Bay of Plenty

Mt MauganuiAccessed by Tauranga Airport which is located in nearby Mt. Maunganui or 2.5hours drive southeast from Auckland. Tauranga is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty region on the north-eastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The earliest Maori are believed to have arrived in the 12th century and the first settlement from England was established in 1838.

Due to its sheltered position on the east coast, Tauranga enjoys a mild subtropical climate. During the summer months it is a mecca for holidaymakers taking advantage of the popular white and golden sand beaches. The city is roughly antipodal to Spain’s Costa Bianca, and is second only to Nelson for the average number of sunshine hours it enjoys each year.

There are places of volcanic interest both dormant (The Mount) and still active (White Island) – the latter is accessible by boat or helicopter. Golf courses, white water rafting or kayaking on the Kaituna river. Or visit the “Hobbiton” movie set in Matamata (1 hours drive). Day trips to Rotorua, Taupo and the central plateau mountains and ski fields, or to the scenic beauty of the Coromandel peninsular to the north, all easily accessible.

Tauranga’s buzzy café and restaurant culture is shared with the nearby port of Mt Maunganui (‘The Mount’) – also the location of the airport. The region has many award winning vineyards offering wine tastings and lunches.