Bay of Plenty
Stretching over 260 km, the Bay of Plenty covers the huge area between Tauranga in the West and Cape Runaway (which is already part of the Eastern Cape).
Tauranga and Mount Maunganui are two towns that grew together over time. Tauranga is pretty much a mini-Auckland, with heaps of shopping and fine-dining, while Mt Maunganui marks the more relaxed beach area.
Mount Maunganui is not just the town name but also ancient volcano cone at the tip of Mount Maunganui Beach. Walk around the base to try and spot Oscar, the local seal. He loves getting all the attention while sun-bathing on the rocks.
For the best views of Bay of Plenty, climb Mt Maunganui for sunrise or sunset. It’s steep but short climb and I promise you won’t regret it.
Much further down the coast of Bay of Plenty New Zealand, driving along the seemingly never-ending beach, you’ll find Whakatane, the gate to White Island. From here, explore New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, Whakaari (‘White Island’ in Maori language).