East Coast Beach Foodie Trail
It’s time to get out of the house and into an incredible East Coast foodie adventure! As you travel between Tauranga and Gisborne, we’ll help you find all the best foodie spots so you can truly taste the flavours of the North Island’s East Coast.
Drop in at the markets, explore the restaurants and cafes, taste the freshest of fish and discover local artisans of craft beer, cheese, wine, chocolate, berries and kiwifruit.
The Coastal Bay of Plenty knows how to do delicious. Our sunny, warm micro-climate makes perfect growing conditions for fresh local produce and the flourishing population of the region has seen an explosion in incredible eateries.
Burgers or Bali? Lunch at Waihī Beach is a must-do when you’re in the Bay of Plenty. Try one of New Zealand’s best burgers at the Surf Shack Eatery or delight in the Bali-like splendour of The Secret Garden.
Chocolate Heaven – Watch chocolate being made freshly in front of you at Chez Moi in Waihī Beach. This artisan chocolatier uses beautiful ingredients including Lewis Road products, and oranges, lemons and mint from the garden
Dinner by the Sea – Dine at the stunning beachfront Flat White Café. Gorgeous facilities – bar areas, decks, amazing views and delicious food. Open seven days from 8am till late.
Things to do in Waihī Beach:
Hike the Orokawa Trail: a stunning 45-minute walk through bush with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the sounds of birdlife as you pass by towering pōhutukawa trees, kauri, puriri and our native nikau palm trees.
Where to Stay:
Waihī Beach Top 10 Holiday Resort: Surrounded by five acres of amazing native bush, the resort offers plenty of accommodation options and is perfectly placed at the north end of beautiful Waihī Beach.
Waihī Beach Paradise Resort: Choose a luxury unit or a boutique cottage, enjoy the in-ground pool, or soak in one of the two spa pools.
Wine tasting. Continue on your Bay of Plenty foodie journey with a wine tasting experience at Leveret Estate in Katikati. Discover the estate’s premium tasting room as the wonderful staff guide you on a journey of their new releases and current vintages.
Nourish your tastebuds. With a delicious menu, scrummy savoury cabinet options, incredible coffee, and the best salads in town, Nourish has something for everyone.
Things to do in Tauranga
Visit the The Historic Village: a collection of original and replica buildings from early Tauranga set in gorgeous gardens and natural bush surrounds. These wonderful character buildings are home to over 50 businesses, including shops and community organisations. We recommend a coffee at the onsite Whipped Baker (look out for the amazing doughnuts!)
Waterfront dining in the Tauranga CBD
A meal at Harbourside is the perfect end to a day of culinary adventures. Enjoy exquisite cuisine made with the finest organic and local ingredients as you take in views across the blue expanse of Tauranga harbour.
Where to stay:
Clarence Hotel – Built in 1906, this amazing building was once Tauranga’s Post Office. It has now been refurbished into a boutique 10-room hotel, fine dining restaurant and funky bar and bistro.
Trinity Wharf Hotel – The 4.5-star Trinity Wharf Hotel offers accommodation right on the Tauranga Harbour and fine dining at the award-winning Halo restaurant. Enjoy your Tauranga getaway in style, right in the CBD and a short drive from Mount Maunganui.
Visit the Tauranga Farmer’s Market: Buy direct from Bay of Plenty producers and artisans. Open every Saturday from 07:45 to 12:00noon, the Tauranga Farmers Market is the place to go for the freshest local eggs, veges and fruit, yummy pastries, macadamias, local chutneys, smoked fish and more.
Brunch at Eddie’s and Elspeth: Just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Mount Maunganui, Eddie’s offers amazing coffee and delicious breakfasts while Elspeth Bakery offers speciality pastries, made by skilled bakers on site. Yum.
Visit ‘Our Place’: The container mall Our Place is a lively outdoor space with tasty street food, live music, craft beer, art, and shops featuring local brands.
Take a Brewbus Tour: You’re about to experience the brave new world of brewing. The Brewbus experts know where the best local brews are made, they’ll get you right inside the craft beer brewing process and drive you safely as you wet your whistle with some of these delicious pours.
Things to do in Tauranga: Check out the local street art and the Hairy Maclary statues at the Tauranga waterfront, or jump on a half-day marine wildlife cruise with Bay Explorer.
