Bay of Plenty
Nestled on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, the Bay of Plenty region is a hidden gem that offers visitors a truly unique experience. The region is famous for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant cities and towns, and rich cultural history.
The Bay of Plenty is home to several cities and towns that are popular with visitors. Tauranga is the largest city in the region, known for its stunning waterfront and bustling port. Mount Maunganui, located a short distance from Tauranga, is a popular beach resort town that offers visitors beautiful beaches, great surf, and a lively atmosphere. Rotorua is another must-visit destination in the Bay of Plenty, known for its geothermal wonders, Maori culture, and stunning landscapes.
The Bay of Plenty is made up of several distinct districts, each with its own unique character and attractions. The Western Bay of Plenty, located south of Tauranga, is known for its beautiful beaches, scenic coastal walks, and local markets. The Eastern Bay of Plenty is a rural area with rolling hills, picturesque small towns, and beautiful beaches and forests.
One of the most iconic geographic features of the Bay of Plenty is Mount Maunganui, a towering extinct volcano that dominates the local landscape. The mountain offers visitors breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and beyond, and is a popular destination for hikers and adventurers. Other notable geographic features include White Island, an active volcano off the coast of Whakatane, the Kaimai Range, a mountain range that separates the Bay of Plenty from the Waikato region to the west, and the Whakatane River, which flows through the Eastern Bay of Plenty and offers visitors the opportunity to kayak, swim, and fish.
The Bay of Plenty has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, with Maori tribes settling the area and establishing a strong cultural identity. Visitors to the region can experience this history firsthand through cultural tours and visits to traditional Maori marae. Visitors can learn about Maori traditions, history, and way of life, and sample traditional Maori food and drink.
Visitors to the Bay of Plenty can access the region through several major airports, including Tauranga Airport, Rotorua Airport, and Whakatane Airport. Visitors can also access the region via car or bus, with major highways connecting the Bay of Plenty to other parts of the North Island.
The Bay of Plenty is a popular destination for visitors from around the world. But what many visitors may not know is that the region has a rich and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years.
The Bay of Plenty was first inhabited by the Maori people, who arrived in the region around 800 years ago. The Maori people settled in the area because of the fertile land, abundant seafood, and warm climate. They developed a deep connection to the land and the sea, and their culture and traditions are still an important part of the region’s identity today.
One of the most significant events in the region’s history was the arrival of European explorers and settlers in the late 18th century. The first European to visit the Bay of Plenty was Captain James Cook, who arrived in 1769. Cook named the area the Bay of Plenty because of the abundance of food and resources he found there.
Following Cook’s arrival, European traders and missionaries began to settle in the region. They brought with them new technologies, ideas, and customs, which had a significant impact on the Maori people and their way of life. Many Maori tribes resisted the arrival of the Europeans, leading to several conflicts and battles in the region.
One of the most significant conflicts in the region’s history was the Battle of Gate Pa, which took place in 1864 during the New Zealand Wars. The battle was fought between the British colonial forces and Maori fighters led by the chief, Rawiri Puhirake. The Maori fighters were heavily outnumbered and outgunned, but they managed to defeat the British forces in a surprise attack. The battle was a significant turning point in the New Zealand Wars and had a lasting impact on the region.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Bay of Plenty region experienced a period of significant growth and development. The discovery of gold and the expansion of the dairy industry brought new wealth and prosperity to the region. The development of infrastructure such as roads, railways, and ports also helped to connect the region to the rest of New Zealand and the world.
Today, the Bay of Plenty is a thriving region that is home to over 300,000 people. The region’s economy is driven by tourism, agriculture, and forestry, and it is one of the fastest-growing regions in New Zealand.
Despite the changes and challenges of the past, the Maori culture and traditions remain an integral part of the Bay of Plenty’s identity. Visitors to the region can learn about Maori history and culture through a range of experiences, such as visiting marae (Maori meeting houses), attending cultural performances, and participating in traditional activities such as flax weaving and Maori carving.
Top 10 Activities
Top 10 Activities
The Maori culture is an integral part of New Zealand’s identity, and the Bay of Plenty region is no exception. Visitors to the region can immerse themselves in Maori culture through a variety of authentic experiences, including cultural tours, performances, and visits to traditional Maori villages.
