Best of TAURANGA

Best of Tauranga Newsletter - September 2007

We’re heading into spring faster than you can blather about ‘spring has sprung,’ and ‘new beginnings.’ In downtown Tauranga quite a few hardy folk shrugged off winter and rolled into action early, launching new eateries and drinkeries (for want of a better word) . Others have given their businesses major facelifts – all adding colour and flavour to Tauranga’s 'hospo' scene.

Our Spotlight column looks in depth at newbies – introducing the healthy new juice cafe, Elixir. And we profile Volantis, a Tauranga offshoot of the popular Mount Maunganui eatery. The former Florentines has been reborn as the zanier Zagger’s cafe, and Browsers the book store has become B.A. Reader – owned by former U.S. chemistry professor, Richard Cornelius, no less. Spotlight also focuses on some extraordinary transport developments on the local scene – hovercrafts and ‘public utility cycles.’ And watch this space for our October newsletter when we venture north to the historic mining township of Waihi and the nearby beach settlement of Waihi Beach, for a look at what’s on offer.

Stand Up Comedy - in Tauranga?
No, it’s not a joke...We are pleased to report stand up is alive and well at Ozone, (formerly Homebar) at 15 Harington Street. Thursday is comedy night at Ozone, and they’ve already had top class acts like multi-award winning Kiwi Brendhan Lovegrove, who’s performed on Rove Live, London’s Comedy Store, etc. To check what’s on, and when phone 578 6828.

Wheely Good Music...
One of the more offbeat attractions at the Arts Festival next month is Cycology - Australian musician, Linsey Pollak, who makes music from a bicycle. Before you put your spoke in, it’s bizarre but true. Pollak’s alter-ego, Professor Deetbum, is a talented composer who plays parts of bikes - such as the handle bars, chain, gears, frame and wheels. The results are amazing, and his show has sold out throughout Australia. Polk’s extraordinary career includes director, and instrument maker/inventor. He designs musical instruments and specializes in crafting woodwind instruments of Eastern Europe.

Tauranga – South Island Link
It will soon be easier to fly to the ‘mainland’ from Tauranga. Air New Zealand has confirmed things are all go for the new weekday regional service between Christchurch and Tauranga, which begins on Monday 29th October. The flight will be operated by Air New Zealand Link with Bombardier Q300 aircraft, which can carry 50 passengers. The operators are pleased with advance bookings.

Cruisin’…
We’ll be happily awash with cruise ship passengers this summer, with 49 floating palaces confirmed to visit the Port of Tauranga from October this year. The Port of Tauranga is the second largest cruise ship port in New Zealand, in terms of calls. In the summer cruise season, three years ago, Tauranga had a mere 16 port calls by international cruise vessels. So the increase is huge, and reflects the excellent port and tour facilities the Bay of Plenty has to offer, according to Cruise New Zealand. The trend in the industry worldwide is for larger, higher capacity ships – and the 49 ships equates to 100,000 visitors for the coming season! Cruise New Zealand’s number crunching shows that each passenger that travels on a cruise ship to New Zealand generates around $2,040 in added value for the economy.

Heading our Way?
British readers have been reminded that they need to move fast if they want to attend London seminars on immigrating to the sunny Bay of Plenty – with places filling fast. Tauranga-based economic development agency, Priority One, is hosting the seminars for skilled migrants at New Zealand House. As the agency’s head Andrew Coker explains, it is ‘hugely beneficial’ to be able to talk one-to-one with experts from NZ Immigration Service, along with real estate and recruitment representatives. The two seminars at New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, are on the 10th and 15th of October, and some places are still available. Andrew Coker reveals that in the current year alone, they expect to assist more than 600 immigrants! To register for the seminars, visit www.priorityone.co.nz

More Awards...
Fixation Coffee
The intoxicating aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans is your first introduction to Fixation, that occupies a former industrial building on the Tauranga waterfront in Dive Crescent. The second thing you’ll see is a big flat screen TV-type monitor on the wall, which shows the state of the play with a batch of beans in Gregg Thompson’s high tech imported roasting machine, the only one of its kind locally. Inside, is a well furnished comfortable lounge area for patrons. Fixation snapped up a bronze medal in the NZ Coffee Awards for its expresso, against over 200 entries. For more information get Gregg on 578 8077, or better still go smell the coffee...

Winners!
Congratulations to James and Bob of Tauranga who will each receive a $50 voucher to Volantis in Devonport Road. (See our Spotlight this month for a full run down on a restaurant that’s a spinoff from long-running Volantis in downtown Mount Maunganui.)
We are also pleased to present two family passes to Welcome Bay Hot Pools and Campground. This is a charming rural spot for a soak in smartly renovated pools. The winners of the family passes are Terry and Todd both from Tauranga. And we’ll be sending out a copy of the Best of Tauranga ‘insider’s guide’ to Maren in London, and Martyn in Auckland.

New Prizes...
This month with summer on the way, BoTCom’s favourite outdoor store in downtown Mount Maunganui, Hikoi, has provided two of its distinctively Kiwi T-shirts as prizes – in male or female sizes. The word ‘hikoi’ is Maori for a walk, march or journey. This store specialises in top end footwear, apparel and equipment and in particular – and has more great boots, shoes, and sandals (brands like Merrell and Teva) then you can poke a hiking pole at. You’ll find some top brands in NZ-made and imported clothing too. Hikoi is about to launch its own online shop and website, and as soon as the site is live, we will bring you details. And if you have any doubts about buying online, from our own experience, we can vouch for their excellent after-sales service. And we are also throwing in as additional prizes another two copies of The Best of Tauranga, our ‘insider’s guide.’

Don’t Miss...
October is chokka with great events sporting and cultural. To pluck out a couple of rippers we recommend the 3-day Trade-A-Boat Tauranga Boat Show that’s about much more than boats – it’s a fishing extravaganza as well. And of course, the Tauranga Arts Festival rolls out from the 18th, with the top flight Kiwi and international artists we’ve been banging on about. For more information click on the link from our homepage.

Offbeat...

Posted: Sat 01 Sep 2007

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