What's on in The Bay of Plenty

Follow this link to the Bay of Plenty Official Tourism & Travel web-site for everything you need to know in our beautiful district. 


As you can see you will need to spend a little time in the Bay of Plenty to see and do everything we have to offer.  The Lodge is very central so that you can go out and explory and then at the end of the day come back, relax and let us look after you.


Aerius Helicopters

Expert pilots are here to ensure you have the absolute time of your life, take a Scenic trip or a flight to Rotorua/Mt Tarawera, White Island, Mayor Island, Waitomo Caves plus many other options.

They offer stunning scenic flights, fishing, hunting, heli adventures, showing you a view of this amazing country that few travellers get the chance to see.

The flights and the experiences you will have with us are inspiring, energizing, and motivating.

P: +64 7 533 1290  www.aerius.co.nz

Battle of Gate Pa

1 Church Street, Gate Pa, Tauranga This battle was fought on 29 April 1864 and was one of a number of engagements fought in the period

1860 - 1872 in what are known as the New Zealand Wars or the Maori Wars. These wars were fought between the native Maori and the British Government which at that time administered New Zealand as a colony.

Gate Pa was to be a major defeat for the British at the hands of an out numbered Maori and even today there is no clear reason why this defeat occurred. 

In 1864, Tauranga was regarded as a strategic supply point for Maori fighting in the Waikato War.  It was decided to occupy Tauranga to stop these supplies and trips were sent her in that year.  The attack on Gate Pa took place on the afternoon of April 29th 1864, following a day-long artillery bombardment.  The Bristish forces were repulsed with a heavy loss of life it was the worst defeat of imperial troops by “natives anywhere in the empire.

What makes the Battle of Gate Pa different from all the other battles of the era is GALLANTRY. The Maori soldiers fought under a code of conduct that foreshadowed the Geneva Convention and put that into effect during the hours after the battle by taking water to the wounded British soldiers.  Gate Pa also showed the effectiveness of their earthwork defences

Classic City Flyers

An aviation museum, where classic aircraft ‘still take to the skies,  the museum focuses on keeping as many exhibits ‘operational’ as possible. You can go for a fly in old beauties like the Boeing Stearman World War II open-cockpit bi-plane, ex Royal New Zealand Air Force ‘Airtrainer’ or a Korean War era M.A.S.H chopper

Next door, in another hangar, is the excellent Tauranga Military Collection – more than 10 rare military vehicles, weaponry, uniforms, flags, and knick knacks. The collection is on loan from the Moreland family who spent 20 years collecting in what became an ‘all consuming family affair,’ as far away as the U.S. and Pacific Islands. Exhibits include the rare U.S. M3 half-track, a troop transporter salvaged from Vanuatu, which took two and a half years to restore. There are also small arms, hand grenades, uniforms, radios and all sorts of military hardware. 

9 Jean Batten Drive, Mount Maunganui, off Hewletts Road, Mount Maunganui

Museum opens 10 to 4 pm daily.

Tel 572-4000, www.classicflyersnz.com

Farmers Market – Tauranga

Selling allsorts of locally made food products
Corner5th Avenue, and Cameron Road. 8am - noon Saturday (The Markets are in the Tauranga Primary School)

Harbour Cruises Kewpie Cruises and Bay Explorer Island and Wildlife Cruises 

Scheduled Scenic Harbour Cruise Operate from December to April (5months).

Trips departing 11am, 12am, 1pm,  2pm,  3pm daily Adults $30.00pp, youth 12-17yrs $15pp, children 12 and under free. Licensed bar, coffee, and snacks available Departing Pilot Wharf, at the base of the mountain on the walking track opposite the Motor camp. If you look out to the harbour from Pilot bay beach the wharf is on your right at the base of the mountain (NOT Salisbury wharf down by the shops).

Address for GPS Pilot Quay The Mall, Mount Maunganui

Bay Explorer island and wildlife cruises offer you the premium wildlife and adventure experience in the Bay of Plenty Tauranga. You will explore the aquatic world of seasonal marine wildlife; dolphins, seals, penguins, fish, and occasional whale encounters. The regular dolphin encounters can range from a few animals to hundreds. Optional activities include kayaking swimming and stand up paddle boarding. 