One of the most popular Maori cultural experiences in the Bay of Plenty is a tour of the Mataatua Wharenui. Located in the Eastern Bay of Plenty town of Whakatane, the Mataatua Wharenui is a traditional Maori meeting house that has been restored to its former glory. Visitors to the wharenui can learn about the history and significance of Maori architecture, carvings, and artwork, and gain insight into Maori traditions and way of life.
In addition to the Mataatua Wharenui, the Eastern Bay of Plenty is home to several traditional Maori villages that offer visitors the opportunity to experience Maori culture firsthand. One such village is the Tamaki Maori Village Experience, located near Rotorua. Visitors to the village can participate in a variety of activities, including flax weaving, poi making, and traditional Maori games. They can also learn about the history of the village and its people, and sample traditional Maori food and drink.
Another popular Maori cultural experience in the Bay of Plenty is a Hangi feast. A Hangi is a traditional Maori method of cooking food using heated stones buried in the ground. Visitors can enjoy a Hangi feast at several locations throughout the region.
Explore the geothermal wonderland
The Bay of Plenty region in New Zealand is well-known for its geothermal activity, which has created a number of stunning natural wonders and geothermal parks that are popular tourist attractions. Visitors to the region can explore a range of geothermal sights, including geysers, hot pools, mud pools, and steam vents.
One of the most famous geothermal parks in the Bay of Plenty is Wai-O-Tapu, located just outside of Rotorua. This park features a range of colorful geothermal pools, including the famous Champagne Pool and the Artist’s Palette. Visitors can also witness the Lady Knox Geyser, which erupts daily at 10:15am.
Another popular geothermal park is Te Puia, also located in Rotorua. This park is home to the famous Pohutu Geyser, which can erupt up to 20 times a day, as well as several hot pools and mud pools. Visitors can also experience a traditional Maori cultural performance and learn about the history and culture of the Maori people.
Other geothermal sights in the Bay of Plenty include the Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park in Rotorua, which is home to the largest hot waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere, and the Kuirau Park in central Rotorua, which features mud pools and steam vents. Overall, the geothermal parks and sights in the Bay of Plenty are a must-see for anyone visiting the region, offering a unique and unforgettable experience of New Zealand’s natural wonders.
Relax in hot water or mud
The Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand is famous for its geothermal activity, which has created a range of natural hot pools, geothermal spas, and mud baths that are popular among tourists and locals alike. These natural wonders offer a unique and relaxing experience, as well as therapeutic benefits due to the minerals and nutrients present in the geothermal water and mud.
One of the most popular hot pools in the Bay of Plenty is the Polynesian Spa, located in Rotorua. This spa features several hot pools and private spa pools that offer stunning views of Lake Rotorua. The mineral-rich water is known for its therapeutic benefits, including relieving muscle tension and improving skin health.
Another popular geothermal spa is the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, located south of Rotorua. These pools feature a range of hot pools, private spas, and even a water slide for the kids. The water is sourced from a natural spring and is high in minerals, including silica, which is known for its skin-smoothing properties.
For those looking for a unique and rejuvenating experience, mud baths are also available in the Bay of Plenty. The Hell’s Gate Mud Spa in Rotorua is a popular choice, offering mud baths and hot pools that are said to detoxify the body and improve skin health.
Overall, the Bay of Plenty region is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty and therapeutic benefits of geothermal hot pools, spas, and mud baths. With a range of options available, visitors are sure to find a unique and relaxing experience that they will never forget.
Explore the Coast
The Bay of Plenty region in New Zealand is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery and a range of exciting activities that attract visitors from around the world. With its long stretches of white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and an abundance of marine life, the Bay of Plenty offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration.
Surfing is one of the most popular coastal activities in the region, with plenty of surf breaks along the coast to suit all levels of surfers. The surf beaches of Mount Maunganui and Ohope are particularly popular among surfers, with consistent swells and stunning scenery.
Fishing and diving are also popular activities in the Bay of Plenty, with an abundance of fish species and beautiful dive spots available. Visitors can charter boats for deep-sea fishing or book a diving tour to explore the beautiful reefs and wrecks in the region.
Swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Bay of Plenty is a must-do activity for any visitor to the region. Many of the beaches are patrolled by lifeguards during the summer months, ensuring the safety of swimmers.
Boat cruises are also a great way to explore the Bay of Plenty’s beautiful coastline and its surrounding islands. Visitors can take a scenic cruise around Matakana Island or visit White Island, an active volcano located off the coast.
