10 experiences for a men's getaway
The Bay of Plenty has a lot more to offer men than a swim in the surf or a stroll on the beach (although both are highly recommended). So if you’re looking for a fantastic birthday present or Father’s Day gift, or you’re organising a stag do or boys’ weekend away, we’ve come up with a few ideas to make the most of your stay in our region.
You’ll find action, adrenaline, marine sports, high octane adventure, epic food, craft beer and cider, and a whole heap of fun in the Coastal Bay of Plenty.
Here are our top 10 man-friendly ideas for a getaway in the Bay:
JUMP FOR IT
There’s nothing like freefalling back towards Tauranga at 200km/h to give you a new lease on life! If you love an adrenaline rush or want to push right outside your comfort zone, head straight to Skydive Tauranga.
You can choose from two different altitudes for your tandem jump – 12,000ft will provide 40 seconds of freefall, while 15,000ft will give you a whole minute to send your adrenal glands into overdrive. You’ll enjoy a great view of the ocean, city, and beaches and can see as far as White Island, Mount Ruapehu, Rotorua Lakes, the Coromandel and even Mount Taranaki. The whole experience takes 1.5-2 hours, including a 25 minute scenic flight before the doors open and it’s time to JUMP!
FISH, DIVE, HUNT, COOK
Join former Māori All Blacks captain and rugby legend Deon Muir for an unforgettable day out. Muirs Tours is more than just a fishing or diving charter – you’ll learn how to be a great kaitiaki of our moana, why certain fishing techniques work better than others, and hear some great yarns along the way.
You can customise your day tour and pick from a range of activities including fishing, scuba diving or even 18 holes of golf in nearby Te Puke! Muirs cookouts are the perfect way to round out your day. Deon will teach you how to fillet, smoke and cook your own catch.
Halfway between Tauranga and Rotorua (approximately 30 minutes’ drive) is a 1650ha all-terrain playground known as TECT Park. On site you’ll find a 300m rifle range where you can shoot rifles safely and (hopefully!) accurately. Try your hand at clay bird shooting by getting in touch with the BOP Clay Target Association. They hold regular club and practice days, and corporate or private shoots can be organised by arrangement.
If you really want to shoot your mates instead of clay targets, organise a game of airsoft at TECT Park. Airsoft is similar to paintball and is like a large game of tag. As well as shooting BB bullets at the opposing team, you capture flags and carry out other tactical tasks during the game. Tauranga’s Airsoft Club are happy to host private group bookings and can teach you the ropes before letting you loose on their 12.5ha field.
Meanwhile, keen paintball players can head to Hotshots Paintball which caters for all ages and levels of experience. They have a range of modes and packages, from Starter to Rambo. It’s messy, fast and a lot of fun!
BayStation is the ultimate place to compete for glory. With three heart-pumping activities on offer – drift bikes, laser tag and paintball – you can unleash all-out war against your mates.
Electric drift trikes are raced indoors on BayStation’s polished concrete track, so it’s guaranteed fun no matter the weather. Powered by an electric front wheel, they feature custom-built drifting rear wheels for a super smooth ride and plenty of drifting action.
Laser tag and paintball are played in an epic outdoor arena stacked with vehicle bodies, drum bunkers and handy hiding spots. So think tactically and plan your stealthy attack. Remember, bragging rights are on the line.
BayStation is located at Baypark in Mount Maunganui. You can pop right next door afterwards for a night of speedway action during the summer months or grab a beer and some food at Bayfair’s nearby restaurants.
Being driven around the Bay’s best craft breweries to sample their most popular beers is a dream day out for many men. Brewbus will take you on a grand tour around our region to discover some hidden gems of the brewing world. You’ll enjoy behind the scenes access to working breweries and meet some interesting characters who are passionate about brewing quality beer. Each brewery has their own story to share and insight into how to make a perfect pour.
There are several tour options available around Tauranga/Mount Maunganui, including one that heads across to Whakatāne to visit the award-winning Mata Brewery. Brewbus is a great way to enjoy the Bay’s scenery, culture and local food as well as discovering the region’s best beers. Once finished, your tour guide can recommend other spots to continue your craft beer experience on your own, or return you to base. Cheers to that!
Battle your way through a zombie apocalypse, summit Mount Everest or walk on the moon via virtual reality. The Cave at Papamoa provides hundreds of different VR experiences where you can fully immerse yourself in a whole new world.
Play against your mates or go solo. There are VR experiences suitable for everyone here. Sessions can be customised to your interests and abilities and vary from completely relaxing to super intense. Dive beneath the ocean waves to view magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, play a crazy game of mini golf or sign up for a horror session if you dare!
