East Coast

Population: Circa 432,400

Climate: Mild climate all year-round

Great for: Beach life and adventure sports, Wine tasting, Geothermal activity, Fresh produce, Restaurants and Cafés


Tauranga is the 6th largest city in New Zealand and the Bay of Plenty is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. As a coastal city, Tauranga features white sandy beaches and a large natural harbour. One suburb, Mount Maunganui, is known as “The Mount” throughout New Zealand and is a huge tourist draw, attracting large numbers of kiwis and international visitors, and there’s a real hustle and bustle about the place in summer. Featuring lots of cafés and restaurants, shops and golf courses, excellent schools and housing, it simply is a great place to live.

This is THE iconic tourist capital of NZ, steeped in Maori myth and legend, with its geothermal activity and boiling mud pools, wellness spas, and adventure tourism activities. It also has numerous beautiful lakes to sail and kayak, where many kiwis have holiday homes and enjoy lakeside summer holidays.

While away an afternoon sampling cheeses accompanied by tasty chutneys, local produce and wine at the fabulous Gisborne Wine Centre Café. It's so nice and relaxing, especially with the fabulous views of the harbour.

Visit the Art Deco city of Napier
A very pretty city on the East Coast, with palm tree-lined streets and art deco buildings, it has a lovely warm climate that also lends itself to grape growing - it’s a great place to go winetasting. The buildings give the city a really charming feel of yesteryear movie nostalgia, while at the same time being brightly coloured and very quirkily kiwi.

Head’s top tips

Anna Payne:
“Horse trekking through the back hills on a guided tour was a great way to experience the countryside. The horses were so calm and lovely, it was nice to amble the hills and take in the scenery.”

Caroline O’Hagan:
“Mount Maunganui is my hometown and I just love it! If I have to limit myself to only one top tip, I say: walk up the Mount (45 mins if you’re fit!), for incredible 360° views of the coastline and region. Then to relax the muscles afterwards, have a long soak in the Hot Salt Water Pools” 

For more info, visit these pages:

Champagne Pool RotoruaAl FrescoMount Maunganui