Adventure into nature
The Bay of Plenty region in New Zealand is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and a range of exciting outdoor activities that allow visitors to get up close and personal with nature. From hunting and jet-boating to horse trekking and bird watching, there is no shortage of nature activities available in the Bay of Plenty.
Hunting is a popular activity in the region, with several guided hunting tours available. Visitors can hunt for wild deer, pigs, and goats, as well as enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air of the outdoors.
Jet-boating is also a thrilling way to experience the natural beauty of the Bay of Plenty. Jet-boating tours take visitors through narrow canyons, past waterfalls, and along the region’s stunning rivers.
Horse trekking is another popular activity, with several companies offering guided horse rides through the region’s picturesque countryside. Visitors can enjoy the stunning scenery while riding through forests, over hills, and along the coast.
For bird enthusiasts, the Bay of Plenty offers a rich variety of bird species, including the kiwi, tui, and bellbird. Bird watching tours are available, allowing visitors to spot and learn about the region’s unique birdlife.
Camping and glamping are also popular activities in the Bay of Plenty, with several campsites and luxury glamping options available throughout the region. Visitors can experience the beauty of the outdoors while enjoying the comforts of a cozy tent or luxury cabin.
Finally, kayaking on the region’s rivers is a peaceful and enjoyable way to experience the natural beauty of the Bay of Plenty. Kayaking tours take visitors through calm waters, past stunning scenery, and allow them to get up close to the region’s unique wildlife.
A round of golf
For golf enthusiasts, the Bay of Plenty region in New Zealand is a golfer’s paradise. The region boasts some of the country’s most picturesque and challenging courses, catering to golfers of all skill levels.
One of the most popular golf courses in the Bay of Plenty is the Mount Maunganui Golf Course. The course offers 18 holes with stunning views of the coastline and Mount Maunganui. The fees for a round of golf range from $45 to $75 depending on the time of year.
Another must-visit destination for golfers is the Kinloch Club. Designed by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, the course is known for its challenging terrain, stunning views of Lake Taupo, and impeccable greens. The fees for a round of golf at the Kinloch Club start from $295 per person, making it a more expensive option, but worth it for avid golfers looking for a challenge.
For those on a budget, the Ohope Golf Course and Opotiki Golf Course are excellent options. The Ohope Golf Course offers 18 holes with beautiful views of the beach and surrounding countryside, with fees starting from just $25 per person. The Opotiki Golf Course offers nine holes and is ideal for beginners, with fees starting from just $15 per person.
Most of the golf courses in the Bay of Plenty region offer training options, including private lessons and group clinics, making it an excellent destination for golfers looking to improve their skills. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the Bay of Plenty has a golf course that will suit your needs and budget.
Take in local arts
The region boasts numerous art galleries, art trails, and workshops that showcase the works of local artists and offer opportunities for visitors to create their own art.
The Tauranga Art Gallery is one of the region’s most notable galleries, featuring a diverse range of contemporary and traditional art forms from both local and international artists. The gallery’s exhibitions change frequently, providing a constantly evolving experience for visitors.
The Mataatua Gallery in Whakatane showcases the works of local Maori artists. The Whakatane Museum and Arts Centre is also a great place to explore the history and culture of the region through its exhibitions and workshops.
Another great art space is the Rotorua Arts Village, which offers a range of workshops and classes on art and crafts. The village’s artist studios also provide visitors with an opportunity to observe artists at work and purchase unique pieces.
The Tauranga Art Trail is a self-guided tour of the region’s art galleries and studios. This trail takes visitors on a journey through Tauranga’s arts and culture scene, showcasing the works of over 50 artists across 20 different locations.
Biking the Bay
The Bay of Plenty region in New Zealand is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the region’s most popular cycling trails is the Motu Trails, a network of three different trails that wind their way through some of the most remote and spectacular landscapes in the region. The Dunes Trail takes visitors along the stunning coastline of the Eastern Bay of Plenty, while the Motu Road Trail and Pakihi Track traverse rugged terrain and provide an immersive experience in the region’s rich history and culture.
Another popular cycling option is the Hauraki Rail Trail, a 160km trail that takes visitors through picturesque countryside, historic mining sites, and charming towns. The trail starts in Thames and finishes in Waihi, with numerous stops along the way for visitors to experience the region’s unique attractions and sample local cuisine.
