The Bay of Plenty has few serious challengers to the unofficial title of New Zealand’s beach-going capital – with a glorious coastline that stretches for hundreds of kilometres from Waihi Beach in the north, to the southernmost point of the region.
We’ve whisked around the best of local beaches to compile this guide on what each has to offer. As well as some general pointers on the layout and facilities, we provide tips on where to get more information.
Our ‘best of’ guide heads clockwise from Pilot Bay at Mount Maunganui, around Mauao, and then along to Mount Maunganui Main Beach, widely regarded as one of the country’s finest surf beaches. Our surfari rolls south towards Papamoa and Maketu. Then it’s off up north to Omokoroa and Waihi Beach.
A word of warning: look carefully at local sea conditions before you take the plunge, and be aware that only lifeguard-patrolled, flagged areas can really be regarded as ‘safe swimming.’ (Swimmers...we urge a visit to Surf Life Saving’s website - www.surflifesaving.org.nz. From the home page click on community education, and then ‘surf safety’ – a superb 10-point guide).