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Rotorua & the Bay of Plenty

Rotorua has a lot going for it. It’s a stronghold of Māori culture and this is a hotspot to visit for those interested in learning about Māori customs and traditions. There are also plenty of fun outdoor activities for couples and families.

Sunny Tauranga may be NZ’s 5th biggest city, but it’s nearby Mt Maunganui and its glorious beach where you’ll want to be heading. There are beautiful beaches all the way down the Bay of Plenty, including some beauties around Whakatane.

The Bay of Plenty was named by Captain Cook in 1769 for having “plenty” - as opposed to the area around what is now Gisborne, which he petulantly labelled Poverty Bay.

Pacific Coast Highway

A real wildcard here, if you’ve got a day or two up your sleeve, is to drive east from Opotiki on SH35 around East Cape and on to Gisborne. On this 330km journey, part of the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll likely see more kids on horses than using mobile phones – and if you’ve seen Taika Waititi’s classic Kiwi flick Boy, you’ll likely recognise some of the scenery. This drive comes highly recommended.


Mt Maunganui

NZ's best beach?!


Chill out in the sunny Bay of Plenty

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by craig