Bay of Plenty Nature

The Bay of Plenty certainly lives up to its name, with impressive natural attractions erupting from every corner. We're talking volcanoes, mountains and islands galore.

Earth, wind, fire and water converge in the magnificent Bay of Plenty. This is not just one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but on Middle Earth too. Okay, so there won't be ring-toting hobbits charging around but you can end up in accommodations with a view of bubbling volcanoes, vast stretches of white sand and towering mountains. And there are exhilarating island activities galore, too.

This coastal wonderland is a nature-lover's paradise, so grab your camera and your sense of adventure and set off to explore wildlife sanctuaries, ocean volcanoes, and views that'll have you biting your lip to stop you from yelling out, 'Crikey, would you look at that!' I hear you ask, where in the world can you step off a boat and onto a live volcano? You guessed it, in the Bay of Plenty.

Planning a trip right now? For a sense of what to do, what to see and where to go, here are some outdoorsy sightseeing highlights for your itinerary.

Image: Frontier Helicopters


  • Venture by helicopter or boat to White Island, a rare active marine volcano. Only the tip pokes above the ocean's surface, so you'll be stepping wobbly-kneed onto the crater.
  • For something more dormant try Mount Maunganui (Mauao). If you're feeling fit, hike to the summit for jaw-dropping 360-degree views.
  • Bathe like a god or goddess in the hot geothermal waters at Sulphur Bay on Whale Island (Moutohorā).

Image: Neil Hutton for Tourism Bay of Plenty


  • Mount Otanewainuku holds a spiritual place in the hearts of the Māori. Set off through the native forest and hike the doable 640 metres to the summit.
  • Set off by mountain bike from Opotiki to cycle across the stunning Motu Trails. Views, fresh air, and not-too-challenging trails await.
  • You'll be spoilt for choice with 300 kilometres of trails through old-growth forests and summit climbs in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park.

Image: Whakatane Council


  • The dormant volcano of Mayor Island (Tuhua) is a wildlife and marine sanctuary where you can hike, snorkel and spot animals to your heart's content.
  • Its two mountains make Whale Island (Moutohora) look like, yep you guessed it, a whale. One of the country's most restricted wildlife sanctuaries is home to saddlebacks, brown kiwis and tuataras.
  • Take a walk to the tip of Leisure Island (Moturiki) - which is connected to the mainland - for some staggering views back towards Mount Maunganui.

Created in partnership with Tourism Bay of Plenty