Bay of Plenty | NZ Job Finder


The colourful name "Bay of Plenty" was coined by British voyager James Cook during his 1769–70 exploration of New Zealand, who noted the abundant resources in the area at several Māori villages. This was in stark contrast to the earlier observations he had made in Poverty Bay. The Māori name for the bay is Te MoanaaToi ("the sea of Toi"), a reference to the ancestral explorer Toitehuatahi. The Bay of Plenty is on the northern coast of New Zealand's North Island. It stretches from the Coromandel Peninsula in the west to Cape Runaway in the east, a wide stretch of some 259km of open coastline. The Bay of Plenty Region is centreed on this body of water, which incorporates several large islands. The Bay of Plenty lies east of the KaimaiMamaku ranges and south of the Coromandel Peninsula, making it the fifthmost populous region in New Zealand.

One of New Zealand’s most popular h oliday destinations, with picturesque harbours, long white surf beaches, plus an easygoing lifestyle, this is a great area to visit and spend some time. With a beautiful natural harbour, Tauranga is a thriving commercial centre with a cosmopolitan lifestyle that has many wonderful cafes and restaurants for visitors and locals with an enthusiasm for good food and w ine. Two large marinas in Tauranga hold over a thousand yachts and launches, and there are numerous charter b oat operators. Thousands of visitors come each year to the Bay of Plenty, attracted by its beautiful beaches and deep sea f ishing. This region is blessed with a mild climate year round so horticulture flourishes and the region’s proximity to the sea makes seafood a local specialty.

Local Employment

From exclusive dining, cute cafes, stylish bars and cosy pubs there are culinary experiences galore, so if you are in the hospitality industry and love the beach, fun and sun this is the place to be. Tourism is a major industry in the Bay of Plenty.

Geothermal activity is a source of tourism in the region and the Bay of Plenty received over 645,000 tourists in 2003, equivalent to one in three visitors to New Zealand coming to the region. Rotorua is a particularly popular destination for international visitors, especially the surrounding geothermal areas and the Māori cultural centres. Tauranga is a popular domestic tourism destination, but becoming increasingly appreciated by international visitors. Fishing for marlin is a muchsoughtafter activity for tourists.

Wonderful crops grown locally include kiwifruit, apples and avocadoes. The region also has an a bundance of marine resources, with many varieties ofs eafood available. Overall economic growth in the Bay of Plenty averaged 2.1%.


Population: 272,300 June 2009 estimate.

In the 2006 Census, the Bay of Plenty had an estimated resident population of 257,379, making it the fifthmost populous r egion in New Zealand. The region also has the thirdhighest rural population density in New Zealand, despite having only the 11thlargest land area.

The major population centres in the region are Tauranga, Rotorua and Whakatane. The Bay of Plenty is also one of the fastest growing regions in New Zealand: the regional population increased by 7.5% between 2001 to 2006, with significant growth along the coastal and western parts of the region, and is projected to increase to 277,900 by 2011. Significant horticultural, forestry and tourism industries are well established in the region. However, the Bay of Plenty is also the thirdmost economically deprived region in New Zealand, with the eastern districts being among the least economically developed in the country.

Land area: 12,231 km²

Main Centres: T auranga, Rotorua, Whakatane. Towns: Te Puke, Taneatua, Edgecumbe, Opotiki, Kawerau, Murupara, Matata, Maketu, Mount Maunganui, Ngongotaha.


According to local Māori tradition, the Bay of Plenty was the landing point of several migration canoes that brought Māori settlers to New Zealand. Many of the descendent iwi maintain their traditional homelands in the region. The first recorded E uropeanc ontact in the Bay of Plenty came when James Cook sailed through the bay in 1769. Further reports of European contact are limited prior to the arrival of missionaries in1820. During the 1820s and 1830s, northern iwi (tribes), including Ngā Puhi, invaded the Bay of Plenty during their attempted conquests throughout the North Island. This conflict became known as the Musket Wars.

Confiscated Māori land in the Bay of Plenty deprived local iwi of economic resources (among other things), and also provided land for expanding European settlement. The government established fortified positions across the region, including at Tauranga, Whakatane and Opotiki. European settlers arrived throughout the latter half of the 19th century, establishing settlements in Katikati, Te Puke and the Rangitaiki area. By the end of the century the regional population had started to dwindle.

