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You probably already know that the Bay of Plenty by its very name has plenty of beaches and 125-kilometres of pristine coastline. You’ve probably also heard that everyone loves The Mount for a surf, swim and SUP.

In a testament to that, Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach has been named New Zealand’s best beach by TripAdvisor for the seventh consecutive time. The popular spot has also been named the fourth-best beach in the South Pacific by the Traveller’s Choice awards.

Ohope Beach 1120x790

Pāpāmoa Beach has been named the fourth-best beach in New Zealand, and Ōhope Beach has been named the seventh-best. AA Traveller also named Ōhope Beach as New Zealand’s ‘Most Loved Beach’. What a stack of titles that our Bay of Plenty is proud to wear. This place is clearly so special to so many.

While you may have heard of these popular swimming and surfing spots, the locals are here to share some lesser-known and equally as beautiful spots with you. Shh, their seclusion is why we love them.

Otarawairere is a quiet, Pōhutukawa fringed beach accessible only by foot or kayak, There’s not a man-made structure in sight. Located in Ōhope, the beach is all the white sand, blue ocean, calming waves that you’d expect but without the crowds. Bliss.

Waihi Beach 2

A 9-kilometre stretch of inviting sand, Waihī Beach is on one of New Zealand's safest surf and swimming beaches. North of Waihī Beach you can wind your way around the coastal headlands to reach Orokawa Bay. A stunning beach awaits your arrival. Fringed with New Zealand’s Christmas trees, the crimson Pōhutukawa, and clear blue waves rolling ashore, this is a great spot for a picnic or sunbathing and there’s plenty of room for you to spread out away from any other beachgoers.

If you’re still in search of salty ocean goodness, venture further north still to Homunga Bay. Here you’ll find a waterfall landing directly on a beach. The fishing here is extraordinary so pack a line, some bait and your good walking shoes and make a day of it.

Anzac Bay Bowentown

For calm waters safe for your children to swim, head to Anzac Bay in Bowentown. The beautifully curved beach is jewel-like with its turquoise waters and surrounding emerald green native bush. This beach is protected from the surf and swell so is great for a quiet picnic or (responsible) camping.

Matakana Island in the Tauranga Harbour is well known to surfers as ‘The Island’, but its beaches are also something to write home about. Catch the barge or Kewpie Cruises over, or hire a boat or kayak to make your own way across the harbour. Matakana is almost entirely covered in pine trees giving a lush surround. Stingrays and big game fish frequent the waters so keep an eye out for the famous Bay of Plenty marine life.

Pukehina Beach

Pukehina Beach’s underlying reefs make for stellar surf-casting and the oysters and crab found here make for a fantastic entrée. The beach is white, squeaky sand and the water is clear blue with little swell at the northwest end. The Hippy Pippy Tavern is the perfect respite from the hot sun when you need a refreshing drink.

Maketū beach is steeped in history and a quietly beautiful outcrop of New Zealand. Head for a surf at Newdick’s beach and finish your day off with a famous Maketū pie.

If you’re after a classic Kiwi town with a vast stretch of coast, head to Matatā. This Bay of Plenty beach is stunning, and you can’t beat the friendliness of the locals. After your swim, surf or surf cast, head to the Matatā General Store for possibly the biggest ice-cream you’ve ever seen, or head to Auntie’s Café for some fresh fish and chips.

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