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Bay of Plenty

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Bay of Plenty Thornton  New Zealand
Bay of Plenty Whale-Watching Thornton  New Zealand
 Bay of Plenty Thornton  New Zealand
Bay of Plenty Thornton  New Zealand
Bay of Plenty Thornton  New Zealand
Bay of Plenty Whale-Watching Thornton  New Zealand
 Bay of Plenty Thornton  New Zealand
Bay of Plenty Thornton  New Zealand

Bay of Plenty

The enchanting name of the Bay of Plenty comes from the fact that the Maori living here provided Captain Cook’s crew with provisions and water. Today, visitors find an abundance of natural beauty along this 259-kilometer-long (161-mile-long) and perfectly crescent-shaped stretch of the North Island. In the 1860s European settlements here led to wars with the Maori; many descendants of both groups still live in the region. Dotted with small towns and fine-sand beaches with mountain backdrops, the area today has an economy centered around dairy farms and kiwifruit orchards.

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AFAR Local Expert
about 3 years ago

Bay of Plenty Whale-Watching

The waters surrounding White Island in the Bay of Plenty are popular with both sportfishers and commercial anglers. You’ll see myriad boats plying the waters at various seasons in search of popular catches such as snapper and yellowtail, along with other colorfully named species such as tarakihi or kahawai and hapuku. Likewise, visitors flock to the bay in the hope of spotting dolphins as well as humpback, blue and pilot whales.

AFAR Contributor
over 3 years ago

Bay of Plenty

Fishing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, sunbathing and more—there’s plenty to do in, well, the Bay of Plenty. Choosing is the challenge: Do you want to discover New Zealand’s only active marine volcano on White Island? Would you prefer to take a dolphin "sea-fari"? How about exploring the wildlife and marine sanctuary on Tuhua (Mayor Island) with a day of hiking and diving? You can even opt for a surfing lesson at Mount Maunganui, a relaxed town with one of the best beaches in New Zealand. One day is not enough!
AFAR Contributor
over 3 years ago

Bay of Plenty

Many tourists come to the Bay of Plenty for its dolphin tours—not just to watch the dolphins, but to actually swim with the playful sea creatures in their natural habitat. While swimming with them isn't possible from a cruise ship, you'll likely witness bottlenose and common dolphins frolicking: Hundreds of pods inhabit these waters during New Zealand’s warmest months (November to April). Keep an eye out for whales and seals, too.