Greetings from the staff at BoTCom. As we head into spring, shrugging off that grisly winter, plenty of fun outdoor events are looming. Last month Ed was commissioned to investigate some ‘blokey’ local activities and write them up for the AA ‘I Love New Zealand’ campaign. Before swanning off to Europe for a few weeks, he wrote up a couple of these in more depth for Spotlight.
If you thirst for a bit of on-edge adventure, without leaving town, jump in a blokart. What you get is a wind-powered three wheeler, that’s the modern, peppy incarnation of the old land yacht. It provides low-flying, very eco-friendly thrills, because of course – no noisy, gas-guzzling motors are involved. Grant Dyson caught a very windy day at blokart Heaven. Also in Spotlight, if you still haven’t visited our homegrown aviation museum Classic Flyers NZ, and the Tauranga Military Collection, it is high time you did. One $10 entry gets you into both.
Save Bucks - Where to Shop in a Recession
Fashion Island has been trading for more than two years, and now has another outlet store – Barkers. The men’s shop was set up in 1972, and has a name for stylish, but wearable and affordable clothes. Barkers reckon you’ll save up to 70% on items including shirts, knitwear, jackets and suits. Fashion Island’s Bendon outlet has been ‘up-sized’ and is now the biggest of the company’s New Zealand outlets, selling lingerie and sleepwear. New Zealand’s biggest street and surf retailer Amazon has also moved into Fashion Island, stocking all the big name brands like Volcom and Billabong. The Island is at 42 Gravatt Road, Papamoa.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for an outlet surf store, one of the best is North Beach at Fraser Cove Shopping Centre is the place. You’ll find everything for shirts and jackets to watches and hats. On the food front, Bin Inn stores hark back to the old general store, when you could buy a scoop of this or that. These days, they have not only bulk food items including dried fruit and nuts, but free range eggs, snacks, and even heat-and-eat meals, that are made in Tauranga. There’s something pretty appealing about buying unbranded and package-free products. Bin Inn Tauranga is at 769 Cameron Road, and the Mount outlet is 237 Maunganui Road, with a superb butchery, Col’s next door.
Lonely Someone Likes Us
It’s fascinating to see what lumbering giant of the travel biz - Lonely Planet - thinks of the Bay of Plenty. In the latest edition of the NZ Guide, LP has woken up to what a great destination we are. Tauranga is described as the place to ‘fulfil all your wet dreams,’ with its boats, sandy surf beaches and water sports aplenty - about 'as Riviera as New Zealand gets.' Writer Sarah Bennett says she was struck by the fact that Tauranga and the Western Bay have been slightly undersold by her publishers. She says the district's natural beauty is legendary and well known, but she found the eating and drinking scene, including ‘The Strand, 'almost second to none in New Zealand...’ Lonely Planet highlights include kayaking Lake McLaren on the glow worm trip, described as a magical after-dark journey. The big kiwifruit slice at Kiwi 360 is labelled the Bay of Plenty's tackiest attraction.
Our $30 voucher to try some of the luscious fare at Alimento goes to Jodie from Tauranga. And with the weather getting better, it’s time to go shopping near the seaside at Downtown the Mount. Mount Mainstreet were the kind donors of a $50 shopping voucher, towards your new bikini, surfboard, whatever. Margie from Tauranga took away this prize. A copy of The Best of Tauranga guide book goes to Nicholas from Jersey, and Myra from Scotland. Congratulations!
If you like gardens and art and especially a combo of the two - here’s a good reason to subscribe to our newsletter. 3 lucky winners will each receive two 2-day passes to the Garden and Art Fest in November. And we’re also giving away a couple of Best of Tauranga guide books.