The Cave also hosts virtual escape rooms where players aren’t restricted by physical boundaries. Escape options include lost pyramids, jungles, prisons, Chernobyl, desert islands and the ominous-sounding ‘house of fear’.
E-sports and simulator racing are available too so you can go head to head with your friends on a rally course, drifting or Formula One track. The Cave is a great place to escape reality and the stresses of everyday life, and is the perfect all-weather activity for men of all ages.
GET REVVED UP
Buckle up and get ready to cruise the streets of Tauranga on a V8 Chevrolet trike. The power these things put out is impressive and you’ll definitely turn a few heads as you’re driven around our region in style on board these gleaming machines.
Your professional driver will take you on a scenic tour through Mount Maunganui and Tauranga city, stopping at scenic lookouts across the Bay of Plenty and showing you the best sights and real estate in town. Each V8 trike can fit four people, plus the driver. And before you ask – no, you can’t drive it yourself. Sorry! Tours range from a 25 minute beach cruise to a three hour ‘pedal to the metal’ experience. V8 trikes are an exhilarating ride and with three vehicles in the fleet, they can cater for up to 10 riders at any one time.
These trikes are registered as cars, not motorbikes, so helmets aren’t required – just a seatbelt. So sit back and feel the wind in your hair (or on your face for the follically-challenged men amongst us!).
REEL 'EM IN
With the Pacific Ocean literally on our doorstep, the Coastal Bay of Plenty is an angler’s paradise. Charter a boat and head out on the water for a day of big game fishing. Local operators will expertly guide you to the best spots to hunt for kingfish, hapuka, yellow fin tuna, marlin and more.
There are plenty of local fishing charter companies to choose from and the price depends on the length of your trip and how many people you have on board. Our region’s warm and nutrient-rich waters are renowned for producing trophy-sized fish so sit back and relax in the sun until it’s time to get to work reeling in your catch.
Offshore reefs and pinnacles surrounding Motiti and Tuhua (Mayor) Island, along with Astrolabe Reef and Okaparu Reef are great places to fish. Here you’ll find popular species like tarakihi, snapper, john dory, trevally and kahawai. Gurnard, pink maomao, red snapper and porae are also often caught.
If you love good food and a cold bevvy, you’ve come to the right place. To fully appreciate all that’s on offer here, we suggest you book yourself a tasting tour.
This region is renowned for its fertile soil, fresh kaimoana (seafood) and delicious produce like kiwifruit and avocado. We also excel at macadamia nuts, truffles, artisan breads and fine quality chocolate. Just to name a few!
Tauranga Tasting Tours and Taste of Plenty offer a variety of tasting tours where you’ll get to meet local food producers and visit specialty shops, markets, restaurants and production facilities that you’re unlikely to stumble across by yourself. Enjoy tasting all the delicious products (including craft beer and wine) that our region produces but more importantly, learn about the people and stories behind these great products.
One destination, tucked away in the Te Puna hills on the outskirts of Tauranga, is worth visiting directly. The Cider Factorie hand-crafts outstanding ciders so rock up to their cellar door and try them all. You’ll find traditional favourites like apple, pear and feijoa but you can push the boat out and sample lemon, lychee, nectarine, orange peel, passionfruit and more. There’s an awesome restaurant and outdoor courtyard where you can relax in the sun with your mates.
NEED FOR SPEED
Let’s face it, most of us would love to own a jet ski but few of us have enough room in our garages to actually store one. No need to worry! The team at Aqua 360˚ have got you covered. Hire their high-spec Sea-Doo GTI130 jet skis, inflatable biscuits, wakeboards and water skis for an hourly rate and have a blast on Tauranga’s harbour.
Different biscuits allow you to lie flat on your stomach or sit upright, and some can even belt out music via Bluetooth speakers while you hoon around.
Jet skis are perfect for fishing also. Aqua 360˚ can set you up with jet ski hire, a Sea-Doo Garmin fish finder, fishing cooler, rod holders, fishing rods and tackle so you can fish the inner harbour, around Matakana Island or head further afield in search of snapper, kahawai, and john dory. Each jet ski is big enough to take two adults and one child and has a combined weight limit of 270kg.
A guided tour is also available around Matakana, Rangiwaea and Motuhoa islands – it’ll take 2.5 hours and is a 70km round trip. Get up nice and close to shore and learn about the history of these historic landmarks. Plus have an epic amount of fun on the water!