WAKE UP WITH A SEA VIEW
It wouldn’t be a trip to the Coastal Bay of Plenty without staying at an epic campground on the beachfront (or as close as you can get, which is pretty close!). There are literally hundreds of accommodation options on or near the beach, so we thought we’d give a helping hand and suggest a couple of the best beachfront campgrounds (not into sleeping in a tent? Don’t worry, most campgrounds have motels, cabins, powered sites for motorhomes, and some even have apartment accommodation).
MOUNT MAUNGANUI BEACHSIDE HOLIDAY PARK
You can’t get more beachfront (or beachside if we’re getting technical) than Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park. Nestled at the foot of Mauao, this holiday park has the popular (like, the best beach in NZ kind of popular) Mount Main Beach on one side, and the almost as popular Pilot Bay Beach on the other - you can’t escape the beach! Imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing, zipping open your tent (or swinging open your door, if you’re that way inclined) and there’s the beach, you don’t even need to cross a road to get there.
Mount Beachside Holiday Park has all the facilities you’d expect - the bonus is the big maunga (mountain) it sits beneath. You’ll notice plenty of locals and visitors alike heading up Mauao to catch a glimpse of the 360° views of Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and the surrounding region. The campground is extremely popular during the busy months, so we recommend booking well in advance to ensure you don’t miss out.
WAIHĪ BEACH TOP 10 HOLIDAY RESORT
Get the best of both worlds at Waihī Beach TOP 10 Holiday Resort - which has both bush and beachfront settings. Located in Waihī Beach - a popular holiday spot (see why here), this holiday resort is perfect if you’re looking for beachfront accommodation (there’s even a river running through the campground that is home to eels!).
Choose from beachfront tent sites, or more secluded sites tucked away in stunning bush settings and rise to the sound of birdsong and the waves crashing not too far away. This campground is designed for families in particular - with a swimming pool (and waterslide, no less!) for the kids, and a spa for the adults to enjoy, as well as a jumping pillow, playground, under 5’s room, and much more!
PĀPĀMOA BEACH RESORT
Pāpāmoa Beach Resort offers absolute beachfront accommodation - and some of it’s pretty fancy. If you prefer to travel in style - check out their luxurious beachfront villas. These indulgent accommodation options offer uninterrupted sea views and they’re the perfect place to watch the sun rise (which is definitely worth the early rise).
If you happen to be staying at the resort between November and March, you will be treated to Dinner in the Domain - an artisan food market located next to the resort in Pāpāmoa Domain. This is a great way to experience street food from around the Bay of Plenty - it’s a popular summer event and highly recommended! The resort is also extremely close to Pāpāmoa Plaza and Fashion Island for those looking for a bit of retail therapy during your stay in the Bay.
ŌHOPE BEACH TOP 10 HOLIDAY PARK
This place has it all! Kiwi, an active volcano, and one of the best beaches in New Zealand right on their doorstep. Ōhope Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park is situated in the Eastern Bay of Plenty - just a 90-minute drive from Tauranga and is a great place to stay if you’re after an unforgettable Coastal Bay of Plenty holiday.
Ōhope Beach is a favourite holiday destination for many New Zealanders, it’s laid back beach vibe and proximity to some of the region’s top attractions, including Whakaari (White Island) and Motouhorā (Whale Island) make the ideal holiday spot for families, friends, couples and groups.
Take your pick from beachfront tent sites, 2-bedroom apartments, motel units and loads more - there is literally something for everyone. Ōhope Beach TOP 10 is famous for its facilities - there’s an on-site cafe (and the coffee is good!), a HUGE jumping pillow that will keep the little ones busy for ages, a pool with hydroslides, mini golf, and so much more!
THORNTON BEACH HOLIDAY PARK
Thornton Beach Holiday Park is the epitome of an old school beach holiday; if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten track - this is your spot! Thornton Beach is located just north of Whakatāne and is, we think, one of the best kept secrets in the Coastal Bay of Plenty.
Enjoy uninterrupted views of the beach, Motouhorā (Whale Island), Whakaari (White Island) and up and down the coast as far as the eye can see. There is a safe swimming beach, and if there is a keen fisher in the family - they’ll be in heaven (cast straight off the beach, take a kayak out, or launch from the boat ramp just 200m away).
There is a wide range of accommodation options at Thonrton Beach - spacious powered and non-powered sites, cabins, and motel units, as well as all the facilities you’d expect at a campground.
There you have it! But the beachfront magic doesn’t stop there - the Coastal Bay of Plenty is blessed with many more stunning accommodation options including hotels and motels, bed and breakfasts, apartments - and all the rest!
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