The Bay Of Plenty To See And Do

The stunning natural environment, coastal splendour and rural beauty ofMount Maunganui and the Bay of Plenty offers visitors a variety of adventure, sporting and tourist activities, on sea, by air and on land.

Bay of Plenty Beaches Native Bush Walks in the Bay of Plenty

One of the key reasons thousands of holiday makers visit the Bay of Plenty region every year is its stunning, golden sand beaches.

Hugging the Pacific Coast Highway from Waihi Beach to Ohope Beach, the Eastern Coast of New Zealand’s North Island is blessed with stretches of clean, rolling surf, protected dunes and coastal beauty.

Whether you’re a surfer, windsurfer, boogie boarder, swimmer or sunbather, our beaches have something to offer. Kite surfing, yachting, fishing, surfcasting and sea kayaking are just some of the activities going on around the bays. Read more here about offshore Bay of Plenty activities.

Most beaches are patrolled in the summer time by members of the Bay of Plenty Surf Life Saving Association and the surf patrol adds its own special magic to the summer atmosphere by holding surf life saving competitions and training on many of the beaches in the region.

There are numerous estuaries, bays and picnic spots for families, or those looking for a quieter day in the sunshine. Try restful Pilot Bay, just around the corner from The Anchorage, for a family day out. Lying at the foot of Mount Maunganui, this quiet bay is a great environment for picnics, swimming, windsurfing and kayaking.

Mount Maunganui Beach

Mount Maunganui is one of the most popular Bay of Plenty beaches. The small town’s population increases many times over at the Christmas and New Year’s break, with revellers flocking to beach side festivals, concerts, surfing, beach volleyball and tri-athlete competitions, along with jet boat racing

Papamoa Beach

Papamoa Beach is also very popular; stretching kilometres down the coast, with a view of Mount Maunganui in the far distance. Papamoa Beach is less crowded than the beach at the foot of Mount Maunganui and many surfers congregate at the Domain Road end of this beach.

Waihi Beach

Waihi Beach is a well kept secret. A gorgeous, long stretch of sand and waves, this small beachside town offers stunning coastal walks, great surfing and other water sports opportunities.

Ohope Beach

Ohope Beach is now a popular tourist spot and resort suburb. With a wonderful beach for swimming, Ohope Beach stretches 10 kilometres.

Surfing and Kitesurfing

Surfing is popular throughout the Bay of Plenty beaches and many visitors have learned to surf for the first time in these waters. Mount Maunganui and Ohope Beaches offer surf schools for beginners, standard daily classes and individual lessons. For more information, contact Mount Maunganui Surf School, The Lovely Planet Surf School or Kitesurfing New Zealand.

Walks Native Bush Walks in the Bay of Plenty

Head out in to the cool, green native bush of New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty wonderland. A myriad of beautiful walks suitable for varying fitness levels lead to stunning waterfalls, circle incredible lakes or take you to some of the tallest trees in the world.

The Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park, on Western Bay of Plenty’s doorstep, offers walks to the remnants of Kauri dams, waterfalls, old pack tracks and a disused gold mine. Rotorua has the incredible Redwood Forest, dotted with many tracks and the region’s amazing Lake District, Tarawera Forest and rugged Urewera National Park nearby.

For a full list of tracks and walks plus fascinating details about New Zealand’s national parks visit the New Zealand Department of Conservation

The Haiku Pathway

Katikati offers an interesting twist on the traditional bush walk, with its Haiku Pathway. The Haiku Pathway is a restful, contemplative walk in peaceful surroundings and includes a beautiful river boulder trail where the stone has been carved with Haiku verse, carefully selected by a local poet. Start at Katikati Bus Company on the Main Street and follow the path down to the river. Either cross the bridge and follow the river to State Highway 2 and join the Uretara Walkway, or remain on the town side of the river and zigzag back up towards the library.