Please refer to their website for more information.



Travel to Matatama to visit the Hobbiton movie set (45 mins from the lodge.)

A must see for all Lord of the Ring fans. 

Experience the real Middle-Earth with a visit to the Hobbiton™ Movie Set, the bucolic setting for The Shire™ that featured in the Peter Jackson directed films, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.

Your tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will escort you through the twelve acre site recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton Movie set was created.

The Hobbit holes, Green Dragon™ Inn, Mill and other structures created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can be viewed and you will see how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-Earth

Hours: Open · 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Hobbiton 501 Buckland Rd, Matamata 3472 P: 07-888 9913



Kaiate Falls

Kaiate Falls Road (off Welcome Bay Road)

Kaiate Falls are the highlight of a forest reserve near not to far from the Tauranga Lodge. You can walk to a ravine where the Kaiate Stream drops over ignimbrite bluffs in a series of nine beautiful cascades. Tracks are well-formed throughout the reserve. The main track leads to the top of the waterfall, and then to the base of the upper series of cascades. From there it crosses the stream and continues down to the base of the lower falls, where there is a swimming hole. You should see large puriri and kohekohe trees along the way.

Above the car park is a picnic area where you can enjoy good views of Mount Maunganui and the Port of Tauranga.

Katikati Bird Gardens and Café

263 Walker Road East RD2 Katikati

This is an extensive park and bird sanctuary near Katikati which features a wide range of native and colourful birds.  The park is set in gardens of mature trees, lily ponds, wetlands, and secret paths. 

There is also a gift shop and café on sit.


Ph (07) 549 0912

McLarens Falls

This is a must if you like walking and the outdoors the park and lake is stunning during every season of the year.

About 20 minutes north of Tauranga is one of the region’s finest parks. It offers idyllic, grassy lakeside picnic spots, interesting short walks and trout fishing. The council-run park is located on Lake McLaren and its hydro dam, which feeds the small Ruahihi Power Station downstream on the Wairoa River. McLaren Falls Park covers 190 hectares and boasts a picturesque lake, with lots of spots to cast a line (licence required), native bush, and exotic trees. The park is known for its bird life, including kiwi and robins, and grazing sheep.

The most popular easy walk is a 15-minute return loop track to McLaren Falls, a waterfall set in native bush. Another walk up to the ridge above the park takes 30 minutes, and it’s an hour to walk around Lake McLaren on a well sign-posted path. The park is open daily 8am—7.30pm in summer (5.30pm in winter). They also have bbq available in some areas of the park.  The park’s family-friendly attractions include Marshall’s Animal Park, off a side road from inside the park. Here there are bison, ponies, eels, and various other animals that children can see and feed.

There is also a café if you feel like something to eat.

Open Wed & Thurs, weekends in summer, weekdays 10am—pm, longer at the weekends (Tel 543-3734).

McLaren Falls Road, off State Highway 29, lower Kaimai’s



Mt Maunganui (Known as Mauao in Maori ) Walk around  Sounds like (Mow owl)

1 Maunganui Road (turn left for the harbour side beach and turn right for the surf beach

The awe-inspiring 232-metre peak of Mauao is an historic reserve of major archaeological and cultural significance. ‘The Mount’ is in fact the remnant of a large lava dome formed from eruptions 4.3 million years ago, which later became connected to the mainland by a sand spit. Visiting Mauao is a ‘must-do’ experience. The base track is an easy 3.4 km amble taking around 30 minutes. Or put aside a bit more time to climb to the summit for spectacular views out over Matakana, Mayor Island and other islands. Various tracks to the summit are clearly shown on a big signboard near the Domain Motor Camp.

Things to see around Mauao include Tangaroa, the bronze statue of a Maori warrior, erected in 1976 to mark the establishment of the Port of Tauranga in 1873. On the seaward side of the Mount there’s a plaque marking the spot where the launch Ranui sank in 1950 with the loss of 22 lives —still the region’s worst maritime tragedy. Make sure you take your camera as there are some great camera shots.

