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EXPLORE THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Grab your camera and your sense of adventure, and check out some of the unforgettable Bay of Plenty walks, beaches and wildlife experiences. It's sure to make you smile!

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Highlights

Explore our coastal paradise and leave feeling restored, invigorated & relaxed.

Proximity

By Car (to Tauranga):
From Auckland: 2 hours and 45 minutes
From Hamilton: 1 hour and 30 minutes
From New Plymouth: 4 hours and 15 minutes
From Napier: 3 hours and 45 minutes
From Wellington: 6 hours and 30 minutes

Orokawa Scenic Reserve track 5

Waihī Beach

Walk the Orokawa Trail

The Orokawa Trail is a stunning 45-minute walk through the 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, rest under the large pōhutukawa trees on a secluded beach or carry onto the William Wright Falls.

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!

Stay: Waihī Beach TOP 10 Holiday Resort
Relax, refresh and revive amongst the fabulous 5.5 acres of pōhutukawa trees and picturesque setting at the Waihī Beach TOP 10 Holiday Resort.

Tuahu Kauri walk

Katikati

Walk the Tuahu Kauri Track

The Kaimāī Mamaku Conservation Park covers an area of approximately 37,000 hectares and features over 350 kilometres of walking and tramping tracks.  

One of those trails, the Tuahu Track, winds through native forest featuring young kauri rickers and juvenile rimu trees. The full walk is five hours one way but just 20 minutes into the trail, turn left onto a side track that leads to a platform surrounding one of the largest kauri trees in the Bay of Plenty.

NB: The Bay of Plenty region is currently the only region in New Zealand that does not have Kauri dieback disease. Please ensure your footwear is clean, especially if you have been walking in other areas of New Zealand, and stick to the track. 

Soak in the geothermal Sapphire Springs

There’s nothing more relaxing than soaking in a thermal hot pool! Sapphire Springs has the largest geothermal pool in the region, and two hot tubs. The pools are fed from a natural warm water spring and are between  30°C  and 38°C – the perfect way to end the day. 

Stay: Sapphire Springs Holiday Park.

Relax at this tranquil holiday park at the foot of the Kaimāī Ranges, set in 32 hectares of beautiful native forest.

Orca Bay Explorer v2

Tauranga

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 – making for plenty of amazing photo opportunities!

Your experienced captain and crew will provide a fascinating commentary on the history, geography and culture of the area. They have knowledge of marine wildlife and personally share with you everything they observe. 

Magical glow worms

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 unique and magical experience.

Stay: Cob Cottage

Sleep completely immersed in nature. This charming, organic building has been lovingly created using a mix of clay, sand and straw. This ancient, natural method of building is called 'cob' and has incredible thermal properties – soaking up sunlight in the walls during the day and slowing releasing the heat. Set high on the Pāpāmoa Hills, the views from the campsite are stunning. At night, spark up the brazier and toast some marshmallows over the fire or relax in the outdoor bath.

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Mount Maunganui

SUP lesson and guided tour of Mauao

Immerse yourself in Māori culture and stories with the crew from East Coast Paddler. Take a hikoi (guided walk) around Mauao – a beloved mountain in Mount Maunganui. Discover how Māori lived centuries ago as local guides share legends and history. Learn about current environmental efforts to keep Mauao and the surrounding ocean waters pristine and look out for marine life as you enjoy the beauty of this stunning coastal walk. The Mauao base track is one of the most popular short walks in New Zealand. 

Then hit the water for a stand-up paddle-boarding lesson as the crew at East Coast Paddler share their love of the ocean with you.

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.

Standing 232 metres above sea level, Mauao is an iconic landmark treasured by locals. Mauao means ‘caught by the dawn’ and the mountain is steeped in Māori history and mythology. Several historical pā sites (villages) have been built on this extinct volcanic cone, the evidence of which can still be seen today as you explore the popular walking tracks.

Kiwifruit Country

Te Puke

Visit Kiwifruit Country

You’re in kiwifruit land, so make a stop at Kiwifruit Country and see (and taste) the goodness for yourself. Visit the café and shop to load up on treats and gifts. Ice-cream lovers will delight at the green and gold kiwifruit ice-cream – or take the tour through the orchard. You’ll get to ride on kiwifruit-shaped carts through a working Bay of Plenty orchard, discover a bit about our unique soils and come out of the experience with a new love and appreciation for the fuzzy wonderfood.

Discover Raparapahoe Falls

Raparapahoe Falls is a three-metre high waterfall that plunges into a cool and clear pool. This Te Puke gem is accessible by a steep and rough one-kilometre track that can get slippery so leave your jandals at home. The view from the bottom is breath-taking. Cliffs and a fringe of native punga trees rise sharply above the blue pool of water.

Kiwi chick release in Ohope Scenic Reserve

Whakatāne

Moutohorā Island Sanctuary tour

Moutohorā (Whale Island) is a pest-free oasis that is home to a number of New Zealand’s rare and endangered plants, birds and reptiles. Board Moutohorā: Island Sanctuary's comfortable catamaran for an easy cruise to the island before being taken on a fully-guided tour of the island.

Keep an eye out for a threatened tūturiwhatu (New Zealand dotterel), boisterous tīeke (North Island saddleback), Tuatara, or kākāriki (red-crowned parakeet) as you journey through the regenerated native bush before you dig yourself a soothing geothermal spring pool at Onepū Bay, the secluded hot water beach of Moutohorā. This is your opportunity to see New Zealand’s wildlife as nature intended it and discover one of New Zealand’s little-known treasures.

Kiwi bird conservation in the Kiwi Capital of the World™

Discover the nocturnal world of wild kiwi with the Whakatāne Kiwi Trust in the Kiwi Capital of the World™, Whakatāne. Set out after dark on the self-guided Fairbrother Loop track or book a guided night walk. Listen for the call of kiwi who get quite chatty after dark, and discover all sorts of fascinating creepy-crawlies that come out at night.

Stay: Ataahua Ruru Glamping

Relax in the peaceful bush setting of Ataahua Ruru Farm. Enjoy native bird song as you relax in your own lotus belle glamping tent.

Bay of Plenty totara tree 3

Murupara

Tāne-mahuta - God of the Forest experience - Te Urewera

Leave the city behind and immerse yourself in this unique and ancient rainforest with the guides from Te Urewera Treks. Plant your own native tree to create a legacy that will last 1,000 years.

Enjoy the magical Whirinaki Forest and walk under fully mature native trees planted by nature hundreds of years ago. Discover Arohaki Lagoon where you’ll get to see the largest collection of kahikatea trees in New Zealand.

Stay: Whakatau rainforest retreat

Deep in Te Urewera is a glamping experience like no other. Stay in a glamping structure or a canvas bell tent. Self-cater, or select the Manaaki package that includes a local to host you, provide and cook meals. Enjoy the sounds of native bush while you admire the brilliant stars on a clear night.

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Ōhope Beach and Otarawairere Bay

Discover a hidden coastal paradise

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 Otarawairere Bay. Simply stunning.

Take a paddle with KG Kayaks

Paddle the stunning Otarawairere Bay and the rocky channels beyond with the guides from KG Kayaks. Stop for morning tea at a hidden beach and don’t be surprised if you see orca, seals, gannets or penguins on this wonderful trip.

Stay: Ōhope Beach Top 10 Holiday Park

While in the Eastern Bay, Ōhope Beach Top 10 Holiday Park is the perfect family-friendly eco-accommodation. The facilities are amazing: a swimming pool with hydro slides, giant jumping pillow and Connect 4, mini-golf, table tennis, not to mention Ōhiwa Harbour and beach right at your doorstep.