7 Things To Do In The Bay Of Plenty During the Winter Months

Winter Months

When it comes to deciding on things to do in the Bay of Plenty, winter might not be the first season that comes to mind. However, don’t let the chill in the air deter you from experiencing this stunning region during the colder months. In fact, there are numerous advantages to visiting the Bay of Plenty in winter.

By avoiding the summer crowds, you can truly appreciate the serene beauty of the area and enjoy a fresh perspective on its attractions. Plus, winter here is much milder than the rest of the nation. So, bundle up and get ready to uncover the magic of the Bay of Plenty during the off-peak season.

1. Enjoy Nature’s Beauty

Imagine hiking along mist-covered trails that lead to breathtaking waterfalls. The foliage takes on a new palette of colours, and the tranquillity of nature in its dormant state can be deeply moving.

Explore the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park or stroll through the meticulously landscaped paths of the Hamilton Gardens. The cooler months add an element of mystery and wonder to the landscapes you encounter.

2. Indulge in Thermal Springs and Spas

As the temperature drops, there’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in the warm embrace of a natural hot pool. These geothermal wonders not only provide relaxation but also offer therapeutic benefits that can soothe both body and mind. Take a dip in the Polynesian Spa’s mineral-rich waters, or unwind at the Waiwera Thermal Resort.

3. Visit Cultural and Historical Sites

Winter is the perfect time to delve into the cultural and historical richness of the Bay of Plenty. From the Rotorua Museum which showcases the history of the region to the Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, where you can learn about the Maori culture, there’s no shortage of indoor activities that offer both education and entertainment.

4. Explore Local Food and Wine

Let your taste buds rejoice as you embark on a culinary journey through the Bay of Plenty’s winter flavours. The region’s vibrant food scene shines even brighter during the colder months. Warm up with hearty soups and stews at local cafes or enjoy the seasonal delights at Tauranga Farmers’ Market.

5. Discover Adventure Sports and Activities

For the thrill-seekers, winter doesn’t mean staying indoors. The Bay of Plenty offers an array of adventure sports that will get your heart racing even on the chilliest of days.

Brace yourself for a white-water rafting adventure down the Kaituna River’s rapids or glide across the waters with a kayaking or jet boating experience. The region’s dynamic rivers and coastal areas provide the perfect playground for adrenaline enthusiasts.

6. Attend Winter Festivals and Events

Don’t let the winter blues get to you – the Bay of Plenty knows how to keep the spirits high with its exciting winter festivals and events.

From Jazz and Blues concerts that set the stage on fire to food festivals that tantalize your taste buds, there’s something for everyone during the off-peak season. For a visual flair, the After Dark Urban Light Festival is a choice outing. For self-care enthusiasts, Sauna Fest is worth a visit.

7. Embrace the Coastal Charm

The allure of the Bay of Plenty’s coastal towns and beaches doesn’t fade during winter; it transforms into something truly magical. Take leisurely walks along the sandy shores, collecting shells and enjoying the fresh sea breeze. Cosy up in charming seaside cafes with a hot cup of cocoa and watch the waves crash against the shore.


As the winter months cast their gentle embrace over Rotorua, the region reveals a different side of its beauty and charm. Embracing the quieter, off-peak season allows you to explore new things to do in the Bay Of Plenty. So, don’t hesitate to visit the Bay of Plenty during winter – it’s an opportunity to experience this beloved region in a whole new light.

Theresa Todd

The author Theresa Todd