Located only two and a half hours drive from Auckland, the sophisticated city of Tauranga offers its own unique twist to the big city lifestyle at a more relaxing pace.
The Bay of Plenty is true to its name and offers plenty of choice. Accommodation ranges from boutique and personal, to comfort with convenience, through to affordable for the budget conscious. Dining ranges from internationally acclaimed à la carte restaurants to relaxed street side cafes to world class wineries.
Those interested in discovering the rich cultural heritage of the Bay of Plenty can explore the 'mural' country town of Katikati, which was New Zealand's first planned Irish Ulster settlement, or its' heritage museum, wildlife parks and gardens, or visit Tauranga's historic buildings, such as the Elms Mission House. Appreciate the spirit of the pioneering past by visiting old Maori Pa (fortified villages) which were the sites of historic Maori Land War Battles.
Just about anything you might want to do, see, experience or discover can be found in the Bay of Plenty - Ocean, Spirit, Earth - we've got it all right here.
Spring in the Bay of Plenty - Tauranga and Mt Maunganui - is a magical time because of the temperate climate. This is the season when the gardens bloom in full.
For visitors who enjoy wildlife, there are boat trips to watch dolphins and to White Island, an active volcano off the coast. Walks around Mt Maunganui at dawn or dusk are spectacular with sunrise and sunset providing pyrotechnic spring sky colors.
Many Americans enjoy staying in apartments at Mt Maunganui and use the city as a base to travel and explore nearby Rotorua (1 hour), Lake Taupo (2 hours) Waitomo Caves (1 hour 45 minutes). Springtime offers the best rates on accommodation with the exception public holiday weekends and school holidays. The busiest times over spring are the local school holidays from 20 - 28 September, as well as Labour weekend which is 25 - 27 October.
Set at the entrance to a beautiful, natural harbour, Tauranga has two large and modern marinas holding over a thousand yachts and launches, and numerous charter boat operators ready to take clients beyond the harbour entrance, where the marlin waters of Mayor and White Islands await the game fishing enthusiast.
In summer cross the harbour bridge to Mt. Maunganui and stroll the white sandy beaches, or walk the very popular 2.9 km base track around Mauao - the dormant volcanic cone known as "The Mount" that dominates the landscape wherever you go in the Tauranga region.
Adventure seekers wanting a truly adrenaline charged experience can choose from paragliding, skydiving, jet skiing, white water rafting, 4WD safaris, gliding, jet boating or swimming with dolphins. By helicopter or launch, you can land at White Island, a living remnant of Earth's violent creation that is a truly unique New Zealand icon, lying 50 kilometres off the Bay of Plenty coast.
Nature lovers can experience inspiring under water diving, horse trekking, sailing, unlimited and unspoiled nature walks, freshwater and marine fishing, farm and orchard visits and endless summer sun, sea and surf.
The Bay of Plenty is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand, renowned for its clear blue skies and consistent warm fine weather. Autumn specifically features more settled weather, perfect for experiencing all the region has to offer.
We have a vast range of events at this time of year, such as the annual Japan-New Zealand Cup, an International meeting held each autumn at the Tauranga Race Course.
The annual Montana Jazz Festival is held each Easter weekend and boasts a fantastic Mardi Gras like atmosphere.
There is also the Waka Corporate Race, a traditional Maori outrigger canoe with a traditional men-only race and another race with open to men, women and children paddlers. This is a rare and inspiring spectacle, with hundreds of Waka making their way through the Tauranga Harbour. Beginning at Marine Park traveling up the inner harbour past the Port of Tauranga and on around to Pilot Bay.
Please be our guest this autumn. Just about anything you think you might want to do, see, experience and discover, can all be found in the Bay of Plenty. Ocean, Spirit, Earth - we've got it all right here.
With eight Air New Zeland flights a day departing Auckland, Tauranga is only 35 minutes away. The temperate climate in Tauranga, the heart of the Bay of Plenty, makes this an ideal destination to visit during the New Zealand winter. Miles of white sandy beaches to stroll along with a hot salt water pool complex to relax in after a day of exploring wineries, gardens and other places of interest. You can play golf, go sea fishing, take a guided tour of the region or visit White Island - an active volcano off the coast where you can safely experience earth's primeval forces.
Tauranga and Mount Maunganui have a sophisticated selection of restaurants, cafes and bars to appeal to the most discerning traveller. There's plenty to do and it's only a short 35 minute flight from Auckland airport.
Book Your Trip Today... Here's How
Learn about the different regions of New Zealand from the options above, then to check for airfares, contact the Air New Zealand Reservations team 1-800-247-KIWI(5494) book online, or call your local travel agent.