Mount Maunganui Shopping prescient

There is a great range of shopping in the main strip shopping area at Mt Maunganui This vibrant strip is a shoppers dream, from exquisite boutique stores through to charming gift and souvenir shops, fabulous fashion, funky footwear, and everything in between. You won't find any malls or department stores, just individual shops, mostly locally owned and operated, giving this superb street an extra special vibe. There’s a superb range of professional beauticians, nail and hair salons to meet all your pampering and beauty needs when you visit Mount Maunganui.  Numerous restaurants, cafes, and take-away outlets give you ample food and beverage choices.  Most staying open late into the evening.

Tauranga City

Downtown Tauranga offers an eclectic mix of retail stores, exciting cafes and restaurants, arts and entertainment and the centre of commerce for our region.

Enjoy some of the best boutique retail stores around, mixed in with some of our country's most successful national stores.

There is an extensive range of cafes and restaurants. Explore our city’s rich history, enjoy the waterfront, walk the city history trail, or enjoy the art gallery 108 Willow Street Tauranga

The Elms

15 Mission Street, Tauranga

Step back in time into Tauranga’s missionary days of the 1800’s. The Elms Mission House and free-standing library are very significant historic buildings. A plain white two-storey building with shuttered windows, set among magnificent trees, The Elms was built for Church Missionary Society Reverend Alfred Brown at the Te Papa Mission Station.

The buildings were constructed from kauri logs shipped from the Coromandel Peninsula. The late Georgian home are laid out to re-create the era, with all the trappings of everyday life in view, from four-poster beds, to the Rev. Brown’s desk with his writing quill and letters. There are information panels in the house and library to explain the lives of the mission families, and 12 more panels scattered around the one hectare garden describe the development of the mission station. 

Around the property you will find artefacts that hint at the rigours of daily life without mod cons: a hand-pump, hand ploughs, etc. The Elms is owned and administered by The Elms Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to its preservation. It is staffed by volunteers.

Admission and opening times: grounds open daily, free of charge; Mission House Wed, Sat & Sun and public holidays, 2pm—4pm, adults $5, children 50c; guided/group tours by arrangement. The Elms suggests you allow 45 minutes to view the house and library, and put aside another half hour to enjoy the gardens. 

15 Mission Street, Tauranga, Tel (07) 577-9772, http://www.theelms.org.nz/

WaimarinoAdventure Park (Waimarino translates as tranquil waters).

36 Taniwha Place, Bethlehem Tauranga

The park is in a sheltered spot on the banks of the Wairoa River on the outskirts of Bethlehem. Take the  Wairoa River Trip —‘blissfully peaceful’ This 3 hour cruise takes you ten kilometres down river with the tide.

The park runs guided sea kayaking trips between Waimarino out to Pilot Bay at Mount Maunganui - or the reverse, to run with the tides. In the park itself try out the  25 metre-long kayak slide – that spits the rider out over the water two metres up.

Cost: adult Supreme Pass $39, children $30 (under 16), family $145. These prices include day long, unlimited use of kayaks & activities, along with rock climbing and pedal boat usage. 

The park is open year round, 7 days in summer, from 10 am to 6 pm.

State Highway 2, just north of Bethlehem (look for the kayak on a sign), tel 576-4233 . www.waimarino.com

WaimarinoAdventure Park (Waimarino translates as tranquil waters).

36 Taniwha Place, Bethlehem Tauranga

The park is in a sheltered spot on the banks of the Wairoa River on the outskirts of Bethlehem. Take the  Wairoa River Trip —‘blissfully peaceful’ This 3 hour cruise takes you ten kilometres down river with the tide. The park runs guided sea kayaking trips between Waimarino out to Pilot Bay at Mount Maunganui - or the reverse, to run with the tides. In the park itself try out the  25 metre-long kayak slide – that spits the rider out over the water two metres up.

