A word with Wendy
Travel is amazing! Let’s not forget that we can travel locally and still see amazing sites and experience amazing adventures!
We stopped by House of Travel to have a chat with Wendy to ask of her favourite spots to stop off in the Bay.
Wendy grew up in Te Puna and loves to head back there often! There’s a lot to explore in Te Puna, like the Te Puna Quarry Park being a great spot to stop. With breathtaking artwork and beautiful sculptures, you could spend hours wondering around!
If you’re after an alcoholic refresher, a fresh juice or coffee, Wendy recommends walking through the doors of the Cider Factorie. With having the cider brewed on site matched with outdoor dining, the atmosphere couldn’t get any more relaxing. Did we mention it is situated on the cycle way between Te Puna and Omokoroa. That calls for the perfect pit stop.
Let’s not forget to mention that it’s worth while heading to the Minden Lookout. On a good day (which is common in the Bay) you can see all the way from Bowentown to Mount Maunganui or even beyond. “The view is spectacular” Wendy says. Plus if you’re up for some huffing and puffing, climb the Stairs to Nowhere!
Let’s talk food now! Where’s Wendy’s favourite local eats?
The flatwhite café in Waihi beach is what you’d call a small-town gem with a relaxed vibe that’s sure to send you in to holiday mode. If you’re after something a little more fancy for a dinner or lunch, you can’t beat Harbourside with great service and amazing waterfront views. And finally, for a trip to Vietnam, head to Rice Rice Baby. Wendy mentions that not only the food, but the setup of the restaurant takes her right back to her days visiting Vietnam!
Day Trip Tips
Have you walked the Karangahake Gorge yet? Wendy explains that “it’s a spectacular walk and cycle way”. Head through the old railway tunnels that were used for travel to the Waihi mines back in the day for scenic walk. The walk can range from 1 hour to 8 hours depending how far you want to go!
You can’t go past visiting Hobbiton for a nighttime tour. Arriving in the late afternoon, getting the tour to finish up at the Green Dragon for dinner. The best part is, you get to walk up after dinner using the old lanterns for an added experience!
Now for Wendy’s Hidden gems
If you love your bike, look up Day Trippers! A company that offers bike and e-bike tours in around and outside of Tauranga.
For something mouthwatering and hidden away the place to stop is the Hideaway Café in Mount Maunganui. Trust Wendy when she says, “they have the most phenomenally insane shakes”. It is definitely worth a visit; the picture below says it all.