Bay of Plenty
- This article is about the bay in northern New Zealand. For the similarly named region which surrounds the bay, see Bay of Plenty Region.
|Bay of Plenty (Te Moana-a-Toi)|
|Part of||Pacific Ocean|
|- left||Raukokore River, Kereu River, Haparapara River
Motu River, Hawai River, Waioeka River
|- right||Waiotahi River, Whakatane River, Rangitaiki River
Tarawera River, Kaituna River, Wairoa River
Wainui River, Aongatete River, Otahu River
Wentworth River, Wharekawa River
Location in the North Island of New Zealand.
The Bay of Plenty is a large indentation in the northern coast of New Zealand's North Island. It stretches from the Coromandel Peninsula in the west to Cape Runaway in the east, a wide stretch of some 259 km of open coastline. The Bay of Plenty Region is situated around this body of water, also incorporating several large islands in the bay.
The Bay of Plenty was the first part of New Zealand to be settled, by the Māori. The name "Bay of Plenty" originated with James Cook during his 1769–70 exploration of New Zealand, who noted the abundant resources in the area. The Māori name for the bay is Te Moana-a-Toi ("the sea of Toi"), a reference to the ancestral explorer Toi-te-huatahi.
In the 1830s, Europeans began to settle in the area.
On 5 October 2011, the MV Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of the Bay of Plenty causing a large oil spill. The spill is described as New Zealand's worst ever environmental disaster.
Sizeable harbours are located at Tauranga, Whakatane and Ohiwa. Major estuaries include Maketu, Little Waihi, Whakatane, Waiotahi and Waioeka/Otara. Eight major rivers empty into the bay from inland catchments, including Wairoa River, Kaituna, Tarawera, Rangitaiki, Whakatane, Waioeka, Motu and Raukokore Rivers.
The bay contains numerous islands, notably the active volcano Whakaari / White Island, which lies 50 kilometres from the North Island coast in the eastern bay. Other large islands include (from west to east) Matakana Island, Mayor Island / Tuhua, Motiti Island, and Moutohora Island.
The coast of the bay is dotted with several sizable settlements, the largest of which is the conurbation of the city of Tauranga and its neighbour Mount Maunganui in the west. The town of Whakatane is located in the centre of the coast. Other towns of note include Waihi Beach, Katikati, Maketu, Pukehina Beach and Opotiki. The market town of Te Puke lies a short distance inland from the bay coast.
Most of the population along the bay's coast is concentrated in the western and central parts of the shore; the eastern part of the bay is sparsely populated hill country.
Economy and human use 
The bay is a popular area for pleasure boating and game fishing, especially in the area around the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula at the bay's western end. Tauranga is New Zealand's largest commercial port, with the Port of Tauranga handling large consignments of timber from the forested regions of the island's interior.
The favourable climatic and growing conditions around the bay's coast make this area a major fruit- and vegetable-growing region, with major crops including kiwifruit and apples. There is also productive pastoral land along the coast utilised for sheep and dairy farming.
The Bay of Plenty is a popular holiday destination in New Zealand's North Island. This is owing to the warm and sunny climate during Summer and proximity to public beaches.
- "Bay of Plenty History". New Zealand Tourism Guide. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- McKinnon, Malcolm (2007-09-27). "Bay of Plenty". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 20 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
- "Tauranga incident response update". Maritime New Zealand. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- "M/V Rena Information". Costamare Inc. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- "'Worst ever environmental disaster'". New Zealand Herald. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- "Our Coast". Environment Bay of Plenty. Archived from the original on 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- "Our Region". Environment Bay of Plenty. Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-03-03.