We reluctantly left the beach town of Raglan and headed north east to the Bay of Plenty and the town of Tauranga. We fancied a few more days by the sea (which isn’t difficult in New Zealand, where you’re never more than about 120km from the ocean), and were looking forward to our next stop. The drive wasn’t long, and we reached our camp site in about two hours. It was our first time camping in New Zealand, and a good chance to test out sleeping in the back of John and in our new tent. The weather was looking good, and summer seemed to be kicking in.
The afternoon that we arrived we set up camp and then drove into the town of Tauranga to have a mooch about. It was a little bit disappointing, and there wasn’t really much to do or see. However we hadn’t come to Tauranga for the town, but for the beach and Mount Maunganui (nicknamed simply, The Mount). We relaxed at the campsite that evening, and after an uncomfortable night in the back of John (and Grace a little more comfortable in the tent) the next morning we set of for a glorious walk along Papamoa beach.
The Mount seemed pretty close from our bit of beach, you could see it clearly in the distance, but after 15 minutes of waking it hadn’t gotten any closer. We strolled along the beach for a good hour before we got to the foot of the mount. We’d been watching the birds breaking open shells and feasting on shellfish. We climbed up the mount and the views of the entire Bay of Plenty was beautiful. The sea and sky were bright blue, and we could see right along the beach we had just walked along – it was a long way! We had lunch at the top and then treated ourselves to ice cream at the bottom; we needed some energy for the walk back! We then completely cancelled out the exercise by ordering pizza for dinner, which was a good end to a good day.
The next day we left to go to Rotorua. We’d only had one full day in the Bay of Plenty, but it was a really nice day. The weather was perfect and it was nice to spend some more time by the sea, and on another of New Zealand’s beautiful beaches.