Tasman Holiday Parks

5 of the best activities for nature lovers in the Bay of Plenty

Have you considered a holiday in the beautiful Bay of Plenty? Here are 5 of the best nature activities to inspire your next getaway!

Nature lovers rejoice! The Bay of Plenty is the perfect spot to go for a nature-filled getaway in New Zealand. From local hikes, waterfalls, surfing, sightseeing, and more, there is plenty to keep you busy if you like to enjoy the outdoors on holiday.  

Getting outdoors and enjoying nature is one of the best ways to appreciate a new place and check out the local sights. In New Zealand, you will experience plenty of local wildlife and nature almost anywhere you go. Get out and about to make the most of what our beautiful country has to offer.

Here are 5 of the best activities for nature lovers in the Bay of Plenty!

1. Mauao Summit Walk

You’ve probably seen photos of the stunning view from Mauao before. This popular walk takes about 40 minutes and requires a good level of fitness given the steep climb up. Enjoy incredible views over Mount Maunganui and towards Waihi Beach – you’ll feel on top of the world here! Take a packed lunch and enjoy the 360 views once you reach the summit.

You can choose between two different tracks to reach the top of the mountain, or take the route around the base of the mountain for an easier stroll. If you’re walking in summertime, don’t forget to take plenty of water and sunscreen! The track isn’t paved and can be slippery on the way down, so a good pair of shoes is recommended too.

2. Surfing at Waihi Beach

Surf’s up at Waihi Beach, one of the safest and best spots in NZ.

Surfs up!

Waihi Beach is a great place to get some surfing practice in no matter your skill level. Bring your own surfboard or rent one at one of the local surf shops. If you’re a beginner, why not take a surfing lesson with Waihi Beach Surf School to improve your skills? You’ll be a pro in no time! They offer private, group and family lessons for everyone to enjoy.

Given it’s one of the safest and best places to surf and swim, Waihi Beach is very popular, and can get quite busy in summertime. Make sure you watch out for other surfers and swimmers when you’re in the water, and always follow the beach rules.

If surfing’s not your style, take a dip to refresh or sunbathe on the beautiful sandy beaches.

Stay at Tasman Holiday Parks – Waihi Beach or Tasman Holiday Parks – Beachaven and you’ll be within walking distance to the beach. It’s the perfect spot for a beachside escape!

3. McLaren Falls

A short 10 minute drive from Tauranga, you’ll find the McLaren Falls Park.

You’ll definitely want to go chasing this waterfall!

McLaren Falls Park is a short 10 minute drive from Tauranga, offering 190-hectares of parkland alongside Lake McLaren. There’s plenty to do here, including fishing, kayaking, bush walks and concerts in the summertime, making it the perfect place to enjoy nature. Take a stroll down to the waterfall and keep an eye out for glow worms after dusk! There are plenty of great swimming holes and spots in the area too, which are a great place to stop in and cool down on a hot day.

If you’re staying at Tasman Holiday Parks – Papamoa Beach, you’ll be only 30 minutes away from the park. You will also be within an easy drive to plenty of other great waterfalls and water holes in the area!

4. Papamoa Hill Regional Park

An ideal spot for avid hikers, the Papamoa Hills Regional Park offers several trails to enjoy and get your heart rate up. The main track is over 200 metres above sea level, offering incredible views across the coastline. You can also choose from several other trails that weave around the park. There’s no such thing as a wrong turn in this stunning park!

Over 50,000 native plants have recently been planted, and you can also spot seven pā sites in the hills – this is where Papamoa’s original Māori inhabitants lived. It’s the perfect mix of nature and cultural heritage to explore and appreciate during your stay in the Bay of Plenty.

5. Redwoods Forest Walk

A little further afield, but well worth the drive, is the Redwoods Treewalk in Rotorua. Surround yourself by 75-metre-tall redwoods as you walk along the suspended pathway, learning the history of the 120-year-old trees and how they came to be planted in New Zealand.

The 28 suspension bridges range between 9-20 meters off the ground, allowing you to experience these magnificent trees at varying heights.

The walk takes about 40 minutes and can be done during the daytime or at nighttime with the trees illuminated by lights. This is a great unique family friendly activity to add to your holiday bucketlist!

Rotorua is about an hour’s drive from Tauranga, and offers plenty of fun nature and adrenalin activities to enjoy.

Where to stay?

The Bay of Plenty has lots to explore for the whole family.

If you’re heading to Papamoa Beach, check out Tasman Holiday Parks – Papamoa Beach for beachfront camping, gorgeous villas, and great facilities. Or if you’re heading up to Waihi Beach, Tasman Holiday Parks – Waihi Beach and Tasman Holiday Parks – Beachaven are the ideal spots to stay for your next getaway. Book your stay now!