You’re looking for a place to escape. You think you might want to visit a scenic retreat and take a break from your everyday routine. You want to find an area that has something for everyone and can be enjoyed by many different people. Then search no more, the Bay of Plenty is the perfect place for all your adventures!
A Bay of Plenty is a coastal area with a temperate climate with plenty of rainfall and stunning coastal views. This often-overlooked region has much to offer visitors, from charming towns and villages to world-renowned wineries. Even the landscape has something special – Bay of Plenty is known for its rolling hills and fertile farmland, perfect for exploring on foot or by bike.
It’s no wonder that the Bay of Plenty offers so much to travelers; whether you’re looking for relaxation and scenic beauty, opportunities for adventure sports or an bustling city with all the amenities, there’s something here for everyone. And when the weather starts to cool down, there’s nothing like sitting by a warm fire in one of the many cozy cafes while taking in the sights and sounds of this wonderfully remote part of New Zealand.
Bay Of Plenty geography & location
Just over 30 minutes from the city of Auckland is the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand’s third largest region. With its fertile land, expansive coastline and temperate climate, the Bay of Plenty is a haven for nature enthusiasts, foodies and beachgoers.
Popular places & things to do
It’s not hard to find things to do in the Bay of Plenty – there are plenty of attractions and activities on offer for curious minds and adventurous spirits. But, as someone who often lives in the area, there are a few places I would recommend avoiding if you’re looking to stay healthy. Here are three places to avoid if you’re looking to live a healthy lifestyle in the Bay of Plenty:
1. The Koroit Volcanic Crater – Yes, this is one of our most popular tourist destinations. But, be warned – the sulfur dioxide gas fumes emitted from the crater can seriously damage your lungs. Plus, it’s VERY hot inside the crater!
2. The Mangonui Thermal Pools – These thermal pools are a great place to cool down on a hot day, but be forewarned – they’re also home to dangerous bacteria and parasites that can make you sick. If you do decide to visit, make sure to stay hydrated and avoid contact with thermally-sensitive areas like skin and hair.
3. Rangiriri Caves – These eerie caves are definitely worth a visit, but remember that they can be very tricky to navigate if you have any type of footwear.
4. The Devil’s Punchbowl – About a 15 minute drive from Rotorua, this wonder of nature is worth the trip alone due to its stunning view and comets Falls. You may want to consider traveling in a group, as it can get very pretty rough out by the waterfall. Be careful not to stand on rocks at ground level near the edge because these areas are prone to flash floods that can leave you trapped under water!
5. Maori fish drying racks – If you happen upon a stretch with lots of empty fish racks along the side of the road, you might be in luck. These poles are used by Maori people who believe it will bring good luck if your prospective future husband or wife finds you carrying the fish they dried while you were yet single. So you can imagine, if you’ve all these slow Chicks on your roads, they’d probably run into a bit of luck fishing then and there since this lucky lady had done most of the work already!
6. Drop Zone mini-golf – If none of that sounds convenient to you and loves to play golf, drop by their amazing mini golf park for a round. It’s utterly stunning and with 4 different courses, dozens of obstacles (2 trenches & 3 huge covered pits), gorgeous scenery and rich history, who wouldn’t want to play here?
7. The first PowerHouse Museum – Did you know that one of the first places in NZ to generate electricity was Waihi ? This was also the first town in NZ to have public lighting of homes and houses. The Waihi PowerHouse Museum is positioned near the spot where the turbines are still generating electricity 7-8am (this was the PSIA’s 2nd cable buried in this location). You can’t go wrong learning about history unplugged like this!
Where to eat?
When in the Bay of Plenty, there’s no need to go far for amazing food. Whether you’re in Katikati looking for authentic Mexican food or in Rangiora trying Japanese sushi, you’re definitely going to find something delicious to eat. Here are our top picks for where to eat in the Bay of Plenty:
Katikati: If you’re ever in the mood for some Mexican food, head over to el Molino de Santa Fe. The restaurant has been around for years and is known for its delicious tortillas, chimichangas, and enchiladas.
Rangiora: If you’re after a great sushi meal, head over to Sushi Ono. The restaurant is always busy due to its delicious sushi and fresh atmosphere.
Maniwai: Indulge in some Belgian chocolate at Maniwai Chocolate House. This chocolate salon features all sorts of Belgian chocolates as well as hot drinks and a wide range of sweet treats.
Key Attractions in the Bay of Plenty
1) Te Puke Lagoon: This pristine lagoon is full of wildlife, including otters and pelicans. There are also plenty of swimming spots for the kids.
2) Whakatane: A historic town with plenty of shops and cafes, as well as some fantastic pubs for a drink or two. It’s also home to the amazing Whakatane Museum.
3) Kawerau Falls: These 132 metre high waterfalls are a must see if you’re in the Bay of Plenty. The best way to see them is by taking part in the cascading river walk.
4) Rotorua: This geothermal city is just waiting to be explored – there’s so much to see and do here, including visits to active volcanoes, hot springs, and wine-tasting venues.
Whether you’re a waterfall lover or simply looking for a refreshing spot to take a break in the summer heat, Putu waterfall is a great place to visit. The falls are located in Whakatane, on the way to Ngongotaha. The area around Putu is also full of beautiful bushland, so it’s an ideal stopping point on your way between Kaikoura and Rotorua. You can walk to the falls or take a short drive.
The surrounding landscape is also home to many interesting wildlife spots, including otago brown kiwi, black robin and tui chub – so make sure you come out and explore!
If you’re looking for a place to get away and enjoy some peace and tranquility, the Bay of Plenty is the perfect place to stay. With its lush forests, crystal clear waters, and endless opportunities for outdoor exploration, it’s no wonder this region is coveted by so many tourists. No matter what your interests may be, there’s sure to be something here that will pique your interest. So if you’re searching for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, consider checking out the Bay of Plenty – we promise you won’t regret it!