However, after experimenting with different crops, local settlers found s uccessw ith dairy production. Dairy factories sprang up across the Bay of Plenty in the 1900s, with butter and c heese creating economic prosperity throughout the early 20th century. The p resent Bay of Plenty region was formed in 1989 after a nationwide review and shakeup of toplevel local government in New Zealand. The new region incorporated the former counties of Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatane and Opotiki.

Activities: What to do there?

The legendary beaches attract swimmers, surfers, kayakers and kite surfers throughout the year as the weather is mild; you can swim with the dolphins or for the more adventurous you can go big g amefishing for marlin. Not far inland there are a w ealtho f adventures, from sky diving to horse trekking, hiking to golf. Bay of Plenty is a great base for exploring the central North Island with easy access to the Coromandel Peninsula, Mt Maunganui and Rotorua, all of which are major tourist destinations. Sizeable harbours are located at Tauranga, Whakatane and Ohiwa and the bay contains numerous islands where there's enormous scope for adventure seekers.

Across the harbour from Tauranga, the horizon is dominated by the volcanic cone of Mauao. The mountain is steeped in legend and history and provides an excellent hiking challenge. Mount Maunganui is the resort town at the base of the mountain with surfing, adventure and plenty of fun. Popular dive spots in the Bay of Plenty include Tuhua (Mayor Island) and the Astrolabe Reef. Explore shipwrecked vessels near Motiti Island and Karewa Island or try the waters near White Island for a unique diving experience. Whakatane is the launching pad for expeditions to White Island, which is New Zealand's only active marine volcano and also one of the most accessible active volcanoes in the world. Steam billows from its main crater and frequent spurts of ash captivate visitors. Another option is a visit to Te Puke, 'the kiwifruit capital' of New Zealand.


The Bay of Plenty has heaps of diverse festivals with wonderful craft and artmarkets . It also has some more unusual events such as New Zealand’s premier half ironman event which makes use of one of the country’s best multisport event venues the outdoors.

This prestigious event attracts the top New Zealand and overseas specialists and is a marvellous spectator sport. Blues, Brews & BBQ's is one of the most popular events on the summer c alendar a family fun day of barbecue fare, fine ales and great music The festival is a celebration of everything that is unique about the traditional Kiwi summer lifestyle; our love of outdoor cooking, great music and enjoying an ale or two with good friends and family.

On Waitangi weekend 2010, Tauranga will be the place to be when the inaugural Tauranga City Air Show fills the skies over the city's a irport. The Sovereign New Zealand Ocean Swim Series returns this summer with six events around New Zealand, including the Sand to Surf at Mt Maunganui on Saturday, 27 March, 2010. For five days over Easter, Tauranga will pulsate to the vibrant sounds of the National Jazz Festival. Make sure also to visit Katikati, a small arty settlement known as Mural Town.


Airport: Three commercial airports operate in the Bay of Plenty: Tauranga Airport, which is a 10minute drive from the city and offers direct flights to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch; Rotorua Airport and Whakatane Airport.

Roads: The Pacific Coast Highway touring route brings travellers into the bay from Auckland (3 hours). The city of Tauranga is often their first port of call. Bay of Plenty is 1 hour from Rotorua. Car travel remains the dominant form oft ransport in the region. In 2002, the number of vehicles owned in the region was 189,000, with an average of 1.51 vehicles per household.

Buses: Significant public transport bus services exist only in Tauranga and Rotorua. Major growth in the Western Bay of Plenty District has seen increased strain on road infrastructure, particularly with increasing traffic congestion in Tauranga. Due to this growth, a new highway network is being planned and constructed in Tauranga to join its current network on the western side of the city.

Shipping: The hub of regional economic activity is the Port of Tauranga, with wellestablished rail and road connections to other parts of the region. Between 2009 & 2010, a total of 42 cruise ships will visit the Port of Tauranga. Every year the port sees cruise ships from the Pacific Islands, North America and Europe, pass through the Tauranga harbour. Port of Tauranga is situated close to the heartland of New Zealand's North Island tourism industry, with the scenic wonders of Rotorua, Taupo and the Waikato, all being major drawcards for international tourists.

Train: The Bay of Plenty has 227km of rail network The main rail line in the region is the E ast Coast Main Trunk R ailway, which extends from Hamilton in the Waikato region to Kawerau and Taneatua via Tauranga, with the Murupara branch railway extending the Kawerau terminus to Murupara. Rail networks in the region are used exclusively for freight

Cycling: Explore Bay of Plenty’s natural beauty by bike . The wonderful temperate climate makes this an excellent way to see the area. There is advice on routes and road conditions on the AA website.

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