Our region’s breath-taking beauty is, without a doubt, the number one reason why people love spending time here. But beauty is fragile and we all have a shared responsibility to look after our natural environment.

We wholeheartedly support Tourism New Zealand’s ‘Tiaki Promise’ (tiaki means to care for people and place). It’s a commitment to care for our surroundings now and for generations to come by promising to:

  • Care for land, sea and nature, treading lightly and leaving no trace.
  • Travel safely, showing care and consideration for all.
  • Respect culture, travelling with an open heart and mind.

We invite you to embrace the Tiaki Promise and act as a kaitiaki (guardian) while living or travelling in the Bay of Plenty. Here are some ideas on how you can protect the things we love the most!


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Show care for our coastline by keeping off the sand dunes and sticking to clearly marked beach access pathways. Sand dunes prevent erosion and locals have spent countless hours re-establishing them.

Please take all of your rubbish (including cigarette butts) off the beach with you. There are plenty of rubbish bins nearby. You can also get involved in one of our local beach clean-ups that happen around the Bay. Picking up litter and debris is a wonderful way to leave a positive mark on our community!



Look out for vulnerable marine life when out on the water. Slow down and keep a respectful distance from mammals, large fish and birds.

Show respect for our friendly, relaxed surfing culture – there are plenty of waves for everyone and we all want to have a good time in the water. If it’s too crowded, pick another spot. We have more than 100-kilometres of superb coastline to choose from!

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Protect our marine and bird life by picking up any discarded fishing lines you come across on the beach. Keep a respectful distance when taking photos, especially from large creatures like seals and sea lions who sunbathe along our shores.

Give them space and peace to breed and feed naturally. Look out for Department of Conservation signs about nesting grounds and avoid any roped off areas.

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Kauri trees are the kings of our forests but they’re at risk from kauri dieback disease. The Bay of Plenty is the only region in New Zealand with kauri that have not yet been affected and we want it to stay that way. Prevent the spread by staying on the track and avoid walking over tree roots. There are special ‘scrub and spray’ stations at the entrance of some popular tracks to clean your shoes. If you’re taking a dog into the forest, clean their paws too. For more information, watch this video from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Poo in a loo – and be prepared for when there isn’t one. Our bush and waterways are not toilets and nasty infections like giardia can make others sick if you answer mother nature’s call in the great outdoors. Use a toilet when you see one or carry an emergency poop bag with you!



Observe any closures that are in place to ensure public safety and protect environmentally and culturally significant areas. Omanawa Falls, for example, is currently closed due to overwhelming pressure on the area’s natural biodiversity and safety concerns about swimming in this treasured spot. Don’t risk your safety or cause any further damage by ignoring signage.

Household rubbish and recycling is regularly collected in the Bay of Plenty. Use the designated bins at your accommodation and sort recyclable materials such as paper, cardboard, glass and some plastics into the appropriate container.

Freedom campers must be in a certified self-contained vehicle. All motorhomes must include a toilet and waste container that holds greywater (from your sink and shower) and septic waste. If you don’t have these facilities, please don’t freedom camp!

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Kiwis love their coffee but we also like to do our bit for the planet. Lots of cafés around town will happily fill your own cup if you bring one. Some (like Elizabeth Café & Larder and Tay Street Store) will even give you a discount when you bring in your keep cup. How awesome is that!

Show respect for other people and cultures while on your travels. We are a friendly, welcoming bunch but a smile and good manners are always appreciated.

Drive carefully on our roads and stick to the left-hand side! Familiarise yourself with our road rules and speed limits before you get behind the wheel.

Be prepared by telling someone your plans before heading out on the water or into the forest and hills. Check the weather or marine forecasts and dress for the conditions. We have highly trained search and rescue team members but we’d rather not have to search for anyone.


Thank you for helping us protect our home. We hope you enjoy your time in the Bay of Plenty.