- 1 Opotiki – an eastern coastal town, not far from its bigger neighbour Whakatane
- 2 Rotorua – inland city with geothermal attractions, and a centre for the indigenous Maori culture
- 3 Tauranga – the biggest city, with a harbour and ocean beaches
- 4 Te Puke – a horticultural centre south-east of Tauranga
- 5 Waihi Beach – small town at the western end, with 9 km white-sand beach, popular with surfing enthusiasts
- 6 Whakatane – a coastal town, one of the sunniest in the country
Geothermal activity is a significant tourist attraction, particularly around Rotorua. The Taupo Volcanic Zone runs through the Bay of Plenty from the active volcanoes around Mount Ruapehu in the south-west to beyond White Island in the north-east. Here the earth's crust is believed to be only 5 km thick in places. There are several other large, though dormant, volcanoes in this zone, including the volcanic calderas currently occupied by Lakes Taupo and Rotorua, as well as the more familiar volcanic cones.
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- Swimming with dolphins and whale watching
- There are very famous MTB trails in Rotorua where you can bike through the redwood forest. If you don't have your own bike, you can also rent very well equipped MTBs including a helmet (~$50/d).
- Relaxing on countless beaches throughout the bay.
- Central North Island south from Rotorua
- The East Coast region via eastern Bay of Plenty and East Cape
- Coromandel Peninsula via western Bay of Plenty