Beaches in the Bay of Plenty

We think the beaches in the Bay of Plenty are some of the most beautiful in New Zealand, with miles of white sand and hidden coves that gives plenty of opportunities for long walks and exploring.

Captain James Cook named this area The Bay of Plenty when he discovered it in 1769, and we can understand why!

Located on the east coast of the North Island, it’s a top holiday spot for Kiwis and tourists alike there’s lots to do. Here’s our round up of the best of the regions beaches.

Mount Maunganui Beach

Ranked as one of the best beaches in the South Pacific and popular with families, sunbathers and surfers alike. Mount Maunganui beach enjoys crystal white sands, clear waters and breath taking views at sunset. Just a short stroll across the road from some of the best cafes and restaurants in the bay, there’s a relaxed, holiday vibe here that you can’t fail to be drawn in to.  A lovely spot to relax after morning’s walk up the Mount too.


One of the oldest settlements in the bay, Maketu was the landing place of the Arawa canoe following the migration of early Maori from Hawaiki, and you’ll find a memorial on the foreshore to commemorate this. Lined with rocks, boulders and pohutakawa trees the beach is quite different from most other beaches in the bay, and offers a great chance to really explore the landscape – it’s a favourite spot for digging for mussels too!


An hour or so from Tauranga, on the western end of the Bay of Plenty, is Waihi beach. A favourite spot with surfers in the summer months and with fabulous views of Mayor Island, it’s our favourite. We love the walk around the bay to Orokawa bay that takes you through native bushland and under pohutukawa trees that line the cliffs, before bringing you out onto a stretch of pristine white sand. Part of the Orokawa Scenic Reserve, you’ll find lots of additional short coastal tracks here to explore too.