Contact UsNew Zealand Tourism Guide
Level One, 518 Colombo Street
PO Box 7576, Christchurch 8240
The Bay of Plenty was aptly named by Captain James Cook on his discovery in 1769. The region today remains one of New Zealand's premier holiday destinations surrounded by white sand beaches, awesome surf, stunning harbours and an unbeatable lifestyle.
Tauranga, the main city in the Bay of Plenty region, began with humble beginnings in the 1830s and struggled through the Maori land wars. Today it is a flourishing port city.
The first inhabitants to come to the Bay of Plenty were in 1290 AD when Takitimu travelled across the ocean from Hawaiki. He landed his ocean-going migration canoes at Mauao (Mount Manganui) which guards the entrance to the Tauranga Harbour.
This was the first region made home by the Maori after their epic journey across the ocean.
More than 400 years passed before being discovered by the English explorer, Captain James Cook. In 1769 he sailed around New Zealand and named the area the Bay of Plenty.
European settlement began in the early 1830s with the arrival of missionaries and traders. Trade was mostly established in flax fibre.
Tauranga's prosperity was slowed due to land wars with the Maori in the 1860s. In fear of their lives, many settlers abandoned their land and left.
Tauranga struggled through to the 1880s where the population dropped to a little over 1,000 people. The arrival of George Vesey Stewart from Ireland in 1882 brought hope to the town. Tauranga was made a borough and Mr Stewart made the first Mayor of the town.
Over the 1900s water supply and electricity were introduced and the town began to prosper. In 1950 Tauranga was chosen as an export port for the Bay of Plenty creating many jobs and increasing the population drastically.
At the 2006 census, Tauranga City held the resident population of 103,635.
To help plan your Bay of Plenty holiday choose from the main categories below:
Key information and facts about the Bay of Plenty region.
Major activities and attractions in the Bay of Plenty region.