The Bountiful Bay of Plenty

Mount Maunganui

The Bay of Plenty is one of New Zealand’s biggest tourist destinations, with its unending golden sand beaches and great surfing areas coupled with inlets and bays that are perfect for relaxing and enjoying the holiday of a lifetime.

It is the capital for sports orientated aquatic activities from ironman and surfing competitions to ocean jet boat racing and international yachting stopovers. It is also home to New Zealand’s largest export port and commercial centre of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, in Port of Tauranga, which sees annually more than 40 cruise ship visits each year bringing tourists in to take part in everything from the laidback café culture lifestyle of the Mount to the wonderful sights and scenes of the thermal wonderland that is Rotorua.

A marine wonderland

Internationally, the Bay of Plenty’s waters are renowned for world record game fishing catches, with many celebrities chasing the big marlin, kingfish and tuna amongst many other species of fish. There are whales to watch and dolphins who will play around the boats and it is not rare to see these and pods of orca fairly close into the shore or in the harbour itself.

The Bay is also home to White Island, an active volcano which fascinates vulcanologists and geological scientists from around the world with its unique attributes and is is fast becoming known for scuba-diving adventures.

Temperature-wise, the weather is mild most of the year round, with quite hot summer months between January and April. The sunny climate is ideal for growing avocados, kiwi fruit, citrus and other subtropical fruits for which the region is renowned. In fact, Te Puke, official home of the kiwifruit, produces more than 40% of New Zealand’s overall production of the internationally recognised delicacy.

The cradle for New Zealand tourism

Sitting on the eastern edges of the Bay is Rotorua, the cradle of New Zealand's tourism with its spectacular geysers and geothermal activity drawing visitors from all around the world. It's also a mecca for trout anglers from British royalty to Hollywood superstars who greatly value the laidback New Zealand attitude to celebrity privacy as well as the stunning scenery.

The centre of the Eastern Bay of Plenty which is a combination farming and forestry region, is historic, sunny Whakatane. A prized fishing area in the Bay, it is also a must on most tourist destination lists for its long golden stretches of soft sandy shores and great surf and swimming opportunities.

Further on down the coast is Opotiki, the gateway between the Bay of Plenty and Eastland, either by the inland route to Gisborne or the road around the East Cape, both popular for touring. Hot springs are found on the mainland.

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