Naomi Gray from Flight Centre Adelaide St in Brisbane proves New Zealand is not just a destination for longer holidays but also a great place for a quick weekend getaway.
Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty
After touching down in Auckland, we began our journey to Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty. This was a beautiful drive to say the least – three hours of green rolling hills and winding gorges. Before starting our afternoon of exploring, we enjoyed an extended lunch at Deckchair Café in Mount Maunganui. The cafe was packed so we knew we were in for something special. And special it was with fresh local food presented immaculately.
The atmosphere at Mount Maunganui was unforgettable. A beachfront lined with cafes, each one buzzing with people watching paragliders circling the mountain. There was that holiday feeling in the air. Whether you enjoy the ocean or would prefer to take a dip in the thermal baths, there's plenty to see and do around Mount Maunganui.
Waimarino Glow Worms
Early that evening we set off to go kayaking through the mysterious Waimarino glow worm canyon. The half hour drive flew by as our tour guide talked about the history and geology of the area. Awaiting us at Lake McLaren were snacks and beautiful local wine. Sipping on wine with the sun setting over the lake was such a special experience.
We hopped into our kayaks and started paddling away as the evening got darker and darker. The guides were incredible - loads of fun but also extremely helpful and knowledgeable. We paddled through a narrow canyon, laughing every few seconds as kayaks bumped together. As the array of glow worms became visible, we could do little but stare in awe of this natural spectacle. The glow worms were not the only highlight of our kayaking tour. As we emerged from the end of the canyon, we were met by a picture perfect silhouette of pine trees with the moon reflecting on the glistening lake – an amazing sight.
A weekend in the Tauranga area was an unforgettable experience and I thoroughly recommend this itinerary to anyone wanting something a little different for their next weekend getaway.
Considering a trip to New Zealand? Contact Naomi Gray, a Manager at Flight Centre Adelaide Street in Brisbane, who can be reached on 1300 321 164.