Bay of Plenty Activities

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Bay of Plenty Activities

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The Bay of Plenty is a large bay on the northern coast of the North Island.  The 259 km of coastline, mild climate and abundance of sea life make this a great summer holiday destination.  There’s plenty to do at this aptly-named bay.  Check out some of these great activities…


The coastline along the Bay of Plenty varies quite a bit.  Look for sandy beaches between Waihi Beach and Opape and rocky beaches between Opape and Cape Runway.  The sandy beaches are especially great for recreation, and invite activities like surfing, swimming, boogie boarding and kite boarding as well as good, old-fashioned hanging out.


The calm waters of the Bay of Plenty are ideal for boating, and exploring the harbour from the water can provide a unique vantage of the area.  Kayakers can discover isolated beaches and spot sea bird colonies, while fishing from kayaks off Papamoa Beach is a popular hobby.

To enjoy the water with less exertion, you can always hop on a scenic cruise of the area.  Options range from sailing trips to ferry cruises—shop around and see what suits you.

Fishing and Shellfish Collecting

Named for its abundance of resources, it’s no surprise that the Bay of Plenty is home to some of the best fishing in New Zealand.  The waters around Waihi Beach are rich with snapper, trevally, kahawai and John Dory.  There are plenty of fishing charter operators in the area, which will provide you with the boat, equipment and expertise needed for a successful catch on the Bay.

Shellfish are also abundant and tuatua can be gathered along the beaches at Waihi and Papmoa.  Simply head out at low tide and dig your feet into the sand at the tide line: when you find a tuatua, start digging with your hands.  They live in beds, so where there’s one there are likely to be more.


There are a few islands in the bay, some of which can be explored.  By far the most popular island attraction in the Bay of Plenty is White Island—an active volcano.  The island is privately owned and operates as a reserve, accessible through certain tour operators.  Whakatane (convenient to TOP 10’s Ohope Beach holiday park!), is the most popular jumping off point for tours.

Wildlife Encounters

With so much fish life teeming in the Bay of Plenty waters, it’s no surprise that the bay is also home to a large population of dolphins.  Bottlenose, Hector’s, dusky and Risso’s dolphins all make their homes here.  Swimming with dolphins is a popular activity on the bay--tour operators will provide you with wetsuits and find the dolphins.

Additionally, seals, humpback whales, pilot whales, orca and sea turtles are all occasionally spotted in the bay.  Keep your eyes peeled!


To make the most of the activities available on the Bay of Plenty, look for accommodation accessible to the beach.  Waihi Beach, Papamoa Beach and Ohope are all great choices!