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NZ Bay of Plenty Information

Located along a long stretch of coastline on the North Island, the Bay of Plenty region is home to about 240,000 residents and represents a diverse area of New Zealand. James Cook, who explored and mapped most of New Zealand, named the Bay of Plenty in 1769. At that time, Maori villages populated the area. Cook named it the Bay of Plenty because of the abundant food stores the villagers had, which differed vastly from the those found in the area he had recently named the Bay of Poverty.

Now a popular vacation destination, the Bay of Plenty has much to offer year round. The spring and summer months are noted for their beautiful weather. The outdoor activities that New Zealand is so well-known for are booming in these months. Autumn is still mild, and a highlight of the autumn period is the Montana Jazz Festival, held every Easter weekend. Winter months are quieter in the Bay of Plenty, but a range of wineries in the area still attracts visitors.

The largest city in the Bay of Plenty is Tauranga, the sixth largest city in the country. Tauranga is built around a large harbor and the attractive waterfront central business district is alive with shops and restaurants. Fishing, sailing, scuba diving and dolphin watching tours are all popular activities. Fresh kiwifruit and tangelos, which the area is well known for producing, are available throughout the city.

The area immediately around Tauranga has a number of worthwhile destinations. One of them is Mount Maunganui, a surf town and popular holiday spot located at the base of a large, dormant volcano. A white sand surf beach is one of the highlights of the town and it is one of the three original sites of the New Zealand surfing boom. On the other side of the small peninsula is a protected bay marked by hot salt-water pools especially popular with tourists.

The White Island, Whakaari, is located in the Bay of Plenty and consists of three active volcanic cones. A number of companies provide guided tours of the island. The tour companies also provide the hard hats and gas masks that all visitors are required to wear.

Just off of the White Island is Whakatane, a town in the eastern Bay of Plenty. Apart from the variety of water activities normally found in the Bay of Plenty, a well-known surf location Whakatane Heads, is just out of town.

Other popular spots surrounding Tauranga are Katikati and Te Puke. Katikati is a seaside town now known for the hand painted murals that decorate the walls of the city’s buildings. Te Puke is the self-named “kiwifruit capitol of the world.”

Rotorua, the other major city in the Bay of Plenty region, offers a very different experience compared to the seaside diversions of Tauranga. Rotorua is located on a hotbed of geothermal activity. Hot springs and mud baths meet with traditional Maori cultural activities here. Rotorua is also home to some of the more exotic adventure sporting activities that New Zealand has become known for. These include zorbing, in which people are rolled down hills in large clear balls and white-water sledging, in which the daring face white-water rapids with a small plastic floatation device and a football helmet.

NZ Bay of Plenty references

Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Provides information on resource consents, environmental issues, publications
and responsibilities of the Regional Council.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council - WBOPDC - Western Bay of ...
Details are given about council roles, responsibilities and services provided in
the area it governs.

The Bay of Plenty Conservancy of the Department of Conservation.

  • Greerton
  • Katikati
  • Kawerau
  • Mount_Maunganui

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