Cost: adult Supreme Pass $39, children $30 (under 16), family $145. These prices include day long, unlimited use of kayaks & activities, along with rock climbing and pedal boat usage. 

The park is open year round, 7 days in summer, from 10 am to 6 pm.

State Highway 2, just north of Bethlehem (look for the kayak on a sign), tel 576-4233 . http://www.waimarino.com/

 Adventure Aviation

2 Dakota Way (beside Classic Flyers at the entrance to Tauranga City Airport), Mount Maunganui

Aviation adventures galore!  Adventure Aviation offers an array of unique, exciting aviation experiences – from flights in the iconic MASH Chopper  You can try your hand at hovering a Robinson R22.  Plus a range of ‘classic flights’ in aircraft such as the 1950’s Grumman Ag Cat.  Sit in an open cockpit wearing overalls, goggles and leather helmet. Or  experience,  the Eagle gyrocopter – a cross between a helicopter and aeroplane. 
Stay grounded for another thrilling, one-of-a-kind experience – getting behind the controls of an 80-tonne jet airliner, in a Boeing 737 simulator. Packages begin with a half hour flight around Tauranga City Airport, through to a ‘City to City’ flight from anywhere in the country.
Ph: 574 3737, Free Phone 0800 737 700, http://adventureaviation.communigator.co.nz

Blokart Heaven

Bblokart - land sailing machine. Super easy to use and great fun they also have electric Drift Karts, these three wheeled machines are perfect for those of you looking for a bit of sideways fun! Both activities are suitable for anyone aged 8 years and over.

Bookings Essential: Blokart rentals are open seven days, Summer 10am-5.30pm (during daylight savings) and winter 10am-4.30pm, weather permitting.

Phone 07 5724256 or email rentals@blokart.com

176 Parton Road, Papamoa, Tel 542 4033 www.blokartheaven.co.nz

Canoe & Kayak Bay of Plenty

Discover the real NZ and get off the beaten track. Come on a kayaking adventure with Canoe & Kayak Bay of Plenty and experience the amazing 'Glow Worm Canyon' or go sea kayaking on a sealife safari 'Round the Mount'. Explore the stunning native flora and fauna on the waterways of 'Lake McLaren' or discover the thrill of 'Kayak Fishing' and catch your own dinner. No experience necessary.

You will need to book for this one.

Mon - Friday: 9am - 5pm Sat: 9am - 4pm Sun: 9am - 4pm

3/5 Mac Donald Street, Mount Maunganui Tel 07 574 7415 http://www.canoeandkayak.co.nz

Waimarino Adventure Park (Waimarino translates as tranquil waters).

36 Taniwha Place, Bethlehem Tauranga

The park is in a sheltered spot on the banks of the Wairoa River on the outskirts of Bethlehem. Take the Wairoa River Trip blissfully peaceful This 3-hour cruise takes you ten kilometres down river with the tide.

The park runs day and night guided Kayak tours at Lake McLaren Falls Park. You can see the beauty of the lake by day or just on dusk enjoy the lake and experience the glow-worm canyon. They also do sea kayaking trips between Waimarino out to Pilot Bay at Mount Maunganui - or the reverse, to run with the tides. In the park, itself try out the 25-metre-long kayak slide – that spits the rider out over the water two metres up. 

The park is open year-round, 7 days in summer, from 10 am to 6 pm.

State Highway 2, just north of Bethlehem (look for the kayak on a sign), Tel 576-4233  www.waimarino.com


If you are in to honey you might want to check out Comvita.  They have 40 and 60 minute tour escorted by a Comvita Ambassador. Tour times: On the hour every hour start at 9.00am & last one at 4.00pm.

The tour includes the story of Tane the Maori God of the forest with exhibits and examples of native plants and their uses. Then, enter the world of the honey bee. you can explore the wonders of the virtual beehive. Learn amazing facts about bees and how their existence is vital to the natural cycle of plant life…and to the pollination of plants for our food

The company uses honey, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, etc. to turn out an extraordinary range of products from skincare to wound dressings and immune-boosting capsules.

