Best of Tauranga Newsletter - February 2009

G’day from Best of Tauranga, as February slides into a blissfully cooler March. You know it and I know it... the temperatures paraded daily on TV and elsewhere don’t give the true picture of the heat wave we’ve suffered. Temperatures soared to 34C 9 (In Auckland, that was hottest since the 1800’s!) on the weekend of the 7th and 8th of February. Official Met Service readings taken at Tauranga Airport put the high at a mere 29.9 C that weekend. The Met Service high for February is only 30 C, but My Lounge has already reached a record 31 C. And I am betting that Your Lounge agrees with mine.

Anyway, shut up about the bloody weather. In Spotlight, we have BoTCom’s guide to those strange surfers with the huge boards and the bent paddles. Stand up Paddle Boarding, or SUP, for short, has been called a cross between outriggers and longboarding, and even yoga at sea. Who’s doing it? How much to get into the sport?

We also profile Prenzel, discovering that the tasting room and gift store offers a lot more  than tasty alcoholic drinks like schnapps – you can buy all sorts of cooking oils and other culinary stuff.  And what are ex-New Yorkers doing running a bar in Papamoa?  We suss out Rain Bar, an unofficial community centre.    

Creative Tauranga has produced a nifty Tauranga Arts Guide. The arts and crafts guide provides you with a framework for exploring some of the stunning talent in the region at your own pace, says Chief Executive Tracey Ruddock. The slim booklet lists artists alphabetically. The write-ups about the artists feature nice representative photos of their work, and useful information such as whether they work on commission. A second section covers local galleries. Pop this little gem in your glovebox, or leave it on the coffee table says Tracey.

What You Reckon?
Our poll is one small way of seeing what our visitors want to see included in the site. We are considering new pages to cover sports and clubs, boating and fishing, jobs, and other topics. If you feel like penning a few quick lines, email:

A $50 voucher to spend at Kiwiana at Mount Maunganui, goes to Niki in Mt Maunganui. Kiwiana has a big focus on authentic NZ items, everything from buzzy bees and greenstone pendants, to keyrings and wooden handicrafts.
Two vouchers for Renner Park Golf Course are on their way to Donna in Tauranga, and Grant in Papamoa. It’s the superb 9-hole public course at Oropi.  

New Prizes....
Wet your whistle and your appetite at Rain Bar, the bar and ‘gastro pub’ in the heart of Papamoa with a $50 dollar voucher. Rain has eight beers on tap from Heinecken to Monteiths and Irish Stout, and 14 more bottled beers. Choose from 9 different cocktails...Rain has a big menu, a top chef with a Ritz Carlton hotels background, and a big name for service, and loads of fun activities from cocktail classes, to quiz nights.  

And organisers of the Tauranga Boutique Wine & Food Festival  have kindly supplied 4 tickets to the the event, that celebrates the best in food and wine from round the region. Two lucky winners will get 2 tickets each! Held at Wharepai Domain, Sunday 15th March

Don’t Miss...
Tauranga Rotary 22nd Annual Book Sale
One of New Zealand's largest second hand book sales with over 100,000 items - books,  magazines, sheet music, records, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, and jigsaw puzzles. Books are sorted into over 40 categories priced with stickers. Many first editions and speciality books. Venue: Saturday 7 March, to Monday 9 March .Venue: Satara Coolstores Mount Maunganui, Cnr Hewletts Rd and Totara St,  Mount Maunganui

Gartshore's Wine & Food Festival 
The delightful green space of Wharepai Domain in central Tauranga again plays host to the event, that celebrates the best in food and wine from round the region. This is the place to sample...a variety of local wines, and all sorts of food provided by local cafes and restaurants. The food menus will include dishes of all sizes, so guests can ‘graze’ all day. The Wine and Food Festival starts at noon and after a full day’s entertainment wraps up at 6pm. Venue: Wharepai Domain, Sunday 15th March, from noon to 6 pm. Contact Allison Stewart 579 0668.

Relay for Life is a big community event with a festive, camping-out atmosphere & entertainment, raising funds for the Cancer Society. Teams of walkers or runners circle an athletic track for 20 hours. Schools, groups, clubs, friends and family take part. Admission free.  Venue: The Bay Oval, Blake Park, Mt Maunganui, on Saturday 28 March, 2.00pm – 12.00am, Sunday Sunday 29 March, 12.00am – 10.00am.

Maketu Kaimoana Festival
The festival is a celebration of seafood spiced up with great entertainment, fine wine and beer. Also Maori art and other artwork, and displays celebrating the sea. Local bluesman Peri Kohu is the headline act on Saturday, March 7, 2009, 12 pm to 6 pm. Tickets $20 and will be available on-line though and from Paper Plus (Te Puke) and Maketu Landing (Maketu) . More details -

The National Jazz Festival in Tauranga.... you need to organise tickets now! (Because the size of some venues will limit ticket sales). Festival concert programs are available from selected retail outlets, cafes and Baycourt, or visit 
Venues: Baycourt, Community Village, The Strand, and more, for five days over Easter from 9 April


Spotted’s most expensive beach towel in downtown Tauranga

Posted: Sun 01 Feb 2009






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