Driving is the best way to explore the stunning Bay of Plenty and it doesn't have to mean an epic road trip. There are a number of fantastic destinations just a short drive from Tauranga that are well worth the visit. Get behind the wheel and experience some stunning scenery and fun activities for the whole family.
A short 15 minute drive north of Tauranga, Omokoroa is a small coastal village with a holiday atmosphere. There are lovely beaches, cafes, hot pools, a beautiful golf course, scenic walks, and fantastic fishing and boating opportunities. Take the ferry from Omokoroa wharf to Matakana Island for a picturesque picnic spot.
The small orchard town of Katikati is just half an hour from ABC Rentals in Tauranga. Nestled between the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park and Tauranga Harbour, the town offers something for everyone. Take a walk on the Haiku Pathway or stroll around the town for a taste of local history portrayed in the famous Katikati murals. Don't miss the Katikati Bird Gardens – a stunning bird sanctuary and parkland.
While in Tauranga, it's well worth visiting glorious Waihi Beach, around 45 minutes from the city. With 10km of beautiful beach, this is the perfect place to enjoy a safe swim, explore the harbour in a kayak, or learn to surf. Orokawa Bay at the northern end, and Anzac Bay at the southern end, provide the most popular picnic spots under shady pohutukawa trees.
Just 1 hour and 20 minutes after picking up your rental car in Tauranga, you could be relaxing at New Zealand's best beach. One look at the long sweep of white sand and lush bush backdrop and it's easy to see why Ohope is so popular. Enjoy safe swimming and surfing, as well as plenty of nearby eateries. Boating, fishing and kayaking are within easy reach or join a tour to visit White Island, New Zealand's only active island volcano.
Hit the road and head for Te Puke, the Kiwifruit Capital of New Zealand, 30 minutes south of Tauranga. Visit the giant kiwifruit at Kiwi360 and you can taste all sorts of sweet treats, sample kiwifruit-flavoured wines and take a tour through their lush orchards. If you’re a fan of honey, you should also be sure to stop at Experience Comvita - step inside a virtual beehive and learn about the incredible healing powers of manuka honey.
Only an hour's drive away on State Highway 36, Tauranga is a great base for exploring Rotorua. A geothermal wonderland steeped in Maori legend, history and culture, Rotorua has many attractions and activities to suit all ages, tastes and budgets. Walk around boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers, experience the richness of Maori performance and art, visit the Agrodome (https://www.agrodome.co.nz/
) with its sheep show, shearing and dog trials or see the endangered Kiwi at Rainbow Springs Nature Park.