What do you like to do on holiday?
Do you like to set up, sit back and stay put? Or do you need to be doing and seeing things all the time?
The reality is, most of us have a foot in both camps. When we holiday, there’s a time for ‘chillaxing’, and a time for getting out and about. Now, given our prime location on the stunning Papamoa Beach and our top-notch facilities, we think we have the chillaxing pretty much taken care of. So we thought we’d put together a list of options for those of you wanting to get out and about. Easy day trips you can take from your base here at the Park (or send the rest of your family on while you chillax).
Here are our top picks.
Learn About Nature’s Wonders
Take A Tour Of White Island
An epic day out on an active volcano. Do you have the nerve? White Island (Whakaari) is offshore from Whakatane and is an amazing force of nature. Guided tours operate seven days a week from Whakatane – by launch or helicopter, and you get to spend up to two hours exploring the inner crater on foot and learning about its geological history.
You need to be over the age of 8 and capable of walking on an uneven surface for up to two hours. And you’ll need fully-enclosed footwear. This is not a cheap day out, but definitely one for the bucket list!
Looking for something fun and educational for the whole family? “Experience Comvita” runs daily tours where you will discover the wonder of nature’s intelligence and you get to see the world through the eyes of a honey bee!
You can also treat yourself to some all natural Comvita products from the store and enjoy delicious free range and organic local produce at the cafe.
A great rainy day activity!
Pack A Picnic And Go Bush
Papamoa Hills Regional Park
Right in our hood, overlooking the sprawling plains of Papamoa and out to the Pacific Ocean, the Papamoa Hills provide breathtaking views all the way along our coastline from Mount Maunganui to Whakatane. This is a staff favourite – great for early morning sunrise walks!
If you climb right to the top you’ll be standing 224m above sea level. It’ll take you about 45 minutes to complete this steep walk from the carpark to the trig station but the views are definitely worth the effort. There are also several other trails throughout the park where you can enjoy different views and explore the archaeological treasures which include seven pa sites.
McLaren Falls Park
Slightly further afield, head to the lower Kaimais and visit McLaren Falls Park – popular for picnics, fishing, kayaking, and walking and home to one of the best botanical collections of trees in the North Island. It’s beautiful any time of the year but especially autumn when it’s full of colour. One of the highlights of the park is the Waterfall Track where you can see glow worms after dusk. And the younger kids all love Marshalls Animal Park which is home to a collection of exotic and farm animals.
You can also take a glow-worm kayak trip which is well worth it! We can book your trip through reception and fill you in on the details.
Get On Your Bike
Take a quick (but leisurely) cruise to Henry & Ted cafe for a coffee or a go further east alongside the Trans Eastern Link for a munch at The Funky Lizard Cafe in Paengaroa. Or head towards the Mount for a good coffee (or craft beer) and a spot of people watching. The options are limitless.
You can even bike to Maketu Beach for the day. You’ll bike past lush orchards, thriving farmland and some of New Zealand’s most iconic scenery, only to be met with a quintessential Kiwi town that houses one of the best fish and chip shops in the region – perfect for lunch or dinner!
Guests staying with us can hire our Cruiser Bikes from reception and we can provide you with route maps and suggestions.
Hit The Trails
If you bring your mountain bike there’s lots of fun to be had.
Summerhill Trails are located on Summerhill, a working farm in the Papamoa Hills just 8km from here. The mountain biking trails are perfect for intermediate riders, rolling to steep hill terrain amidst diverse native and exotic forests. It’s a fun place to play for all ages.
A short 20 minute drive will take you to Oropi Grove, Tauranga’s longest serving mountain bike park. The park includes cross-country, downhill and freeride terrain featuring a variety of purpose-built jumps and drops. The trails are graded 2 and above.
We’re also just a 50 minute drive to the world famous Redwoods in Rotorua with 130km of continually evolving trails.
Take In The City
If natures not really your thing, there’s plenty to do in and around Papamoa, Mt Maunganui and Tauranga.
Both the Mount and Tauranga boast collections of street art that you can either guide yourself through, or at certain times of the year, take a guided tour.
On until 15th June 2017, the Paradox Street Art Festival is must see with the most extensive assembly of Banksy works in the Southern Hemisphere on display at Tauranga Art Gallery. Buildings across the city have been brought to life with giant artworks created especially for Paradox, featuring New Zealand and international artists.
Shop Until You Drop
Start from Fashion Island in Papamoa for a mix of high street fashion, outlet and lifestyle stores. Then head to Bayfair – home to 100 different retailers including fashion, and department stores. And if you’re after more boutique shopping and great cafe’s take in the Mount Mainstreet or Downtown Tauranga.
Practice Your Bombs
Know how to do a manu? You need to visit the tidal stairs which step down into the harbour from The Strand in central Tauranga. A special bombing platform and pontoon have been created which is hours of fun for kids and the young at heart.
There’s also a great little playground featuring the ever popular Hairy MacLary sculptures. And if you get hungry or thirsty, plenty of bars and restaurants across the road on The Strand.
We Can Help With Your Planning
This is just a small selection of our favourite day-trips – we have many more up our sleeves. You’ll never be short of things to do around here – if you want to be doing things that is! The Bay of Plenty Tourism website is a great resource too.
We’re always happy to answer any questions – either when you’re here next or when you’re doing your holiday planning.
Look forward to seeing you soon.