7 unmissable views in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty
Our pick of the best places to soak up the incredible views in the Bay of PlentyOur local expert and local resident in the Bay of Plenty knows the region well and has shared their tips on the very best views to see that will have you reaching your your camera phone.
Just two and half hours drive south of Auckland and one hour from Rotorua, the Bay of Plenty is the premier beach resort region of New Zealand. So, if you're planning to visit the region, take a look at our guide to the 'Top Seven Bay of Plenty Views'. You can also see stunning Bay of Plenty 360 Virtual Tours of the region delivered by our 360 Tour partner, ScanView.
1. Moturiki Island, Mount Maunganui.
The small island (also known as 'Lesiure Island') offers glorious views of the Mount Maunganui beach and the Mount itself. Take the loop walk around the island to enjoy panoramic views of this stunning area of coastline.
2. Te Puna Quarry Park, Te Puna
The Te Puna Quarry Park has been developed and maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers that has turned a disused quarry into a beautiful park. Dotted throughout the park are sculptures by local artists for visitors of all ages to enjoy. The walking tracks are easy and provide a number of viewing points to soak up the amazing views of the Tauranga and Papamoa coastline. The incredible variety of plants and ‘Butterfly Garden’ are more reasons to visit.
3. Kapu Te Rangi, Ohope
A short drive from Whakatane (the gateway town to exploring White Island), this historical reserve is steeped in Maori Tradition. Continue along an unsealed road to a small car park. From here you can walk along the headland and take in the stunning views of the Moutohora Island (Whale Island) and the township of Whakatane. As you leave you’ll also be able to pull over and appreciate why Ohope is one of New Zealand’s most iconic beaches.
4. Pilot Bay, Mount Maunganui
The calm harbour offers a postcard view with the water dotted with boats combined with the backdrop of the Mount and Matakana Island. The calmer water is a popular spot with younger families. However, it’s the sights of the huge cruise ships coming in 2-3 times a week during the summer months that’s the reason it makes our list. Arrive early morning or evening to join locals welcoming or saying goodbye to these monsters of the sea.
5. McLaren Falls Park, Tauranga
McLaren Falls Park is a great spot for family picnics with wonderful ‘lake’ views. The tranquil setting has one of the best botanical collections of trees in New Zealand’s North Island. If you head along the Waterfall Track after dusk, along with the pretty waterfalls you’ll be able to see the glow worms.
6. Sulphur Point, Tauranga
Head long to the last car park at the end of Mirrielees Road on Sulphur Point to see the best view of Tauranga Harbour, Mount Maunganui and Pilot Bay. There’s also a couple of picnic tables, a BBQ station and a small beach area.
7. McLaren Falls
A 15 minute drive from Tauranga, Mclaren Falls is often a waterfall with little water due to the Trustpower Power Generation Station located upstream. However, Trustpower release a flow of 15 cumecs of water betwwen 10.00am and 4.00pm on certain dates through the year. Check their website for the scheduled release dates. Even without the water release, it’s still an impressive sight with locals enjoying a swim at the base of these waterfalls.
For more information on the region, check our Bay of Plenty guide to the area. You can also view our 'Bay of Plenty Beaches guide' for the best stretches of sand in the region.