Coastal Tauranga Walkways

Waikareao Estuary Walk: An easy walking track with a two hour return loop and many shorter sections. Tracks around the estuary view native bush and grassed areas and boardwalks through the mangrove tidal zone make it easier for walkers to see flora and fauna. There are plenty of grassy areas for picnic spots. Cycling is permitted, but not motorbikes. Yatton Park Walk: An easy walk, just one hour return. Enter from the Fraser Street entrance and follow the Waimapu Estuary to Yatton Park. The park contains some of Tauranga oldest trees, 16 are the largest of their species in the North Island. The park offers picnic areas, a playground and public toilets. Cycling is not permitted.

Mount Maunganui Walking Track

Mt Maunganui features one of the areas best known walks, around the circular track of the mountain itself. Mauao provides a safe circular 45 minute track for keen runners and walkers or those taking in the fantastic scenery. Begin at Pilot Bay (the harbour side of the Mount) or take the entry way from the main ocean beach. There are many restful seating areas to watch ships and boats cruise by, or enjoy the shade of the New Zealand ‘Christmas Tree”, the Pohutukawa. For the more adventurous and physically fit, there is a walking track taking you to the summit of the Mount. After a good, strong uphill walk through native bush, the stunning views over the coast and township are your reward.

Offshore Bay of Plenty Activities Native Bush Walks in the Bay of Plenty

The waters of the Bay of Plenty are a marine wonderland. Explore protected offshore islands, an active island volcano and waters teeming with fish. Our region offers plenty of opportunities to get active on the waves or under the water.


From surf casting to deep sea fishing, the sport has a huge following from locals and visitors to the area. As a result, most of the main towns in the region offer fishing charters of every size. Half day trips and overnight stays are common, with experienced guides boasting extensive game fishing knowledge. Many trips take in waters near Mayor Island and White Island (protected marine reserves) and the Bay of Plenty is regarded internationally as home to some of the finest game fishing waters in the world.

Waihi Beach

Bay of Plenty’s marine environment offers numerous diving opportunities for the keen scuba diver. Clean, clear waters, unique marine life and experience operators give you a safe trip under the waves. White Island and Mayor Island’s protected marine reserves are popular destinations. A variety of PADI 5 star training facilities and dive operators offer courses, dive trips, charters and equipment hire within the Bay of Plenty. water sports opportunities.

Whale and Dolphin Watching

These graceful creatures are common visitors to Bay of Plenty waters and a number of dolphin watching and swimming adventure tours offer the chance to meet them. Most cruises offer quality boats, snorkelling equipment, a knowledge of marine and bird life in the area and are often guided by marine biologists. Whale watching is based out of Whakatane, while most dolphin watching tours operate from Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Whakatane.

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking is extremely popular in the Bay of Plenty for obvious reasons! A number of operators offer training, equipment and tours out on the waves.

Adventure Activities in the Bay of Plenty

If you’re after adventure and excitement, the Bay of Plenty’s natural environment provides all the action to get your heart racing!

White Water Rafting

Hop aboard a raft, rely on the team work of a group of people you may never have met before, throw yourself down gushing river water features with names like “The Roller Coaster” or “The Waterfall” and see if the adrenalin doesn’t start to rush! The rivers of the Bay of Plenty interior offer an amazing array of multi-grade white water rafting experiences and a number of operators run tours throughout the area.

Sky Diving

Said to be the “ultimate adrenalin buzz in the Bay”, Tauranga offers tandem sky dives out of Tauranga Airport. If throwing yourself out of a plane sounds like the experience of a life time, make sure you do it in the Bay of Plenty!

Balloon Adventure

A little more sedate, but no less exciting, balloon travel can be an amazing experience. Katikati has its own hot air balloon company operating mostly over the Waikato. They offer one hour flights and champagne style breakfasts.

Blokart Landsailing

Perfect for any age, Papamoa’s Blokart Landsailing is land based racing with a sail. Low weight and a reasonable top speed over short distances means Blokart Landsailing is exciting, action packed and a speed thrill.

Please Note: Anchorage Apartments are replacing their lifts, Read More