Te Puke

Te Puke is a town in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, with an urban population of approximately 6,700. "Te Puke" should be pronounced "teh-pook-eh" and means "The Hill" in Maori.

Te Puke's warm climate and fertile volcanic soils make it a very horticultural district, allowing it to grow a wide variety of citrus fruit such as lemons and oranges, in addition to kiwifruit. The town markets itself as the "Kiwifruit capital of the world," and is the centre of an industry which supplies a large percentage of the total world production of the fruit. Livestock are also farmed, notably dairy cattle. The surrounding area contains many pip-fruit and avocado orchards, and supporting these forms the backbone of the region's economy. Many locals also commute to nearby Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.

Get in

Tauranga Eastern Link

The new SH 2 Tauranga Eastern Link toll road will open in August 2015 (exact date to be confirmed), bypassing Te Puke. When it opens, you will need to exit at Domain Road (Papamoa) coming from Tauranga, and at the Paengaroa roundabout coming from Rotorua and Whakatane to access the town.

Drive southeast from Tauranga on State Highway 2, or take one of the Bayhopper buses from Tauranga, Mt. Maunganui, or Rotorua. Shuttle buses are also available that will get you to Auckland airport, although the firms operating these (and the tariffs they charge) seem to change quite regularly.

Get around

There is no public transport to speak of within the town itself, though the local Bayhopper buses pass through regularly.

See

Giant kiwifruit at Te Puke Kiwi 360

Do

Go swimming on the local beaches at Papamoa (9 km north-east on State Highway 2, then turn right following road signs), or Maketu (Drive east 6 km on State Highway 2, then follow the signs north). Pristine, unspoiled beaches.

Work

There is usually seasonal work available in the kiwifruit industry provided your visa status permits you to work (this is often checked by potential employers). Peak season for picking and packing is from late April through to June. The work can be physically hard but pays a reasonable wage for labour (by New Zealand standards) and is not difficult.

Eat

There are cafes and restaurants on Jellicoe St (State Highway 2 as it goes through Te Puke), all offering reasonable to good food. In addition to the many take-out businesses offering pizza, gyros, a variety of Asian food, and the ubiquitous New Zealand fish and chips, Jellicoe St has a good Indian restaurant (the Mini Punjab) and a few bars that also double as restaurants.

Drink

There are bars and pubs on Jellicoe St, although the nightlife is far better in Tauranga and Mt Maunganui.

Sleep

There are 2 reasonable camping grounds within easy driving distance that offer a cheaper alternative to staying in a motel. Motels in Te Puke may be a lower cost alternative to those in Tauranga or Rotorua, and the town's location between the two areas makes it a reasonable choice if you are planning to explore the Bay of Plenty.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.