Best of Tauranga Newsletter - February 2010

Greetings from BoTCom on another sultry February afternoon. So hard to work in this heat....zzzz. But the steamy tropical weather is just right for getting seriously multicultural...Carnival comes to Tauranga for the first time in a matter of days. On March 6 at the Wharepai Domain, it’s the grand final and highlight of the Kiwi Festival. This ‘celebration of global music, arts and dance’ promises to be a real fun affair - an excuse to drag out your party gear - if you need one.

Sharks and of the final events of the Kiwi Festival is the annual One Base Game Fishing Tournament. If you’ve never seen a large shark up close and evil, this is your chance (not for the squeamish – those teeth are large). Most of us have never seen a marlin either, and if you take your kids fishing for spotties, this is an educational must. The weigh-ins happen at Sulphur Point where a viewing stand is set up. They’re at 3pm every afternoon and the contest runs from March 3 to 6.  

Feeling patriotic?  A new t-shirt range called 'Born in the Bay' has just been launched and t-shirts feature iconic images of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui. The affordable tees made by Logotech are also aimed at the tourist market. Some of the tees feature pictures of the Mount, jandals, surfers or the text 'I love the Mount.'

A new website has been launched by the Museum Project Steering Group amid fresh moves to establish a local museum – and they need your support! The Museum Project Steering Group was set up by Tauranga City Council with a directive to plan for a community-led, Council-facilitated new museum proposal. The website is interactive and designed to inform, engage and connect with the Bay of Plenty community.

Tauranga looks set to get a stunning harbourside cycle ride, if all goes well. We are one of 13 projects that will go through to stage two of the next funding round for the New Zealand Cycle Trail project. The proposal, still under development, is for a trail from Waihi Beach to the Tauranga waterfront.  The plan is to use foreshore reserves and follow the shoreline as much as possible. We’ll bring you the developments as they happen.

Holidaymakers - stay two nights at Waihi Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, and get the third free...This offer begins on May 1, and runs right up until September 30. ‘Enjoy more of the beach to yourself’ is the park’s on-the-mark sales pitch. As they say, a great opportunity. 

We do wonder about the quality of the information on some big name travel websites – like They rate the top restaurants in Tauranga (based on reviews) on, with Zeytin at number one. Fair enough, but third place is Wharf Street Restaurant, which has been closed since August last year. Full marks to, for noting the fact.

Meanwhile, White Island Tours operating out of Whakatane, may get caught out with their online ad ‘swim with Moko the friendly dolphin.’  Overseas visitors in particular won’t know that Moko, who shot to fame in Mahia, then packed up his fish and seaweed and moved to Gisborne and finally Whakatane, hasn’t been sighted for weeks...  

In Spotlight, we take a look at Luigi Barattieri’s latest Italian eatery Spuntino, a break away from the traditional Italian eatery formula.  We say in Italy, Luigi explains, ‘Mi faccio uno - I’m going to have a Spuntino – I’m going to have a snack, a bite to eat...’
Also, in Spotlight we get revved up over Tauranga’s (well alright, Katikati’s) newest boutique museum.  Browny’s Brewery Cafe & Motorcycle Museum is just as good a highway stop for the serious biker, as the merely curious. Let the good times roll, is not surprisingly, the man’s motto.    

If you’re feeling arty and adventurous, try the Laundromat. No keep your dirty clothes in the laundry where they belong, it’s the Laundromat Art Space.  It is Tauranga’s only no for profit gallery featuring contemporary and at times, very experimental art.  It deserves your strong support.  Spotlight has details of their latest exhibition, along with what’s on at Tauranga Art Gallery.   
Two pairs of Haivaianas jandals, courtesy of the Brazilian store B Original, are going to Jackie and Sharleen.
And thanks to Greerton Village, Kay has a $50 shopping voucher to spend at the local shops.  

New Prizes...
We have a $50 voucher towards a meal at Spuntino in Wharf Street, Tauranga’s newest Italian eatery.  The brand new Italian Pizzeria and Meditteranean Cafe is in Wharf Street. The menu concentrates on the Mediterranean countries of Greece, Spain, and Italy with a touch of southern France.   
The Tauranga Jazz Festival is just around the corner – with bigger acts than ever - music legends Dr John and Brian Auger. Organisers have kindly donated one double pass for the Jazz Steam Train on April 3rd. 

Don’t Miss

Rock Paper Scissors – New Zealand Champs
The 5th Annual 2010 ‘NZ Rock Paper Scissors Championships’ (NZRPSC) regional qualifying rounds begin in March. Big prizes up for grabs include overseas trip for one to Toronto, Canada for the national champ to attend the World RPS Champs.  Venue: World’s End Bar & Restaurant, Fraser Cove, March 5, 12, & 19.

Kiwi Festival 2010 – Carnival
Fest wraps up with the fabulous Carnival to celebrate global culture and music. New Zealand’s hottest live act Kora will take centre stage and be supported by Batucada Sound Machine, Tahuna Breaks, Kantuta, and local Bay favourites Tauranga Samba and Regan. Capoeira and Samba performances. Dress up in outlandish Carnival costumes. Venue: Wharepai Domain, Saturday March 6, gates open 3 pm.

11th Tauranga Multicultural Festival
‘See the world in Tauranga.’ Dancing, singing and music on stage and throughout the Village all day. Authentic food from many countries cooked fresh on the day, arts and crafts. Tickets $5 at the gate, accompanied children under 12 free. Venue : Historic Village 17th Ave, March 6, 10 am to 4 pm.

One Base Fishing Tournament
Enjoy the thrill of fishing for Marlin (including tag and release) Shark, tuna, kingfish and snapper in New Zealand’s largest game fishing tournament. Or visit the weigh-in to see the monsters caught.  Runs from Wednesday 3, to Saturday March 6 inclusive, with daily weight ins at 3 pm, at Sulphur Point.  More information: tel Tauranga Game Fishing Club 07 578 6203 or visit

UCAN2 No 2
Come along, give it a try and have some fun! Take part in this very picturesque event with options for everyone including short triathlon, long triathlon, duathlon, also 3km, 5.5km and 10 km walks and runs. Venue: Coronation Park, Mount Maunganui.  March 7, 8 am to 11 am.

Walk the Walk for Plunket
Plunket fun run/walk and family fun day. 2.5km, 5km and 7km walk and run. Entry fee $5.  Spot prizes include a night’s accommodation for 2 at the Sebel Hotel,World of Horses rides and Lollipops Playland door passes. Also at the event will be fun rides for the kids, sausage sizzle, face painting and lolli scrambles.Venue: Kulim Park, March 14, 10 am to 12.30 pm

Weetbix Kiwi Kids Tryathlon
Very popular fun event for kids aged 7—15, who swim, bike and run as individuals or teams.  It’s all about having a go and achieving a personal best. Real family fun for spectators too.  Event consists of a swim, followed by cycle and a run.  Venue: Memorial Park, 28 March, 9 am to 1.30 pm.


Retro camping...and motoring!

Posted: Mon 01 Feb 2010






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