Best of Tauranga Newsletter – September 2009

Greetings from the Best of Tauranga team.
For a pretty mundane phrase ‘daylight saving’ evokes some powerful can almost smell the smoke wafting off that first barbecue of summer, and the great outdoors beckons.      

The extra daylight hours allow for after work surfs, cycling, walks around the Mount  - whatever’s your favourite outdoor addiction.  It’s even time to start  contemplating a well-earned  summer break.

So here’s a couple of reminders . Use our website to book your holidays online, not only around the Bay of Plenty, but the rest of New Zealand.  Go to the Accommodation page and you’ll see a search box which allows you to select the Bay of Plenty, or other regions of both the North and South Islands. You’ll find everything from B&B’s to up market hotels.

We haven’t forgotten times are tough out there. If you’re putting aside holidays to job hunt, have a surf through the jobs we have listed online. Click on Bay Job Search to access several pages of local positions. 

In Spotlight, we report on the revamp of one of the Western Bay’s most unique attractions, Blokart Heaven, home to the locally-invented land sailers. The Blokart offshoot Game On Activities is offering two laser games with appeal to all ages. 

Where to mountain bike without driving to Rotorua?  We went for a wobble at well-named Summerhill Farm Park, where you’ll find tracks to suit all abilities, in an appealing farm and forest setting, all this only 20 minutes from the city.

Baby boomers...remember those carefree holidays by the sea in Kiwi campgrounds?  For the first time in almost a decade, Papamoa Beach Top 10 Holiday Resort is making new caravan sites available for holidaymakers wanting to leave their caravans on-site. Read the full story in Spotlight. 

Oops… We reported last newsletter on the Tauranga Moana Seafood Festival, and got our dates wrong. It is of course, on Saturday 28 November 2009. There’s only 300 tickets available, on sale now through the Cornerstone Pub, Cornerstone Bethlehem,  and Fresh Fish Market outlets. Or  online at

Put aside Sunday 6 December for the return of the Gartshore Tauranga Wine & Food Festival. Top restaurants, wineries, and entertainers come together at the Wharepai Domain.  As the organisers say, get your group together -  $25 per person or $22.50 for groups of 20-plus. Tickets on sale from Baycourt Direct, tel 5777 188.

Festivals galore…the Bay of Plenty is to celebrate its coastal lifestyle and world-class produce with a nine day festival in late February, called Kiwi Festival 2010. Organisers say the 20 events will celebrate the Bay’s natural beauty, produce from the land and sea, and the cultures, talents and interests of Bay communities. The Plenty of Flavour Culinary Competition running until November 1 is a lead-in to the Kiwi Festival. For details :

We’re over the moon with the response our latest publication – the Tauranga 2010 Calendar.  It’s being bought by everyone from locals buying it to send to overseas rellies, to  schools getting it for overseas students, and  tourist operators preparing for the summer influx.  To find out where it’s sold click here.  It’s on sale for a recession-friendly price of under $10. Please ‘buy local,’ the calendar is a 100% homegrown effort. 

Don’t Miss...
Round the Ranges 2009
Join the Railway Enthusiasts' Society on a fun day out by train and coach.  Departing from Te Puke, Hull Road Mount Maunganui or the Strand Tauranga, the train will make its way to Kinleith via the famous 8.9km Kaimai Tunnel – NZ’s longest. Return by coach. Cost: $ 89 per person, packed lunch extra. Saturday 3rd October. Tel 578 8103

Live to Play - Mauao Family Fun Day
Historic Walk & Scavenger Hunt, run by the BOP District Health Board. Family picnic, sports activities. Make a day of it and take your own picnic. Venue: Pilot Bay side of the Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park, Sunday 4th October, 9.30 am to 11.30 pm. Contact: Park ranger Mark Ray 027-281 0876. Live and Play activities continue through October – see 

Indian Cultural Diwali Festival
The local Indian community presents Bhangra, Bollywood, Latin American and Eastern Dancing - and much more! A celebration of the Festival of Lights.  Venue Baycourt Theatre,  Sunday, 4th October, 2 pm matinee & evening show 7 pm. Six years and older $15, Child 6 months to 5 years - $5.

Rhythms of Ireland
This Irish Dance show has been seen by over 2 million world-wide, winning acclaim for  "stunningly executed performances". Stars of the calibre of Anthony Street with a recorded tapping speed of 34 taps per second, and lead male soloist of Lord of the Dance, Sean Kelliher.Venue: Baycourt Theatre, Tuesday 13th October & Wednesday 14th, 8 pm to 10 pm.

Tauranga Arts Festival!
It’s the 6th festival, featuring performances by musicians from around the world, professional theatre performances by both national and overseas artists, edgy Fringe theatre, street performances and more. The Festival kicks off with World Press Photo – best photos of the year. Venue: Baycourt Exhibition Space, Wednesday 14th October, to November 1. Gold coin admission. More information at

Classic Hits Acoustic Church Tour 2009
The unique pairing of Greg Johnson and Boh Runga. Greg and Boh are now both based in LA and currently working up a set to see them perform songs together from their own, and each other’s repertoire. Former Zed front man Nathan King and exceptional newcomer Lydia Cole complete the bill. Venue: Holy Trinity Church, October 15th, 7pm to 10.15 pm.
Gartshore Tauranga Wine & Food Festival
A great day out at the Wharepai Domain with food, wine and music from the region’s top restaurants, wineries and entertainers. Venue: the Domain, Cameron Road, Sunday 6 December from noon to 6pm. Tickets on sale from Baycourt Ticketdirect, tel 5777-188, $25 per person and for a limited time - $22.50 for groups over 20 - includes full days entertainment, festival glass and bottle of Waiwera water.

The Arts Fest is on the way, and Jo from Mount Maunganui has a good head start with two tickets to Belgian chanteuse Micheline Van Hautem, at the Crystal Palace Thursday 22 October. Four Tauranga 2010 Calendars are on their way to Stepanka, Lisa, Lawrence, and Simon.

New Prizes
Three double tickets to the Gartshore Tauranga Wine & Food Festival! The Wharepai Domain comes alive on 6 December with the best of local food and entertainment (see above for details) And we have three  more of our tasty Tauranga 2010 Calendars to send out. 


Getting set to sail...

We could do with a few more of these days - seven a week?

Posted: Tue 01 Sep 2009






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