For walkers, the Bay of Plenty offers a wealth of options, including the popular Mount Maunganui Summit Track, which rewards visitors with stunning views of the surrounding coastline. Other options include the Kaituna Track, which takes visitors through native forest and past several waterfalls, and the Ohope Beach Walkway, which offers a scenic stroll along one of the region’s most beautiful beaches.
Scenic flights are a popular option for visitors who want to take in the region’s spectacular views from the comfort of an airplane or helicopter. A variety of companies offer scenic flights over the Bay of Plenty, with options ranging from short flights over the city to longer trips that take visitors deep into the region’s wilderness. Some popular flight routes include trips over Mount Maunganui, the Bay of Plenty coastline, and the volcanic landscapes of White Island.
For those looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure, skydiving is a thrilling option that offers a unique perspective of the Bay of Plenty region. Skydiving operators in the region offer tandem jumps with experienced instructors, allowing visitors to enjoy the rush of freefalling while taking in the stunning scenery of the region. The experience is truly unforgettable, with views of the sparkling ocean, dense forests, and rugged mountains.
Bay Dreams – Held in January at the Trustpower Baypark in Mount Maunganui, this music festival is a must-see event for any music lover. Featuring a diverse lineup of international and local artists across multiple stages, Bay Dreams attracts thousands of music fans from across the country and beyond.
Tauranga Arts Festival – Held every two years in October, the Tauranga Arts Festival is a celebration of the arts featuring local and international performers. This event showcases a range of artistic disciplines including theatre, dance, music, and visual arts.
Tauranga Food Festival – Usually held in April, this festival showcases the best of the region’s food and wine, with tastings, cooking demonstrations, and live entertainment. Visitors can sample a range of delicious food and drink from local producers and restaurants.
Rhythm and Vines – Although technically held in Gisborne, this popular New Year’s Eve music festival is a short drive from the Bay of Plenty and attracts top international acts. With a beautiful location and a great atmosphere, Rhythm and Vines is a must-see event for any music fan.
Matariki celebrations – Across the Bay of Plenty, Matariki celebrations are held in late June to celebrate the Māori New Year. These celebrations include a range of cultural activities, including kapa haka performances, traditional Māori food, and storytelling.
Waihi Beach Summer Fair – Held in January at Wilson Park in Waihī Beach, this summer fair is a family-friendly event featuring live music, food stalls, and a range of fun activities for kids.
Katikati Avocado Festival – Held in January in Katikati, this festival celebrates the region’s avocado industry with tastings, games, and competitions.
Mount Festival of Multisport – Held in February in Mount Maunganui, this event is a must-see for any sports enthusiast. Featuring a range of multisport events including running, cycling, and swimming, the Mount Festival of Multisport attracts athletes from all over the country.
One Love – Held in February at Mount Maunganui, this annual reggae music festival attracts top artists and fans from all over New Zealand and beyond.
Waterbone Beach Festival – Held in March in Mount Maunganui, this festival is a celebration of water sports, with kiteboarding, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding competitions.
Local Wild Food Festival – Held in June in Tauranga, this festival celebrates the region’s wild food with tastings, workshops, and demonstrations. Visitors can learn about the unique flora and fauna of the region and sample some of the delicious wild food on offer.
The Bay of Plenty is a wonderland of geothermal activity, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable travel experience. The area is known for its bubbling mud pools, geysers, hot springs, and crystal-clear mineral pools. Here are some of the best activities to enjoy during your geothermal tourism adventure in the Bay of Plenty.
First on the list is the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, located south of Rotorua. This geothermal wonderland is home to some of the most impressive natural landscapes in the world. Visitors can explore the Champagne Pool, a crystal-clear pool of mineral water that is constantly bubbling due to its high carbon dioxide content. The park also has numerous geysers, including the Lady Knox Geyser, which erupts daily at 10:15 am. In addition, the park offers guided tours, allowing visitors to learn about the area’s geothermal history and significance.
For a unique cultural experience, visit the Te Puia geothermal valley. This attraction is located in Rotorua and offers visitors the chance to explore Maori culture and history. Visitors can witness the world-famous Pohutu Geyser, which erupts up to 20 times a day, and learn about the significance of geothermal activity to the Maori people. The Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute is also a must-see, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about traditional Maori art and crafts.