23 Wilson Road South The Junction, Paengaroa, off State Highway 33, 9km south of Te Puke, Tel 0800-493-782, www.comvita.co.nz

Golf Courses

Tauranga Golf Course

1295 Cameron Road, Tauranga (Racecourse Reserve) Ph 07 578 8465

Mount Maunganui Golf Club

15 Fairway Ave, Mount Maunganui P: 07 572 2044
18 hole golf course

Omanu Golf Club

98 Matapihi Road, Mt Maunganui 3116 P: 07 575 5957
18 hole golf course

Te Puke Golf Club

847 SH 2, Te Puke P: 07 5331115
18 hole course

Omokoroa Golf Course

67 Link View Drive, Omokoroa P:05 548 0384

18 hole course


Historic Heritage Walk

Starts at the i-Site 95 Willow St, Tauranga

Tauranga, today New Zealand's fifth largest city and premier port, has been a popular lifestyle location.  Nestled under the Kaimai range it enjoys a mild micro climate and is rich in food resources; Captain Cook christened the area the Bay of Plenty when he sailed past in 1769.The first European visitors were flax traders in the 1820s. An Anglican mission station was established in 1836.

This 3km walk takes you around a selection of heritage sites; for convenience it is described as starting from the i-Site on Willow St in the CBD. There are some two dozen information panels along the trail which are marked by the i site symbol.

Kiwi 360 - KiwiKart Tours

State Highway 2 Te Puke 35 Young Road, Te Puke

If you are interested in the complexities of the kiwifruit growing process, the dynamic Kiwifruit Industry, and just how it has become such a phenomenon in this area it really is a must to take on of their tours.

Climb aboard one of their Kiwi Karts and experience a fun and fascinating 40-minute tour

There is a souvenir shop and café on site

07-573-6340 Kiwi 360 State Highway 2 Te Puke 35 Young Road, Te Puke


Loaded NZ

Located on a 15 acre farm with rolling pastures and impressive scenery, the Loaded NZ clay target shooting range is the ideal venue for an action packed day!  Loaded NZ is New Zealand's largest shooting field and offers a thrilling range of activities from a stunning location in Pyes Pa, Tauranga. Clay target shooting, simulated wing shooting, knife throwing, archery.

Tuesday - Saturday: Clay Bird Shooting available 9am – 8 pm Sunday: Clay Bird shooting available Noon to 6pm, open till late for other activities

Directions: Travel south on Pyes Pa Road (SH36) until first roundabout. Continue straight through roundabout, stay on Pyes Pa Road. Travel 9.3kms on SH36 (do not turn right at the first Taumata Road opening)

Turn right at the second Taumata Road opening (Loaded NZ entrance will be on the left) Travel 800m through Loaded NZ entrance (on gravel road) to headquarters.

1029 Taumata Road Pyes Pa

Ph 07 543 0500 Make sure you book ahead http://www.loadednz.co.nz/

Mills Reef Wines

Mills Reef Winery is well worth a visit an art deco building set in sprawling landscaped grounds.  They have a great cellar which you can purchase allsorts of wines and ports.  ‘Mills Reef’ was named after founder Paddy Preston’s grandfather, who was both a gold miner and sea captain. It has a very good restaurant if you are feeling a little peckish. Please phone ahead to book and check  if restaurant is open.

143 Moffat Road, Bethlehem, tel 576-8800,  www.millsreef.co.nz

Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui has a harbour beach (The Mall Road (called Pilot Bay) on once side and a ocean surf beach on the other.  The surf beach has a white sandy beach and you can walk for miles along this beach. On the main beach area there is a small Island call Moturiki Island (meaning Leisure Inland in english)if you walk to the end of the little Island you will find a Blowhole which is quite fun to see in action and you get a great view looking back to the main beach and Mt Maunganui. It’s great for boat-spotting, fishing and picnicking, and offers one of the best short walks in New Zealand.

1 Maunganui Road (turn left for the harbour side beach and turn right for the surf beach

Mt Maunganui Salt Water Hot Pools

9 Adams Avenue, Mount Maunganui (right underneath the mount)

Enjoy a soak in the hot pools after conquering climbing the Mount or swimming in the sea. 

