Captain James Cook aptly named the ‘Bay of Plenty’ in 1769 after he observed the region’s abundant food supplies and bountiful gardens.

Since then, this region has continued to flourish and attract settlers from all over the world to join Māori who have lived here for centuries.

One of Aotearoa’s oldest heritage sites can be found near Tauranga’s CBD. The Elms ׀ Te Papa Tauranga is one of the first places Māori and Pākehā regularly interacted and is where a European mission station was built in the early nineteenth century. Many artifacts have been perfectly preserved and provide a fascinating insight into life in the Bay over 175 years ago.

Small museums, monuments, historic sites and homesteads scattered around our region also provide a valuable glimpse into our past and are open year-round for visitors to explore.

Learning about our past gives us the opportunity to value and enjoy the present day, and to also shape our future. We welcome you to explore what’s on offer here.