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Bay of Plenty
This is a beautiful part of New Zealand and combines some of our best beaches and our most fertile land with one of our highest annual tallies of sunshine hours.
Map showing Bay of Plenty region
Bay of Plenty
The Bay of Plenty is a large basin stretching inland from nearly 260 kilometres (160 miles) of coast and almost continuous white sandy beaches.
There are three main urban centres, all within about an hour’s drive of each other - Tauranga with a population of around 115,000, Rotorua (65,000) and Whakatāne (33,000). The region is growing fast, particularly Tauranga which has grown by around 25% since 2001.
The Bay of Plenty is famed for its lifestyle opportunities and a climate that means outdoor activities can be enjoyed year round.
It was named in 1769 by Captain James Cook who found the people were generous and there were lots of fish, timber and other supplies.
The Bay of Plenty is part of the Welcoming Communities Te Waharoa ki ngā Hapori pilot programme, which puts out the welcome mat to newcomers: recent migrants, former refugees and international students.
The Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council are working with their communities to pilot Welcoming Communities in the Bay of Plenty region.
The spectacular coastline of the Bay of Plenty offers all sorts of opportunities for swimming, surfing, boating, diving and fishing. Inland there is a vast array of activities including tramping, white water rafting, and kayaking, snow and water skiing, and hunting. If you have a more laidback lifestyle in mind, there are bush and coastal walks, great fly fishing, golf courses and wineries to enjoy.
Tauranga and Rotorua are also well known for events highlighting food and wine, music including an annual jazz festival, arts and culture, and sporting spectacles. They also have thriving café and restaurant scenes and a diverse nightlife
Economy and industry
Much of the region’s output is based on primary production and processing of fruit, meat and dairy products.
Kiwifruit is the region’s largest horticultural export with avocados becoming more important recently. The Port of Tauranga is a major economic force and one of New Zealand’s prime export gateways, and the region is also home to some world-leading boat design and construction firms.
Forestry is a major employer - the region’s Kaingaroa Forest is the largest hand-planted forest on Earth. Its output is shipped to the world from Tauranga port.
Rotorua was an early highlight for many tourists because of its geothermal steam vents, mud pools, geysers and hot springs. Today its sense of being a centre of Māori culture makes an essential part of any tourist itinerary.
The Bay of Plenty experiences warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Average daily maximums range from 9-16°C in winter to 22-26°C in summer, although they can be higher in coastal areas.
Tauranga is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand, receiving around 2,200 hours annually. In 2013, Whakatāne, along the coast to the east, received a whopping 2,792 hours.
Top five migrant populations (2018 Census)
Many migrants have already made the Bay of Plenty home. The table below shows where these migrants are moving from and demonstrates the diverse population you can expect to find in the Bay of Plenty.
It can be comforting to know there are others, similar to you, who have experienced the move.
Country of origin and no. of migrants for each country
Country of origin
No. of migrants
UK and Ireland
Middle East and Africa
Europe (excl. UK and Ireland)
Now that you know about what the Bay of Plenty has to offer, have a read about everyday life in the region, and services and support you can access.