Best of Tauranga Newsletter - April 2009

Greetings. We live in interesting, if testing times. The recession has pointed most of us back towards more stripped-back, simple lifestyles – less bling & bullshit. Vegetable gardens have sprouted, and suddenly we’re all trying to be savvy spenders , who want to save money on everyday expenses like groceries, meals out, travel, electronics, clothes and more.

We focus on ‘simple’ but clever in Spotlight, with a look at an extraordinary two-in-one from the local inventors of the blokart – racy little land sailers that are one of this district’s quirkier exports. Is the new product a boat or a land yacht?  Well, it’s both. And we look at a new beachside cafe that has ‘recession-proof’ prices and a simple, no-frills “beachy, bachy” decor.  

The recession has its lighter side of course. We urge you to check out the fun, funky  ‘recession jewellery’ and other stuff made by Tauranga’s Annie Blackberry. One pendant is an acrylic square which reads 'The Only Thing in Recession is Your Hairline.' You’ll also find info on Annie at

BoTCom has updated its dive pages to better reflect just what great diving is at hand, sometimes just a very short boat trip away. Chris Mundy from earth2ocean supplied some great underwater snaps that illustrate what diverse sights there are down under. You can view the pics in our photo gallery.

Time’s now running out to catch some of New Zealand’s best known artists in an exhibition called Boom Time, on at the Tauranga Art Gallery until May 24. Artists include Billy Apple, Tony Fomison, Dick Frizzell, Bill Hammond, and Pat Hanly, to name just a few of the 20-plus. We have details in Spotlight, along with information on the Gallery’s national award for a ‘fabulous art space.’

What hotel or apartments would you recommend to people coming to Tauranga? The website published a list of Top Rated Hotels, which makes for interesting reading.  

And still on where to stay, a big thank you to all those viewers who’ve used our website to book their holidays! You are supporting us in a fiercely independent enterprise, that remains committed to bringing the ‘best of Tauranga’ in pictures and reviews. If you’re not aware of it, note that through our Accommodation page, you can book a place to stay anywhere in New Zealand. The choices range from backpackers to luxury hotels and motels. A couple of clicks and you’ll bring up an availability calendar to book instantly online. Easy as that...       

A $40 voucher to try Prenzel’s liqueurs, cooking oils and more, is going to Linley from Papamoa. And  BoTCom is pleased to pass on a $50 shopping voucher for Palm Beach Plaza, to Kat from Tauranga.

New Prizes…
Flicker Candle Emporium
is a new addition to our listings, an intriguing store that’s ‘dedicated to the diversity of candles and candle uses.’ You’ll find everything from traditional wax-based candles, to those made from environmentally-friendly natural waxes such as palm oil and soy. Check out Flicker in the Goddard Centre, Devonport Road. We have a $100 gift pack to give away.

We also have a $40 voucher from Mount Maunganui outdoor store Hikoi. Their newest product is the genuine Australasian icon, the UGG boot... even Hollywood stars like Drew Barrymore wear ‘em, mate. The good old sheepskin original has had a makeover, into a high fashion women’s boot called the ‘Classic Cardi.’ Real UGG boots (not to be confused with the copycat boots) comes with a guarantee that they’re made from genuine Australian or New Zealand sheepskins. Hikoi have a big range of women’s sizes. They also stock the ‘Scuff’ for blokes.       

Don’t Miss….
John Rowles
Legendary Kiwi singer John Rowles...the second leg of his tour for 'The Singer & The Songs' album. Fresh from his stint on TV’s Dancing with the Stars, the evening promises John Rowles at his best, singing, dancing and entertaining - as only a legend with a 40-year career can. Adults $59.50. Venue Baycourt Community & Arts Centre, Wednesday May 6, 7.30 pm.

The Pink Floyd Experience
The ‘world class’ tribute band. The psychedelic show features some of Pink Floyd's finest early material, through to the 90’s. The show will feature a stunning new sound system, revamped light show and thought-provoking visuals. Adults $75 plus booking fees. Venue Baycourt Community & Arts Centre, Wednesday 13 May, Thursday 14 May, 8 pm.  

Eco Baby & Kids Expo
Attention parents & caregivers...Fifty-plus stalls & exhibits showcasing eco-friendly products and services. Demonstrations, talks, workshops, kids fashion parade, face painting, prizes. Gold coin entry puts you in draw for ‘eco-friendly family pack.’ Venue: QEII Memorial Hall, Memorial Park, Saturday 16th May, 10 am - 1 pm.

Page Macrae Kaimai Classic – Tauranga
A 67km multi-sport event taking in some of the most challenging and stunning scenery in the Bay of Plenty. Held over five stages (Bush run, mountain bike, kayak, road bike, plus road run).  The course is designed to suit everyone from the elite, to the weekend warrior or corporate team. For more information call Sport Bay of Plenty on 07 578 0016. Venue: Kaimai Ranges, Sunday May 17th  

Cadbury Crunchie® Comedy Convoy
Gone on, have a few larfs! The 2009 NZ International Comedy Festival brings laughs to the heartland. The convoy is billed as the best comedians from NZ and abroad. Performers include award-winning Kiwis Ben Hurley and Paul Ego, Wilson Dixon, a faux-country singer from the U.S., Australian working mum and Melbourne Comedy Festival headliner Fiona O’Loughlin. Adults $45. Venue: Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, Tuesday May 19th. Book at TicketDirect 577 7188.

Beatlemaniacs ‘The Anthology Tour’
Regarded as one of the most authentic Beatles tribute bands in the world. Direct from sell-out performances internationally (including the famous ‘Cavern Club’ where Beatle mania began). Authentic in everything from correct phrasing of all the lyrics, to clothes and instruments. Adults $59 .Venue: Baycourt Community and Arts Theatre, Wednesday 20th May. Book at TicketDirect  577 7188, or

Bay of Plenty Times Home Show
All that’s hot in today’s fast-changing world.  Tauranga's only Home Show is now in its 11th year. It has 200 plus exhibitors and draws 10,000 plus visitors. The huge venue has 3000 free car parks, with easy access. Lots of great prizes including a Vanuatu holiday for two from Mondo Travel, a full body massage chair from OSIM, a PotBlack pool table and more! Adults $10, under 14 free. Venue: Baypark Stadium, Maungatapu, May 22 to 24th, 10 am to 5 pm.


Tauranga sign that leaves you guessing...

Now we’ve seen everything...the ‘woolly taggers’ who’ve wrapped colourful ‘sleeves’ round the arms of park benches in downtown Tauranga. The underground knitting circle strikes again.

Posted: Wed 01 Apr 2009






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