Sun and fun aplenty, all year round, is the main feature of the beautiful Bay of Plenty. You will never be lost for things to do here.
Start with an informative stroll around the compact city centre. The Tauranga Community Village on Seventeenth Ave contains restored colonial buildings and an ornately carved Maori war canoe. Further on is the Monmouth Redoubt, a fortified site from the Maori Wars period. There is a fine rose garden and hothouse in Robbins Park. The Elms Mission Station on Mission Street, dating from 1847, is worth a visit.
Coast and bush walking is a feature of the Bay of Plenty. The booklet ‘Walkways of Tauranga’ is available from visitor centres. The Waikareao Estuary makes an interesting marine ramble. Adventurous walkers can explore the Kaimai Forest Park using maps from the Department of Conservation office. McLaren Falls in the Wairoa River valley is a notable highlight.
Nothing beats a sunny day out on the blue seas of the Bay of Plenty and there is a wide selection of fish and dive charters, dolphin swimming, big game fishing and scenic cruises to choose from. Mayor Island is a longer excursion with wonderful guided walks, snorkelling, diving and fishing available. Summer activities in the bay include swimming, surfing, jet-skiing, water-skiing, windsurfing, sea kayaking and parasailing.
Land based adventures are legion with the usual Kiwi adrenalin-charged pursuits of sky diving, microlighting, white-water rafting, river sledging, 4WD touring and horse-trekking. Tours to Te Puke, where kiwifruit is king, are popular and the ‘Kiwifruit Company’ and ‘Vintage Auto Barn’ shows are worth a visit.