Things to do in Mount Maunganui: Walk up and/or around Mauao (Mount Maunganui), one of the most Instagrammed/photographed locations in New Zealand. Hike to the top of the dormant volcano or walk the popular base track for views that will take your breath away
Dinner: Izakai Bar & Eatery is a delicious and innovative food fusion story. Blending together Māori and Japanese cuisine with the values of manaakitanga and sustainability, this is a unique dining experience that’s a must-do for foodies. Try a hand-crafted cocktail with true local flavour, take in the subtle and elegant Māori inspired design and taste the food that has everyone talking.
Visit Kiwifruit Country – You’re in kiwifruit land, so make a stop at Kiwifruit Country and see (and taste) the goodness for yourself. Visit the café and shop to load up on treats and gifts – ice-cream lovers will love the green and gold kiwifruit ice-cream – or take the tour through the orchard. You’ll get to ride on kiwifruit-shaped carts through a working Bay of Plenty orchard, discover a bit about our unique soils and come out of the experience with a new love and appreciation for the fuzzy ‘wonder food’.
Julian’s Berry Farm: If you’re visiting the Coastal Bay of Plenty in late spring and early summer this iconic destination is an absolute must. Abundant with pick your own berries, baby animals, an excellent cafe and the famous berry ice-creams – Julian’s Berry Farm is one of the most charming stops in the region.
Fish of the Day: For the freshest fish and chips, visit Gibbo’s on the Wharf in Whakatāne. Sit beside the Whakatāne harbour and enjoy a true ‘catch and cook’ experience.
Award-winning craft beer: A family-owned business, Mata Brewery is serving up unique craft beers, delicious pizzas and bar snacks. It’s a favourite with Whakatāne locals so this is a must-do for true local flavour!
Where to stay:
Ataahua Ruru Glamping: Relax in the peaceful bush setting of Ataahua Ruru Farm. Enjoy native bird song as you relax in your own lotus belle glamping tent.
White Island Rendezvous: White Island Island Rendezvous is a 4.5 star motel accommodation, nestled between the Whakatāne River and a pōhutukawa tree lined escarpment. Enjoy your stay in one of the micro-village cabins and enjoy breakfast at the onsite café – a favourite amongst locals.
Drive the stunningly beautiful Waioeka Journey as you follow State Highway 2 towards into the Tairāwhiti Gisborne region. Take your time as each stop has more to discover, including a remote little coffee stop halfway through at Wairata.
Stop at one of the many cellar doors as you arrive into one of New Zealand’s oldest wine-making regions. Stop for a platter and tasting and perhaps pick your favourite to take to your unique stay for the weekend.
Nothing better than sitting in your luxury lodge, eco retreat or beach front paradise with a glass of your new favourite vino!
Spend the evening at Dome Cinema which has a long reputation for bewitching its guests with a charming mixture of the modern and fun, of old elegance and romance. Cosy up for your movie with a drink, pizza or something of the full dining menu for the full cinematic experience.
Have breakfast and grab some lunch to go from The Royal Matawhero on your way out to Railbike Adventures to try out the new hit thing to do in Tairāwhiti Gisborne – tandem cycling on an unused railway. No balancing required and e-bikes available for this epic journey. It takes you over farmland, through forestry blocks and a 1.4km tunnel before arriving in a native wonderland at Beach Loop – stop for lunch with a view before zooming back down.
Spend the afternoon wandering through the Gisborne city centre or Ballance Street Village, ripe with boutique clothing stores, art galleries, health stores and much more.
Spending the evening in of the best local dining experiences Gisborne has to offer. With fresh seafood available right on the doorstep you can imagine the delight this adds to local menus.
Enjoy a bit more of a leisurely start this morning and grab brunch at one of Gisborne cities mouth-watering cafes. Verve Café is a great choice for a long leisurely breakfast. Or pop over to the favourite little hotspot that is Frank and Albie’s who do the best bagels in the city.
Make your way to Eastwoodhill Arboretum for a scenic drive to New Zealand’s National Arboretum. An off the beaten track natural wonderland, this is the place for some serious forest bathing. Wander across 131 hectares of peaceful surrounds, lush gardens, trees and walking trails. You’ll also find a café serving delicious scones, slices and coffee – a wonderful place to lose track of time.
Take a leisurely cycling tour around the city with the team at Cycle Gisborne. Cruise through the hot spots, along the beautiful beach front boardwalk before a stop-off at the local spots such as Sunshine Brewery and Harvest Cidery. Perhaps pick up some of your favourite goodies to take home to relive your great week away.