Bay of Plenty

When James Cook arrived in 1769, he anchored off a great bay ‘full of plantations and villages’ that was, he noted ‘a bay of plenty’. The Bay of Plenty is no less plentiful today. Around Tauranga are hectares of orchards, vineyards and gardens producing everything from kiwifruit to avocados. According to local Māori traditions, the Bay of Plenty was the landing point of several migration canoes that brought Māori settlers to New Zealand. These include the Mataatua, Nukutere, Tākitimu, Arawa and Tainui canoes. Much of the central part of the region lies within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, which extends from the centre of the North Island northwards to Whakaari/White Island. Volcanic mountains and lakes, geothermal areas and geological fault lines all dot the landscape. The bay contains numerous islands, notably the active volcano Whakaari/White Island, which lies 50 kilometres from the coast in the eastern bay. The Bay of Plenty has a temperate, maritime climate with warm, humid summers and mild winters.

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