Best of Tauranga Newsletter - June 2009

G’day from BoTCom, as we focus on adventures of the outdoor and culinary kind in this newsletter.
The positive thinkers out there, God bless ‘em - as we head into the two coldest months -  have already noted the shortest day is behind us, and the days will soon get longer.

The theme for this newsletter comes from a sentence that’s been resonating with us all week long: ‘Where’s your sense of adventure? ’ It’s a line pinched from the organisers of Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food Challenge (see Spotlight for details) but applies nicely to a couple of other things we are profiling.

In Spotlight we examine a new, thrilling adventure of the fly-like-a-bird variety – tandem paragliding from the top of the Kaimai Ranges. One of New Zealand’s most experienced paragliding pilots is behind the venture, Wayne Roberts of Mount Paragliding.

To thrills on water...thanks to the generosity of Spring Loaded Fun Park, two people will be able to sample the Bay’s best jet boat ride! See New Prizes below for details, and have a look in Spotlight, at the Park’s July school holiday programme.       

Holidaymakers, even if it’s only a variation of ‘staycation’ you’re taking, you can book accommodation online, right here with BoTCom. The accommodation pages also provide access to hotels, motels etc in other parts of the country.  

Not forgetting culinary adventures, we also profile Intensifire, where you can embark on a little South American experience without leaving the country. The restaurant is Tauranga’s first churrascaria, an authentic Brazilian steakhouse.

It’s amazing what you can find hidden away in suburbia. In an ordinary but smart street in Papamoa, a local has re-created Auckland’s Civic Theatre. (See Spotlight).

It’s pleasing to see that hundreds of people have already viewed our new jobs page on BoTCom. The website usually lists around 60 jobs, in partnership with jobs website We are keen to build on the employment information and welcome ideas. Contact:

The Mauao Base Track walk, around ‘the Mount,’ is so popular you’d swear people would be queuing up. In May, an extraordinary 63,964 people trekked around the extinct volcanic cone. Another 12,478 people struck out for the summit. Given these numbers, even at weekends the 3.4 km track seldom feels overly busy. Perhaps because the eye is drawn constantly away from the track, to the big expanses of open sea, and the sight of ships and fishing boats navigating the harbour entrance. A reminder that you can get a sneak preview of the base track from our site here

One of those rare opportunities: learn digital photography from a master of the craft – one of New Zealand’s finest outdoor (and underwater!) photographers, Andy Belcher. A multi-award winning freelancer and photojournalist with a world-wide reputation, Andy has roamed the globe as a specialist in action, adventure, aquatic, and tourism-related images. The long-time Maketu resident’s superb work can be found everywhere from our own Best of Tauranga guide book, and Tourism Bay of Plenty’s website, to the book Deep Blue, (accompanied the TV doco of the same name), and TV ads screening world-wide for a Japanese brand of camera lens. Andy’s full-day workshops are run at his Maketu Legend Photography studio, and cover everything from lens selection and use, to aperture, shutter and ISO relationship, digital enhancement, etc. The workshops are aimed at all skill levels, with lots of ‘hands on’ experience and the promise of a fun day. We’ve read the testimonials and frankly, with a background like Andy Belcher’s, this is $250 extremely well spent on up-skilling. For more details: Andy Belcher 021-444 830, Email, or

Spotted in Flicker Candle Emporium – a dual purpose product for cold sufferers - the Decongestion Candle and Rub. The candle is made 100% natural soy wax, with a blend of   eucalyptus, lemon and honey. Designed to help with cold symptoms, the wax can even be used as a rub (once the flame has been put out!)  

After one or two closures downtown, it’s a pleasure to report Katmandhu opening a new big outdoor store at 64a Elizabeth Street – in the premises vacated by the big Rivers clearance store.  It’s the outdoor chain’s second in Tauranga, after one in Fraser Cove Shopping Centre. The downtown store is open Saturday and Sunday until 4pm (opens 10 am Sun).    

If you’re a coffee fiend...Alimento has cut waiting times with ‘text to go’ coffee ordering. The 1st Ave Cafe is asking people to register if possible, by filling out a simple form. Customers are asked for details like their usual drink - and given a guide to abbreviations - FW for flat white, etc. Once you’re registered, if you want your regular drink, all you need to do is text saying when you’ll be there to collect it, Eg. ‘2 min.’ Alimento says they’re delighted with the response from customers, and you can even order food as well. For more information:

A $50 voucher to sample some of the food at Naked Grape goes to Karen from Tauranga.
And Tony and Fiona are off for a round of golf at Renner Park 9-hole course at Oropi.

New Prizes...
This will put a spring in your step...two tickets for the thrilling Kaituna Jet boat ride at Spring Loaded Fun Park Paengaroa. 

Don’t Miss...
Dunkleys Great NZ Craft Show
All sorts of great crafty of New Zealand’s biggest, most popular craft events. Cost: door sales only - adults: $7, seniors & students $6, children $5. Venue: Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre, Friday, 10 July, to Sunday, 12 July, 10 am to 5 pm

The Lady Bunch
As in the Brady Bunch, but female and funny...three of NZ's top female comediennes appear together on stage in this show, which debuted at the NZ International Comedy Festival in 2008. Michele A'Court (NZ Best Female Comedian 2002 - 2007), Justine Smith (Billy T Award 2003) and Irene Pink (Jongleurs Best Female Newcomer 2001). Venue: Tauranga Art Gallery, Sunday July 12, tickets $25 ($20 for Friends of the Gallery, or groups of 5-plus)

Stevie Ray Vaughan, Cream & Jimi Hendrix Show
Purple haze- and lots more! Warm up with some of your favourite songs from these legendary a top quality two & a half hour show. Venue: The Colliseum, July 17, 9 pm to midnight, R 18, tickets $15.

An Evening with NZ Medium Kelvin Cruickshank
You saw the TV show, maybe read his see the man behind TV2’s award winning series "Sensing Murder."  Kelvin has launched a series of exclusive evenings billed as ‘Kelvin working with spirit.’ Kelvin will read as many people as possible, but there is no guarantee he can read everyone. Baycourt Community Theatre, Sunday July 19, 7.30 pm to 10 pm. R18, tickets $66.  

Four Flat Whites in Italy, Tauranga
Holidays from hell were never so much fun! Roger Hall’s latest Kiwi comedy sees retired couples Alison and Adrian, and Harry and new wife Judy taking an Italian trip of a lifetime. Comical calamities befall the intrepid travellers...Thursday July 30 to August 1, 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm.  

From the Cruel but Funny headlines files:
Man Trapped in Clothes Dryer ‘Fairly Agitated’ – NZ Herald June 22nd

Fed Up Traveller? An American travel writer has launched a website where scarred tourists and jaded travel writers can tell the awful truth. Doug Lansky's invites visitors to fill in a survey, send in pictures and videos, and vote for the absolute worst the world of tourism has to offer. Travellers are asked to name the world's worst beer, the dirtiest beach, the most filthy toilet, the world's worst cruise ship and most nauseating food among other horrors. Worst food nominations include the raw shrimp cocktail of Kathmandu (the travel writer was sick for three weeks and lost 8kg); fried tarantulas (somewhere in Asia), stir-fried grasshoppers in Indonesia and boiled fermented cow's nose in Bali. (A search found nothing local – Ed).

Posted: Mon 01 Jun 2009






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