The Bay of Plenty is a stand out region among a series of gems in New Zealand. The beaches are a bit more golden, the water sparkles a little brighter and the sun seems to shine a little extra magic on this absolutely beautiful region.
And while I am a passionate advocate for the majestic South Island, this East Coast region on the North Island offers a constant state of bliss, no matter where you go or what you do!
At the end of last year I had the opportunity to go explore Mount Maunganui for a weekend. While I was more than impressed with my first visit to my top NZ bucket-list destination, I was left wanting to explore more of this region , specifically exploring the Mount on a warm and sunny day!
With summer winding down and one of my amazing friends convincing me to come visit (well let’s be honest, it didn’t take much convincing) I headed up to the Bay of Plenty ready to explore.
You really can do no wrong in your travels through the Bay of Plenty, but after my most recent, I can promise you that you don’t want to miss out on these five blissful activities the region offers:
1: Watch the sunrise on the top of the Mount
As cliche as this sounds, there is no better way to start your day in the Bay of Plenty than climbing to the top of the Mount. Words can’t describe the beauty of hiking under a blanket of stars at the bottom and then reaching the top of the Mount and seeing a sky full of pink, purple and orange.
2: Collect shells from Ohope Beach
Never in my life have I been to a beach where it is made up entirely of perfectly smooth and shiny crushed shells. Seriously, the shells are so smooth you can roll around on them, walk on them and most importantly, collect a whole heap of them!
Only an hour outside of Tauranga, this beach is the pride and glory of Whakatane and well worth the effort to get there.
The walk to this beach is absolutely stunning, with numerous vantage points that make you question if a beach could ever look any more inviting!
3: Find really cool waterfalls
Honestly, who doesn’t love a good waterfall!? It’s not far from the coastline before you’ll have your pick of fairytale waterfalls to find. I ended up finding this really cute waterfall track by chance and it instantly made my list of favourites. Hidden behind walls of glow worms and a bush full of pongas, the 10 minute return journey could easily turn into nearly an hour of blissing out in front of the falls.
4: Lounge in natural rock pools at McLaren Falls
This was the biggest surprise of my trip and probably my favourite discovery of 2017 to date!
Reminding me of the Krka National Park in Croatia, there are hundreds of rock pools that run into McLaren Falls that are practically begging for you to relax in them.
With the sound of the rushing waterfall underneath and surrounded by rows of bright green native trees, these pools really do offer an entire afternoon of blissful relaxation.
5: Night time paddle-boarding to the Mount
If you are a water-lover like myself, then the Bay of Plenty is literally heaven on earth. From kayaking to surfing, fishing, swimming and beyond, there are endless ways to enjoy to warm and tropical waters in the Bay of Plenty.
But the one activity that is a must do is night-time paddle boarding in Mount Maunganui. With colourful flashlights attached to the bottom of the board, you can enjoy the calm waters and witness the vivacious life underneath. Chances are you will get to see stingrays, crabs, octopuses and countless fish swim underneath you (or in some instances end up on top of your board!) Talk about the perfect way to end the day!