Christmas greetings from BoTCom! Here’s our beachy holiday issue. Lots of us live in the Western Bay for its coastal lifestyle, and pursuits ranging from surfing, through fishing, diving, kitesurfing and kayaking...to name a few.
With its vast harbour and long kilometres of ocean beaches, the Bay offers waterborne adventures within easy reach. Few cities in New Zealand offer such riches, often only a short carbon-friendly car hop away.
At BoTCom we’ve worked flat out to update our water sport listings. Whether you want to give something new a crack, or you’re trying to find something for a sporty cousin up from Wellington to do ...we have fish-bins full of ideas.
In Spotlight, we’ve thrown together a summary of what to do in, around, and under the water. We begin with the high profile, tourist-orientated (they are a don’t miss for locals too) trips to swim with or watch dolphins, and move on to some of the best charter and fishing operators.
If you’re keen to give surfing a go, or its newest offshoot – stand up paddle-boarding (aka SUP) that’s on a growth curve world-wide, we have a few tips on where to hire or buy, and get lessons. And if you want to really fly in a sport that mixes surfing and wakeboarding, with a sail thrown in ...try kitesurfing.
The Western Bay also has better diving than you might imagine. We have some tips on going under the waves too.
Also in Spotlight, we home in some great events coming up in the first part of the new year. We have full details of the brand new KiwiFestival Bay of Plenty, and the 48th National Jazz Festival in Tauranga, and the Tauranga City Air Show.
Thanks to all those people who’ve used BoTCom to book their accommodation. A little short on advertising budgets, we’re still getting the word out that you can book your holidays right here online in real time. So if you’re still planning to visit one of the big festivals (read on) visit our Accommodation page. You can also book holidays in other parts of the country – just select the district.
Five lucky couples are off to the Mills Reef Stars Under the Stars Concert (Sunday 31 January, 2010) – to see a swag of great acts – not least, Glen Shorrock of the ‘Little River Band’. Congratulations to James, DW, Jennifer, Bev, and Harry! Calendars are on the way to Sindre (Norway), Alan (Scotland) and Ian (UK)
Three double tickets are up for grabs - to a key event of the brand new KiwiFestival Bay of Plenty 2010! The tickets are for the festival’s Carnival at the Wharepai Domain, on March 6.
We also have three more copies of our Tauranga 2010 calendar to give away.
Port of Tauranga Half Ironman
Billed as the country’s premier half iron man event, it attracts top New Zealand and overseas entrants. It starts from Salisbury Wharf, Mount Maunganui: a 2km swim in Pilot Bay, 90km bike ride, and 21km run that includes the base track of Mauao. Great event for spectators. Venue: Pilot Bay, Mount Maunganui, January 9, 7 am to 12 pm. Information: Sport Bay of Plenty, tel 578 0016.
The Topp Twins & Don Mc Glashan
Direct from a sell-out national theatre tour, the Topp Twins join forces with legendary New Zealand singer/songwriter Don McGlashan and his band The Seven Sisters, for a rollicking summer tour. Venue: Wharepai Domain, Sunday, January 10, 6 pm to 8.30 pm. Adults $60 Adult, $30 Child, under-12 free. Sunday, 10 January. www.ticketdirect.co.nz
Blues, Brews & B.B.Q’s
The festival is one of the region’s iconic events, boasting the largest collection of fine ales for any single event of its type - making it New Zealand's largest celebration of brewing. Usually attracts sell out crowd. Venue: Blake Park, Thursday, January 14, 2 pm to 10 pm. Tickets $25 adults (over 18's) and available from ANZ Banks at Mt Maunganui and Bayfair and Baycourt TicketDirect 5777188. www.bluesbrews.co.nz
Twilight IRB Racing
This is the district’s inflatable rescue boat (IRB) champs. These are the lifeguard’s high-revving boats that patrol our beaches in the summer months. Lifeguards refine their driving technique and skills racing against each other. Very exciting racing. Venue: Main Beach Mount Maunganui, Thursday, January 14, 6 pm to 8 pm. Information: www.surfbop.org.nz
Round the Mount Swim 2010
Hardy swimmers go right around the base of Mauao, starting in the harbour and finishing on the ocean beach. They start at 10.30 am at the Salisbury Wharf end of Pilot Bay, and finish at Mount Maunganui Main Beach, a distance of 4 kms. Post-swim barbeque and prize giving 1pm Venue: Pilot Bay and Main Beach, Mount Maunganui, Sunday, January 17, 9.30 to 2 pm.
Tauranga A & P Show
An affordable, fun-filled day out for the whole family. Entertainment plus food, trade stalls and ‘amusements to suit everybody.’ Competitions for horses, ponies, harness horses, western horses, beef and dairy cattle. Sheep dog trials, sheep shearing. Home industries. Venue: Tauranga Racecourse, Saturday, January 23, 10 am to 4 pm.
2010 Surf Life Saving Northern Regional Champs
Elite surf life saving athletes of all ages compete in a range of disciplines on Mount Maunganui's Main Beach. Colourful annual event makes great spectator sport. Venue: Main Beach, Mount Maunganui, Saturday, January 30, 8 am to 4 pm. www.surfbop.org.nz
SPCA Pet Expo at the Village
Great for the kids and animal lovers. The Pet Expo gives you the opportunity to see, touch and appreciate a wide range of animals from all over the Bay of Plenty. A vast range of pet products and services, plus loads of activities: dog agility and canine demonstrations, pony and donkey rides, competitions for kids and their pets, prizes, give-a ways, and more. Venue: Village on 17th, Saturday, January 30, 10 am to 4 pm.
Marchwood Blues Picnic
Eight hours of Blues music featuring Jan Preston with The Self Righteous Brothers, Brilleaux, Grant Haua Trio, Pete Harris with Mike Garner Band, Blues Animals, plus other guest artists. Venue: 316 Youngson Road, Whakamarama, Saturday January 30, 12 pm to 8 pm.
Mills Reef Stars Under the Stars 2010
Annual concert so popular it’s held over two nights at Anniversary Weekend. Features founder of Little River Band, Glenn Shorrock and the Reminiscing Band as top billing. Venue: Mills Reef Winery, Bethlehem, Saturday January 30 & Sunday 31st, 6.30 pm to 10 pm, $40 per person. Presented by Top Class Events at Mills Reef Winery $40 per person. www.interpronz.co.nz
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