Greetings from the BoTCom team, as we point you to two of the most offbeat things to do in the region – both within an hour’s drive of Tauranga - which could hardly be more different.
Where do you stand on the mining controversy? As Western Bay locals have one of the country’s biggest open cast mines, virtually on our doorstep in Waihi. ‘Get to the bottom of it,’ is the catch line for thought-provoking two-hour tours of the yawning pit operated by Newmont Mining Corporation. In Spotlight, we have details of the Waihi Gold Mine Tours, highly recommended, whatever your views.
And it must rate near the top of rare experiences on offer in the Bay of Plenty - swimming with the country’s best known dolphin, Moko. The male bottlenose dolphin took up residence in Whakatane waters in January. We advise on the permit holders, if you fancy a spot of Moko watching before we plunge into winter.
Also in Spotlight, we catch up with the operators of Mount Maunganui’s newest cafe, tucked inside one of the new, luxury high rise buildings. Number 8 looks set to make its mark with local apartment dwellers – if not those of us who live across the bridge.
Best of the Best...Tay Street Cafe on the Mount Maunganui waterfront has been named ‘Hospitality Business’ winner in a Uno magazine poll. Uno has published the results of its reader survey in the latest issue. The mag says ‘despite being substantial pressure during high summer and the holiday season with the influx of visitors and holidaymakers, the Tay Street Cafe scored well and gained most votes as the business which made the best impression on our readers.’ Urban Vogue at Bethlehem was the best Retail Business. The store is described as a ‘top fashion stop’ for designer clothing, evening wear, streetwear, jewellery and handbag accessories. Grab a copy of the mag to see the other results.
For a different fun family activity, the big Lakes development has three fun orienteering courses that are free to the public. The Lakes is an attractive, family-friendly, landscaped residential development on the southern outskirts of Tauranga, only 8 minutes from downtown. The Lakes boasts 20 kms of walkways and cycleways, along with an 8 ha recreational lake, and recreational reserves. There are three different orienteering courses; the short course is just right for a leisurely stroll with youngsters in tow. Burn off some more energy on the medium course, or the long course takes you on a tour of The Lakes with a ‘question and answer’ challenge along the way.
More details have emerged on the proposed route for a cycleway along the Western Bay coast. A feasibility study is underway into the cycleway between Waihi Beach and the Tauranga waterfront. It’s reported that cyclists could take up to three days to complete the 75 km trail. ‘It will provide communities along the way at Waihi Beach, Athenree, Katikati, Omokoroa and Matakana Island opportunities to capitalise on what is predicted to become a major tourist attraction set against the background of the Kaimai Range.’ Meanwhile, Tourism Bay of Plenty General Manager Tim Burgess says it could boost the region’s economy by $6 million a year. And he’s urged the community to pull together to make it happen. ‘And we mustn’t forget that this walking and cycling trail is for everyone - it will be as much for locals as for visitors.’
Remember all those magnificent aircraft filling the skies above Tauranga Airport? Classic Flyers NZ Aviation Museum is offering a Tauranga City Airshow DVD at a pre-sale price of $29.95 (RRP $35). The DVD can be ordered from the Bunker Shop at the aviation museum, or by phoning 572 4000. The offer runs until May 10 when the DVD’s are due to arrive.
Mount Maunganui’s luxury high rise beachfront lifestyle has been making headlines. Multi millionaire Auckland car dealer Colin Giltrap has been outed as the well-heeled person to pay a record $5.5 million for a top floor penthouse overlooking Main Beach. It is in the southern tower of the recently completed Eleven high-rise development in Maunganui Rd. Reported to be worth at least $150 million, he’ll be using the apartment as a weekend retreat from Auckland with his friends and family.
Art Galleries Catch Up
The Farmer is the sequel to The Farmer's Wife, which was held at the Gallery in 2009. At the close of the exhibition, McLean's audience was left wondering what became of the Farmer after his Wife abandoned him for the Traveller. Originally from Tauranga, McLean attended Tauranga Boys' College where he was taught art by Edward Bullmore, one of New Zealand's earliest Surrealist artists. Runs to June 27.
PACIFIC WASHUP Rachael Rakena, Fez Fa'anana & Brian Fuata
Pacific Washup explores issues around migration. In strange, surreal scenes we see brown bodies wrapped in cheap plastic carry-bags, often used by travellers, washing up on Sydney's Bondi Beach. The video is a comical allegory of migrant arrival stories, and about the encountering of 'others' whether foreigners, migrants, or aliens. Runs to Sunday, May 16.
HAWAIKI Nigel Borell
Hawaiiki has long been regarded as the homeland of Mäori. In this painting installation, Borell explores the concept that Mäori may have had their origins prior to that, in wider Oceania and Southeast Asia, a theory proposed through scientific investigation. Also on until May 16th.
Addictive Exposure - 'Artistic Perspective of a Unique World'
This photography exhibition features the work of three photographers, Tina French, Sandra Warner and Melany Brown. Exhibition runs to May 14, at Creative Tauranga Community Gallery 112 Willow Street.
Barbara and a companion are off on a dolphin adventure aboard Enterprise – a 60 foot kauri launch. Charter company Sea Trek is Tauranga’s newest dolphin watch boat, licensed by DOC.
‘Leigh’ is heading for the shops at Mount Maunganui...thanks to a $50 voucher from Mount Mainstreet.
We have a $50 voucher for the very nice Number 8 - the Mount’s newest cafe / restaurant tucked away on the ground floor of The Pacific Apartments – at 8 Maunganui Road, of course.
Still in a foodie mood, a $30 voucher towards some of the delectable dishes on the menu at Alimento in 1st Ave, Tauranga.
eco Family Expo
Helping families make greener choices. Over 50 stalls and exhibits showcasing eco-conscious products and services needed to raise a healthy, happy, 'green' family. Includes clothing, toys, food, massage, education, pre-loved clothing, & eco accommodation. Talks, demos, workshops, kid's activities, food & drink. Venue: Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre, Saturday May 15, 10 am to 2 pm. Entry $5 per family.
Page Macrae Kaimai Classic
A 67km multi-sport event taking in some of the most challenging and stunning scenery in the Bay of Plenty over 5 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. Location: Mc Laren Falls Reserve, Sunday May 16. More information - Sport Bay of Plenty 578 0016.
The Ten Tenors
A unique blend of high-octane arias and kick-driven rock classics, punctuated by moments of divine tenderness, The Ten Tenors return to Tauranga. This show will culturally enrich and uplift you - and you will leave having rocked like you haven't rocked in years! Venue: Baycourt Theatre, Wednesday, May 19, Thursday, May 20 – 8 pm to 10:15 pm.
Cadbury Crunchie Comedy Convoy Tauranga
Five comedians on the road causing riots (of the laughing persuasion) everywhere they go. The convoy is led by Steve Wrigley, a Billy T Award winner in 2008, former radio host on ZM. Others are Chris Brain, the ‘the comedians’ comedian,’ and Josh Thomas, a young gun of Australian comedy. Aussie Hannah Gadsby has been hailed as a ‘must see’. Venue: Baycourt Theatre, Tuesday May 11, 8 pm
Bjorn Again - The World's No.1 ABBA Experience
The world's No. 1 Abba show is celebrating its 21th anniversary and you are invited to the party! Those unlucky not to have seen Bjorn Again in action before, be prepared for a rollicking good night of ABBA humour and music. While keeping somewhat faithful to the songs, the rest of the performance is delivered in the style of a send-up. Venue: Baycourt Theatre, May 21, 8 pm to 10.30 pm
More great wall graffiti ...in 15th Ave.