Located on the northeast coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Bay of Plenty is a stunning region encompassing Taupo, Whakatane, Tauranga and the popular destination of Rotorua. Named for its large bay, the region stretched from the Coromandel Peninsula to the East Cape.
Getting to Bay of Plenty from Australia is easy thanks to a number of direct daily flights offered by Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. Air New Zealand offers flights to Rotorua from Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth while Virgin Australia offers direct flights from Sydney, with connections available from other regional and capital cities. Flights to Rotorua take approximately 3 to 10 hours, depending on your departure point and any stopovers.
As the international gateway to Bay of Plenty, Rotorua International Airport is approximately 1 hours’ drive from downtown Tauranga. If you’re wondering how to get to Bay of Plenty from the airport, it’s an easy drive along State Highway 2 and State Highway 33. If you enjoy driving between destinations and taking in the spectacular scenery along the way, getting to Bay of Plenty by road is a great option. There are a number of scenic touring routes which are well-signposted and make an excellent alternative.
The Pacific Coast Highway is a scenic thoroughfare that runs along the North Island’s east coast. Linking Auckland with the Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Plenty to the East Cape and Hawke’s Bay, the route showcases native bush and beaches. Driving the Pacific Coast Highway from Auckland to Tauranga will take a full day and offers very scenic if not windy roads.
The Great New Zealand Touring Route is the ideal option for those with a little more time to spare. Getting to Bay of Plenty has never been more enjoyable with this epic touring route which combines the Pacific Coast Highway with the Thermal Explorer Highway. Beginning in Auckland, the route tours the spectacular coast of the Coromandel Peninsula before passing through Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay before continuing inland to Lake Taupo and through Rotorua ending back in Auckland. Along the way you’ll experience everything from traditional Maori culture and snow-capped mountains to fantastic wineries and hot bubbling mud pools.
There are also many cruises which depart Australia and visit Bay of Plenty on a number of reputable cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and P&O Cruises. Departing Brisbane and Sydney, these cruises are available on board the Explorer of the Seas, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Diamond Princess, Sun Princess, Celebrity Solstice and Pacific Pearl cruise ships.