WHAKA (49 of 98)Whakatane was a brilliant, friendly, clean and welcoming place, mixed with culture and adventure. Have a read of my Blog from there www.barekiwi.com/whakatane

After leaving Whakatane we headed west towards Mount Maunganui. Admittedly Cyclone Lusi was also arriving this day, we knew this, it’s just that we were excited to get the opportunity to relax in a hotel for a couple of days after being on the road for five weeks. Everyone’s allowed a day off right? And what a better place than the Mount!

On our way to Tauranga we stopped at Comvita, a manuka honey factory. BOP (4 of 14)We weren’t too sure what to expect but with the rain pouring down we entered the building with an open mind. Who would have thought we would leave a couple of hours later, massive smiles on our faces, after having the best time! The crew there were brilliant! They gave us a guided tour around the complex, explaining what it is they do and how cool bees are. Part of the tour was a dress up and roll play about the life of a bee – classic! Hahaha we kinda took over this. It’s well worth a visit if you’re passing through.BOP (10 of 12)

A cut out image of Claude Stratford - Comvita founder stands over his bee hives at the entrance to Comvita. Claude lived of his product every day and recently passed away only a few weeks before his 103 birthday!

A cut out image of Claude Stratford – Comvita founder stands over his bee hives at the entrance to Comvita. Claude lived of his product every day and recently passed away only a few weeks before his 103 birthday!

 We also tried to visit Kiwi 360 this day but due to the rain was a no go. BOP (9 of 14)However, we did manage to get some tasting in 😉 We just needed to wait a couple of days for the sun to come out so we could film here. Like Comvita, yet another activity that surprisingly left us wanting more. The tour takes you around all the Kiwifruit vines. Getting a free feed along the way, they explain the different types of Kiwifruit and the massive process involved behind the scenes of the Kiwifruit world. This may sound boring but it was pretty cool.

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The past few days were based in Tauranga. The waterfront in Mount Maunganui is beautiful with a few high-rise buildings overlooking it, giving you that “Surfers paradise” in Australia feel. The walk up the Mount is stunning, I loved it. The view from the top is epic! BOP (11 of 12)

There are numerous local gems hidden around the place but they are guarded secrets and rightfully so. Surfer’s dominate this place with an endless summer vibe.BOP (13 of 14)

With three quarters of New Zealand’s population on its doorstep, this area has experienced an increase in the number of domestic travelers market. As well, cruise ships now visit on a regular basis. So many Kiwi’s make this their Number 1 Holiday Spot.BOP (14 of 14)