lesson, craft beer tour.
4: A roadie along the Pacific Coast Highway
Check-out of your accommodation
Breakfast at Eddie’s and Elspeth
Just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Mount Maunganui, Eddie’s offers amazing coffee and delicious breakfasts while Elspeth Bakery offers speciality pastries, made by skilled bakers on site. Yum.
Address: 2 Terrace Avenue, Mount Maunganui | 07 575 5969
Drift Trikes are a fun, fast, all electric, three wheeled go-kart. They were invented right here in the Bay, and Baypark is the only place in New Zealand you can enjoy them. You'll have fun racing your friends and sliding across the polished concrete race track. A favourite among both children and adults, it makes for the perfect year-round experience.
Lunch recommendation: The Wagon
The Wagon is a gourmet burger bar known for its massive American-style burgers and friendly staff who refuse to divulge the ingredients of the secret sauce. Vege and vegan options use jackfruit, mushroom and falafel. For meat eaters, their most popular is ‘The Flying Beast’ - a chicken and bacon cheeseburger.
Address: 128 The Strand, Whakatāne
Check-in to accommodation: Awa Motel
4.5-star motel accommodation nestled between the Whakatāne River and a pōhutukawa tree-lined escarpment.
Address: 15 The Strand, Whakatāne | awamotel.co.nz
Drive to Ōhope Beach and visit Otarawairere Bay
Just a 10-minute drive away from Whakatāne is Ōhope Beach, voted New Zealand’s most loved beach. Park your car at the West End and walk 15 minutes to the secluded hidden gem of Ōtarawairere Bay. Simply stunning.
Dinner at Cigol
A modern fusion Korean restaurant with a pacific twist.
Address: 14 Richardson Street, Whakatāne | www.cigol.co.nz
Drift Trikes, Kiwifruit Country, Ōhope Beach.
Whakatāne is approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes' drive from Mount Maunganui.
5: Explore Whakatāne
Breakfast at your accommodation
Take a tour to Moutohorā (Whale Island). Nine kilometres offshore from Whakatāne, this is one of New Zealand's most restricted wildlife sanctuaries. The island is home to endangered species like the saddleback, kākāriki (NZ parakeet), little brown kiwi, and tuatara. Abundant marine life also surrounds this island. Dolphins often frolic alongside tour boats, and fur seals make themselves at home on the rocky shore year-round. Moutohorā is accessible by guided tour only.
Drive back to Tauranga
Stay at the Hotel Armitage, Tauranga
The Hotel Armitage and Conference Centre is a 3-minute walk from the main centre in Tauranga. Since 1971 the Hotel Armitage has been providing quality accommodation in Tauranga and is in the process of major upgrades including well-appointed new rooms and suites.
Moutohorā Island, wildlife, hot water beach.
Moutohorā Island is short boat ride away from the coast of Whakatāne.
6: Shop with the locals
Breakfast at the Hotel Armitage
Visit the Tauranga Farmer’s Market
Open every Saturday from 07:45 am to 12:00noon, the Tauranga Farmer's Market is the place to go for the freshest local eggs, veggies and fruit, yummy pastries, macadamias, local chutneys, smoked fish and more. Fresh and delicious!
Address: Tauranga Primary School, 31 Fifth Avenue, Tauranga
Visit The Historic Village
The Historic Village on 17th Avenue is a collection of original and replica buildings from early Tauranga set in gorgeous gardens and natural bush surrounds. These wonderful character buildings are home to over 50 businesses including shops and community organisations.
Visit The Whipped Baker for the most incredible doughnuts! (Open from 8:00 am–2:00 pm.)
Dinner at Solera
Another unique Bay of Plenty dining adventure, Solera is a wine bar with an open fire cooked, sharing style menu offering an amazing food experience.
Address: 107 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui
Phone: 07 575 2782
TIP: Stop by Polar Dessert Bar for dessert
Address: 10 Prince Avenue, Mount Maunganui
Locally grown produce and products, The Historic Village, fresh seafood.
7: Cruise with Bay Explorer
Half day cruise with Bay Explorer
The fantastic Bay Explorer crew will make sure you have an unforgettable cruise, getting up close to marine wildlife such as seabirds, penguins, seals, whales, sunfish, school fish, sharks, orca, and dolphins – plenty of amazing photo opportunities!
Your experienced captain and crew will provide a fascinating commentary on the history, geography and culture of the area. As marine biologists, they have extensive knowledge of marine wildlife and personally share with you everything they observe. It's a great day out for all the family!
Dolphin and wildlife cruise