Next, head to the Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park, located just outside of Rotorua. This park is known for its impressive hot springs, geysers, and mud pools. Visitors can take a guided tour of the park’s Maori cultural center, where they can learn about the area’s unique Maori heritage and history. The park also has a mud bath and spa, which offers a relaxing and therapeutic experience for visitors.
For the ultimate geothermal experience, take a helicopter tour of White Island. This active volcano, located just off the coast of the Bay of Plenty, is one of the most unique geothermal attractions in the world.
Finally, for those looking to relax and unwind, the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua is the perfect destination. The spa offers a variety of hot mineral pools and spa treatments, ranging in temperature from 36 to 42 degrees Celsius. The pools are said to have therapeutic benefits for both the mind and body, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day of geothermal exploration.
If you’re looking for an adventure-packed holiday, the Bay of Plenty is the perfect destination. Here are some of the top adventure tourism offerings in the area, along with details of activity providers.
With its stunning coastline and crystal-clear waters, the Bay of Plenty is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and jet skiing. Mount Maunganui and Ohope Beach are popular surf spots, with operators like Mount Surf Academy offering lessons for all levels. KG Kayaks and Bay of Plenty Kayak Tours offers guided kayaking experiences, allowing visitors to explore the region’s coastline and wildlife. For a thrilling jet skiing experience, Tauranga Jet Ski Hire is a top choice.
Skydiving is the ultimate adrenaline rush, and the Bay of Plenty offers some of the most stunning skydiving views in the world. Skydive Tauranga offers tandem jumps from 12,000 feet, with views of Mount Maunganui, Tauranga Harbour, and the surrounding coastline. Skydive Taupo is another popular provider, offering tandem skydiving experiences from up to 15,000 feet, providing stunning views of the region’s mountains, forests, and lakes.
The Bay of Plenty is home to some of the best mountain biking trails in New Zealand, with the Redwoods Forest in Rotorua being a must-visit for mountain bikers. Gravity Rides offers mountain bike shuttles to the top of the trails, making it easy for visitors to access the best tracks. For those looking for a more challenging experience, the Motu Trails offer multi-day mountain biking adventures through stunning native forest and rugged terrain. Adventure Bike Hire and Motu Trails Cycleway are two top providers in this area.
White Water Rafting
For an exhilarating experience on the water, white water rafting is a must-try adventure activity. Kaituna Cascades offers rafting adventures on the Kaituna River, which includes the world-famous 7-meter Tutea Falls, the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. River Rats Rafting & Kayaking offers white water rafting on the Rangitaiki River, which boasts a mix of rapids and calm stretches of water, making it suitable for all skill levels.
Jet boating is another thrilling way to experience the Bay of Plenty’s rivers and lakes. Katoa Lake Rotorua offers jet boat tours on Lake Rotorua, with speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour and 360-degree spins. Meanwhile, Riverjet offers jet boat tours on the Waikato River, with a mix of fast-paced thrills and scenic views of the region’s native bush and volcanic landscapes. And for those looking for a unique jet boating experience, Motu Jet Boats offers a one-of-a-kind adventure on the Motu River, with stunning scenery and adrenaline-pumping thrills.
High end travel
The Bay of Plenty offers a plethora of high-end tourism accommodation and activities that cater to discerning travelers who seek luxury and exclusivity. From private villas to helicopter tours, the Bay of Plenty has something to offer for even the most discerning traveler.
For those seeking the ultimate luxury experience, the Bay of Plenty offers a range of high-end accommodation options. The Treetops Lodge & Estate in Rotorua is a 5-star luxury lodge set amidst 2,500 acres of native forest, offering guests the opportunity to stay in private villas, dine on gourmet cuisine, and indulge in spa treatments. Other luxury accommodations include the Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort in Rotorua, which offers stunning lake views and luxurious spa treatments, and the Koura Lodge in Rotorua, which offers guests the opportunity to relax in private hot pools while taking in the stunning views.
The Lodge at Kinloch is a luxury lodge located in Taupo, just a short drive from the Bay of Plenty. This exclusive lodge offers stunning views of Lake Taupo and the surrounding mountains, as well as access to a championship golf course. The lodge features 10 luxurious suites, each with a private balcony, fireplace, and spa bath. Guests can also indulge in fine dining at the lodge’s restaurant, which features local, seasonal ingredients.
