- Sunrise at the top of the Mount. The Mount is undoubtedly the most popular place for a walk at any time of the year but experiencing it at sunrise with a good group of friends is something special. Make the effort to get up early, take a headlamp if it’s that dark, and feel satisfied that you’ve started the day with best possible workout.
- Fishing. The BOP is surrounded by water and it’s synonymous with fish. Whether it’s dropping a sprat line from the Pilot Bay wharf, jumping on a big charter boat, or kayak fishing with NZ Kayaker, there’s nothing better than a day on the water shared with friends and family.
- Get an ice cream from Copenhagen Cones…it’s not a summer without one of these bad boys melting down your hand! It’s centrally located between the Main Beach and Pilot Bay on Adams Ave, so you’re never going to be far from a tasty treat.
- Play a game of golf. This might sound a bit ho-hum but it’s actually an amazing way to spend a day with your mates. The BOP is blessed with numerous courses but I’d highly recommend the Te Puke course for both value and quality. I reckon there’s nothing more relaxing than playing 18 holes with a few of the lads, enjoying a few frosty beverages as you go, and generally having a good laugh.
- Hot pools. This should be reserved as an evening or rainy day activity because it’s obviously not ideal on a hot day. In the Bay we have numerous natural pools and these are a great way to soak away and aches and pains. I’d personally recommend Fernland Spa on Cambridge Road…sitting in this open-air pool on a stormy evening is a highly relaxing experience.
- Glow worms
Hidden on Lake McLaren is a glow worm canyon like you’ve never seen. I rate this as better than Waitomo Caves! The only way to get into this canyon is by kayak and they’re only visible after dark…it’s a unique experience to go kayaking at night and the glow worms will blow your mind. The best way to experience this is by booking a trip with NZ Kayaker.
- Papamoa Hills
The ‘Pap Hills’, as they are known locally, are a regional park situated about 10 minutes from the Mount. It’s still run as a farm so there’s plenty of sheepies for the kids to admire, and there’s an network of good trails that work their way up to the summit. The view from the top is one of the best in the Bay so take your camera.
- Fish n’ Chips from Bobbies
Bobbies fresh fish Market is situated on the wharf at Dive Crescent (near the bottom of Tauranga town). This place is know by locals for the best fish n’ chips simply because the fish is so fresh…the boats pull up next to the shop!
- Rafting on the Wairoa River
The Wairoa River has a large section of grade 5 whitewater and jumping in a raft might be considered the ultimate thrill in the BOP. A dam controls this river, and every Sunday over summer the gates are opened up for us thrill seekers to enjoy it. There are a number of companies that raft this river but they are all very good. So strap on a lifejacket and be prepared for a float down some of New Zealand’s biggest whitewater.
- Swimming at Kaiate Falls.
Kaiate Falls are a very impressive set of waterfalls that are located out the back of Welcome Bay up Waitao Road. There are numerous small pools to sit in as well as smooth rocks for sunbathing on a hot day, but the real attraction is the 30-metre waterfall and it’s large swimming hole. The waterfall has carved a natural amphitheater, which makes it possible for the daring to climb up and jump from great heights into the deep waters below. A top spot on a baking hot summer’s day.