Open from 6.00 am to 10 pm

Two Spa Pools heated to 40° degrees •18m Active Pool heated to 32° degrees •Passive Pool heated to 40° degrees with jet sprays •Kids Pool with Waterslide heated to 37.5° degrees •Private Heated Pools Cost: adults $9.50, child/senior $7, under two years free. Family pass – two adults and two children, $28.


Swim with dolphins in their natural habitat

Encounter the majestic dolphins in the open waters of Tauranga.  Dolphin Seafaris offer both free swimming encounters with dolphins as well as safe swim bars to hold onto while in the water. Operating every day in the main summer season from November to May. During winter months July to Nov a limited service is available. Trips Depart from

Tauranga: Berth D1, Tauranga Bridge Marina, Tauranga at 8.am (Right by main Tauranga harbour bridge) Trips depart at 8.00am prompt. Please make sure you arrive early at 7.30am onwards. Bookings are essential!


Tauranga Tandem Skydiving Ltd

2 Kittyhawk Way, Mount Maunganui Tauranga Airport P. +64 7 574 8533


Te Puna Quarry Park

Te Puna Quarry Park Quarry Road, Te Puna

It was a disused quarry —now it’s an outdoor art centre! This is a weird wonderland of strange figures, sculptures, plantings and old quarrying equipment —blended together in an ‘environmental arts’ initiative that somehow works.

The park covers 32 hectares of land that was quarried until 1979; the rock used in local roadwork’s, reclamation, and breakwaters. It then sat idle for 17 years, such a visible scar that it could be used as a navigation point by boats at sea. In 1993, Te Puna Quarry Park Society was formed to stop the quarry being re-opened and instead turned into a park-like sanctuary. After three years of planning and negotiation, the group succeeded in getting the quarry. Classified as a reserve for community use, and was able to begin work on the project. The volunteers have turned an eyesore into a very different sort of park that packs lots of surprises!

Entry is free but a gold coin donate is very appreciated to help the volunteers with their ongoing work.

Te Puna Quarry Park Quarry Road, Te Puna, Tel 544-2014, http://www.quarrypark.org.nz/

Tūhua (Mayor Island)

Tūhua (Mayor Island) is an ancient volcano, once prized, quarried and fought over for it's valuable black glossy obsidian, now a safe-haven for some of New Zealand's most threatened native species.  Tūhua (Mayor Island) is the largest island in the Bay of Plenty and can be seen from the lodge. 

Marine treasure

Since 1993 it has been a marine reserve and is renowned for its high water quality, diversity of deep sea and sub-tropical fish species and stunning geological features

Wildlife hotspot

A special partnership is in place between the Tühua Trust Board and DOC to maintain the pristine

environmental conditions. The Trust allows access, so that the general public can enjoy the beautiful forest and beaches on the island. DOC monitors and maintains the rare wildlife including kiwi, tuatara and käkäriki amongst others.

Visitors are welcome by prior arrangement and are asked to follow a few rules and biosecurity precautions


White Island Tours and Moutohora Island Sanctuary 

Operate every day (except Christmas Day) if the weather lets us. Due to weather dependency they will contact all passengers the night before their tour to confirm that it is going ahead and what time departure will be. They aim to depart at 9.15am however there can be some variation in this due to tides and sea conditions.

Our tour to White Island takes approximately six hours. It includes a comfortable 80-minute boat journey out to the island in a purpose-built launch (60-foot PeeJay IV or 73-foot PeeJay V) and a two-hour exploration of New Zealand’s only live marine volcano with experienced and knowledgeable guides. A packed lunch is served before the journey home. At anytime during the day there is the opportunity to experience New Zealand’s bird and marine life. We have a permit to view dolphins and whales and we will spend time with these mammals whenever we see them.

White Island Tours is a Qualmark endorsed Visitor Activity and holds Qualmark Enviro-Gold status.

Departure Time

Is normally                            8.00am

Approx 1 hr 20 min driving time from the lodge

Please note that these times are always approximate and subject to change.