The Bay of Plenty stretches from the Coromandel Peninsula in the west to Cape Runaway in the east. The main city is Tauranga, located on the coast, with a close proximity to its neighbouring coastal town, Mount Maunganui. Whakatane is also a main town in the region, located in the centre of the coast.
Mount Maunganui is best described as a bustling coastal resort town, know for it’s great year round weather with summer temperatures and relatively mild winters. The population is approximately 15,600 and it is a popular tourist destination offering sun, sand and relaxation throughout the year. There is plenty of local fresh produce, fantastic shopping facilities, sports and outdoor recreation with parks, forests and beaches. Fishing, surfing, swimming and other water sports are regular recreational activities in the region and it is known for having both safe swimming beaches as well as quality surfing beaches. Local walking tracks are also popular around “The Mount”. Family friendly activities abound and the main street offers a wide variety of fantastic dining options and boutique shopping. Mount Maunganui is served by a domestic airport seven minutes from the town in Tauranga City. By road, it is three hours from Auckland, eight hours from Wellington, two hours from Lake Taupo, and one-two hours from the Coromandel peninsula.
As well as being the largest city in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is a vibrant city of approximately 130,000 people located on the East Coast of the North Island. Tauranga is the main centre of the region and is one of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand. The landscape is dominated by the volcanic cone of Mount Maunganui, the harbour, long white beaches and the Kaimai mountain ranges to the west. Tauranga is home to the country’s biggest export port, Port of Tauranga and the harbour hosts many cruise ship visits each summer.
The region boasts internationally renowned deep sea fishing waters and is popular with windsurfers, jet skiers, and those who love water activities. Scuba diving is also enjoyed by many with wrecks, reefs and volcanic islands to explore underwater. Downtown Tauranga has several historically significant areas to view during a scenic walk around the area. The Strand waterfront area features children’s play areas, cultural artwork and has a number of cafes, restaurants and pubs, plus a vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re after adventure, beach lifestyle, or a bit of indulgence, the Bay of Plenty has it all. Tauranga airport services the area and is a short 40 minute flight from Auckland. By road, it is three hours from Auckland, eight hours from Wellington, two hours from Lake Taupo, and one-two hours from the Coromandel Peninsula.
Whakatane sits in the spectacular Eastern Bay of Plenty of New Zealand, right beside the Pacific Ocean. It is a town of 15,000 and is a thriving service centre for the surrounding districts. The Whakatane region offers you a superb lifestyle. Whakatane has numerous parks and reserves, walking trails and playing fields. There’s a modern aquatic centre, numerous sports clubs, and a thriving arts and culture scene.
Whakatane has mild winters and long hot summers. Activities include deep sea fishing and marine sports, boating, rafting, dolphin watching, game fishing, bush walks, horse treks, 4x4 tours, hunting trips, helicopter flights or simply relaxing on beautiful Ohope beach. For those with an interest in the outdoors, the rugged Urewera National Park, the largest protected native forest in the North Island, provides tramping, trout fishing and deer hunting. Relax on the stunning golden sands of Ohope Beach, take a White Island live volcano tour, go whale watching and dolphin swimming. Walk or run the beautiful Nga Tapuwae O Toi bush track, watch rare sea birds in unspoiled Ohiwa Harbour, mountain-bike - the fun goes on.
Whakatane airport offers a range of flights each day, with regular connections to Auckland. By road Tauranga is 90 minutes away, Rotorua one hour and Auckland four hours.
For this and further information please visit Tourism Bay of Plenty, Tauranga Tourism and Welcome to Whakatane.