Solitaire Lodge is another luxury accommodation option located on the edge of Lake Tarawera. This boutique lodge offers just nine suites, each with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide stunning views of the lake and surrounding bush. Guests can relax in the lodge’s outdoor hot tub or sauna, or take advantage of the lodge’s kayaks and paddleboards to explore the lake. The lodge also offers a private helipad for guests who want to arrive in style.
The Bay of Plenty also offers a range of glamping options for those looking to enjoy the region’s natural beauty in comfort and style. Waterfall Mountain Glamping provides a luxury glamping experience with stunning mountain views and access to nearby waterfalls. The Redwood Farm Tree House offers a unique stay in a tree house surrounded by native forest, while Phoenix Valley offers spacious bell tents with breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. Redwood Farm Tiny House offers a cozy and private retreat on a farm, and Kahikatea Farm offers luxury glamping tents with a range of activities available, including farm tours and bush walks.
For those looking for a unique and exclusive experience, a helicopter tour is a must-do activity in the Bay of Plenty. Volcanic Air offers helicopter tours that take guests over the region’s stunning landscapes, including Mount Tarawera, the White Island volcano, and the Bay of Plenty coastline. HeliBike Rotorua offers helicopter tours that combine mountain biking and helicopter rides, providing guests with a unique perspective of the region’s rugged terrain.
Luxury Yacht Charters
The Bay of Plenty’s beautiful coastline and crystal-clear waters are perfect for luxury yacht charters. Bay of Plenty Luxury Charters offers guests the opportunity to charter a luxury yacht and explore the region’s stunning coastline, with options to include snorkeling, fishing, and gourmet catering. The yacht can also be used for private events, such as weddings and corporate functions.
The Bay of Plenty is home to several world-class golf courses that offer stunning views and challenging play. The Jack Nicklaus-designed Kinloch Club in Taupo is a must-visit for golf enthusiasts, with its challenging course set amidst the rolling hills and stunning lake views. The Wairakei Golf Course in Taupo is another popular choice, offering 18 holes set amidst native forest and thermal hot springs.
The Maori culture is an essential part of New Zealand’s heritage, and visitors to the Bay of Plenty can experience it in various ways. The traditional Maori welcome or powhiri is one of the best ways to immerse oneself in Maori culture. The powhiri involves a formal welcoming ceremony, including singing, speeches, and hongi (nose touching) as a sign of respect and unity. Many local marae, or Maori meeting houses, offer visitors the opportunity to experience a powhiri.
Visiting a marae is another way to experience Maori culture. The Mataatua Wharenui, a restored and traditional Maori meeting house in Whakatane. Visitors can experience a guided tour of the wharenui, including the carvings, paintings, and woven panels that tell the stories of the Ngati Awa people.
One of the best ways to experience Maori cuisine is through a traditional hangi. Hangi is a cooking method where food is cooked in an underground oven. The food is wrapped in leaves and placed on heated stones, covered with a wet cloth and soil, and left to cook for several hours. The result is a delicious smoky flavor that cannot be found in any other way. Whakarewarewa Thermal Village is a local company that offers visitors a traditional hangi experience, including learning about the history and significance of the practice.
Maori traditional games are another way to experience Maori culture. The Maori culture has a rich history of games, including poi, titi torea, and ki-o-rahi. Poi involves swinging balls attached to cords in rhythmical patterns, while titi torea is a form of stick fighting, and ki-o-rahi is a ball game similar to rugby. Mataatua Wharenui also offers a cultural experience where visitors can learn about and participate in Maori games.
Maori storytelling or korero is another important aspect of the Maori culture. The Bay of Plenty is home to many sacred Maori spots, and many of these have stories and legends associated with them. One such place is Mauao, or Mount Maunganui, which has a rich history and many legends. Many local tour operators, such as Tamaki Maori Village, offer visitors guided tours that include Maori storytelling and the history of the area.
Paddling on a waka, or traditional Maori boat, is another unique way to experience Maori culture. Aotearoa Waka Experience in Rotorua offers visitors the opportunity to paddle on a waka with a Maori guide, learning about the history and significance of the waka.
Traditional Maori medicine and treatments are also an essential part of Maori culture. Rongoa Maori is traditional Maori medicine, which uses natural resources such as plants, herbs, and oils to treat various ailments. Local businesses such as Kohutapu Lodge and Tribal Tours provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about and experience Maori healing practices.
