Sunday, 16 November 2014

Visiting Te Puke, Tauranga and Mount Maunganui

It wasn’t a busy period when I worked in Te Puke. As a result, I had times for sightseeing in the areas of Te Puke and the nearby coastal cities, Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.

Since horticulture is the main economic activity in Te Puke, the tourism in the town is still underdeveloped excluding the famous Kiwi 360. By road, it’ll take only 5 minutes to reach the site from Te Puke city. Kiwi 360 provides a place for nature lovers to appreciate the spectacular landscape. Together with Gavin, I visited the parks, orchards as well as the gift shop which offers a variety of beautiful jewelry, skin care and other products. A giant kiwifruit built at the park is an attraction and also a beautiful landmark of Te Puke. It’s so wonderful when we climbed up to the giant kiwi and viewed the surrounding areas from high.

The giant kiwi

Kiwicart touring the park

Kiwi 360

Location: 35 Young Road(beside State Highway 2), Te Puke.
Tel: (07) 573 6360
KiwiKart Tour Hours: 9am-4pm(Summer) & 10am-3pm(Winter)

Tauranga is a popular city situated 28 km and approximately 28 minute drive from Te Puke. The city features superb environmental surroundings for tourism and it also stands out for the cultural attractions. For culture and art enthusiasts, visit Tauranga Art Gallery is a must. Inside the 2-storey building, I had an opportunity to explore many eye-catching both historical and contemporary collections from the exhibitions. 

Railway along the main street in Tauranga CBD

Harbour view

Tauranga Railway Bridge at harbour

View of Tauranga Harbour Bridge over the ocean from far 

On one of the visits to Tauranga, Gavin suggested a meal at a fine dining restaurant, Mills Reef. It just took us 5 minutes on road from the heart of Tauranga. We visited the family owned winery which was established in 1989, of course we’re given the chance to taste the red wines in the tasting room. Next, we selected a well located table at outdoor to enjoy the meal as well as the panoramic environment. I’d say it was the most delightful lunch trip I had in Bay of Plenty.

Mills Reef Building

My plate of seafood lunch

The outdoor garden

Type of flowers grew in the garden

A sculpture displayed in the garden

Mills Reef Winery & Restaurant

Location: 143 Moffat Road Bethlehem, Tauranga 3110.
Tel: (07) 576 8800
Opening hours: 10.00 - 11.30am Brunch ( Sat & Sun)
10.30am – 3.00pm Lunch (Mon – Sun)
5.00 pm till late Dinner (Thu - Sat)
(Tasting Room opens 10-5pm 7 days)

Nestled on the north of Tauranga, Mt. Maunganui is a neigbouring town that’s also a major tourism attraction that interested both overseas and country’s tourists come to Bay of Plenty. These two cities are mainly connected by the Tauranga Harbour Bridge which was built on 1988. Mt Maunganui features a unique geography that offers the ocean beach and harbour beach at opposite sides of the city. However, views at the ocean beach are more attractive to me and there’re more people crowded at the side of the beach especially during summer.

Harbour beach

Ocean beach

The mountain

It’s so refreshing to climb up the mountain; get some fresh air and pay attention to the various floras along the trail. Stood on the peak, we amazed by the gorgeous sceneries showing the city between the beaches.

View taken in the middle of the mountain track

Koru, the iconic plant of New Zealand 

Fern leave

Scenery of the ocean beach and the city from the top

A view of Mt Maunganui city in betwwen the beaches