Learning te reo, the Maori language, is another way to experience Maori culture. Maori Language Schools offers classes for all levels of learners, from beginners to advanced. Visitors can learn basic phrases and pronunciation or immerse themselves in the language and culture through longer courses.
Kapa haka, or Maori performing arts, is another way to experience Maori culture. Local groups such as Te Whanau a Apanui, based in Ōpōtiki and Te Kaha offer visitors the chance to watch and participate in kapa haka performances, including singing, dancing, and traditional costume.
The Bay of Plenty region on the North Island of New Zealand is a perfect destination for families who are looking for a relaxing and fun-filled holiday. With its stunning beaches, geothermal activity, adventure sports, and cultural experiences, the Bay of Plenty has plenty of family-friendly tourism options to choose from.
One of the most popular activities in the Bay of Plenty is visiting the beaches. The region is famous for its beautiful coastline, and there are several beaches to choose from. Mount Maunganui Beach is a favourite among families, offering swimming, surfing, and paddleboarding. Papamoa Beach is also a great option for families looking for a more relaxed atmosphere.
Another popular activity is exploring the wildlife. The Bay of Plenty has several wildlife parks and sanctuaries, where you can see native New Zealand animals up close. Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua is a popular attraction that offers a range of activities, including a water ride, a bird show, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the kiwi conservation program.
The region is also known for its geothermal activity, and there are several hot pools to relax in. The Polynesian Spa in Rotorua is a popular attraction that offers a range of thermal pools and spa treatments for adults and children.
For families who love adventure sports, the Bay of Plenty has plenty to offer. White water rafting on the Kaituna River, ziplining in Rotorua, and taking a scenic helicopter ride are just some of the exciting activities available.
The Bay of Plenty is also rich in history and culture, with several historical sites and cultural experiences to explore. The Elms Mission House in Tauranga is a great place to learn about the history of the region, while the Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua offers an authentic cultural experience, including a traditional hangi dinner and cultural performances.
There are also several family-friendly accommodation options in the Bay of Plenty, ranging from hotels and motels to holiday parks and campsites. Many of these accommodation options offer facilities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, and barbecue areas, making them perfect for families.
Overall, the Bay of Plenty region offers a range of family-friendly tourism options that cater to a variety of interests and age groups. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the region’s geothermal activity, there’s something for everyone in the Bay of Plenty.
The region is also home to a thriving food and beverage scene, with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, bars, and wineries offering visitors an excellent culinary experience.
One of the most popular places to eat in the Bay of Plenty is Mount Maunganui, a picturesque beachside town that offers a range of dining options. There are numerous cafes and restaurants on the main street, serving a range of international cuisine, from Italian to Japanese to Thai. The Mount Bistro is a standout eatery, with a focus on seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients and a menu that changes regularly. Another popular option is the Astrolabe Brew Bar, a casual spot that offers a range of craft beers and tasty pub food.
The city of Tauranga, the largest city in the Bay of Plenty, is another great spot for foodies. The Strand is the city’s main dining precinct, with a range of cafes, bars, and restaurants overlooking the harbor. The Fish Market is a popular seafood spot, offering fresh fish and chips, oysters, and other seafood dishes, while Clarence Bistro serves up modern European cuisine in a stylish setting.
For those looking to sample local wines, the Bay of Plenty has several excellent wineries. Mills Reef Winery, located just outside of Tauranga, is a popular choice, with a cellar door and restaurant offering tastings and a range of food options. Matawhero Winery, in the nearby town of Katikati, is another great spot, with a vineyard and restaurant offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Volcanic Hills tasting room provides a wine tasting experience with amazing views of Rotorua.
If you’re looking for something a bit more casual, there are plenty of food trucks and markets around the region. The Little Big Markets, held in Mount Maunganui and Papamoa, offer a range of food and craft stalls, while the Mount Farmers Market, held every Sunday, is a great place to sample local produce and artisanal goods.
For those who enjoy a good brew, the Bay of Plenty has a growing craft beer scene, with several breweries and brewpubs in the region. Mata Beer Brewery Bar & Restaurant, based in Whakatane brews a delicious manuka honey infused beer. The Croucher Brewing Company, based in Rotorua, is a well-known craft brewery with a range of award-winning beers. In Tauranga, the Mount Brewing Co. is a popular spot, with a taproom and restaurant serving up a range of brews and pub-style food.