A service town with an urban population of approximately 6,700, "Te Puke" should be pronounced "teh-pook-eh," which 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 center of an industry which supplies a large percentage of the total world production of the fruit. Livestock are also farmed, notably dairy cattle. The surround area contains many fruit orchards and avocado orchards, and supporting these forms the backbone of the region's economy. Many locals also commute to nearby Tauranga and Mount Manganui.
Drive southeast from Tauranga on State Highway 1, or take one of the Bayhopper busses from Tauranga, Mt. Maunganui, or Rotorua. Shuttle busses 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.
There is no public transport to speak of within the town itself, though long haul bus services and the local Bayhopper buses pass through regularly.
Go swimming on the local beaches at Papamoa (about 10 minutes' drive northeast on State Highway 1, then follow roadsigns), or Maketu (Drive south 4 km or so on State Highway 1, then follow the signs east). Pristine, unspoiled beaches.
- Kiwi360, (3-4 km south of Te Puke on State Highway 1), . An interesting look at the local kiwifruit industry, offering orchard tours, a good cafe, and a good souvenir shop. edit
- Spring Loaded, (5km south of Te Puke on State Highway 1), . Jet boat tours, helicopter flights, 4WD tours and you-drive 4WD experiences, farm tours, and kiwifruit wine tasting. edit
- Horse Trekking, ☎ (+64) 7 533 2582, . Horse trekking on the local beaches (which are uncrowded, unspoilt, and beautiful in any season) edit
- Comvita Honey Tour, (5 km southeast of Te Puke on State Highway 1), . Tour through the honey and health product manufacturing facilities of Comvita. They have an interesting visitors center as well. edit
- Golf Te Puke, Cnr State Highway 2/State Highway 29 (7 minutes drive south of Te Puke, at the turn-off to Whakatane), ☎ 07 533 1115, . Lovely 18 hole course. A great day out on a challenging but easy walking course. Superb playing conditions and reasonable green fees. Bar and catering on most days. Caravan and mobile home sites. Pro Shop. An opportunity to test yourself against our famous - or infamous - black tees. edit
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 labor (by New Zealand standards) and is not difficult.
There are numerous few cafes and restaurants on Jellicoe St (State Highway 1 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.
- The Trading Post Cafe, Cnr Hall and Wilson Roads,Te Puke (5km south of Te Puke on State Highway), ☎ +64 7 533-1900, . Has a very good reputation locally, offering high quality meals from brunch through to a late dinner. edit
- Mini Punjab Restaurant, ☎ +64 7 573-3350. Indian food at reasonable prices. edit
- Sushi 1st, 84 Jellicoe, St Te Puke (Near the main cross walk on Jellicoe street), ☎ +64 7 573-4531. Good NZ-style sushi, with an emphasis on avocado, salmon, and chicken. edit
- Vesey's Restaurant, 50 Jellicoe Street, Te Puke, ☎ +64 7 573-3324. Good Indian food, takeout food also available. edit
- Seaside Cafe & Restaurant, 2 Townpoint Rd Maketu, ☎ +64 7 533-2381. Seafood restaurant with an attached fish and chip takeaway. Excellent food. $20+. edit
There are bars and pubs on Jellicoe street, though the nightlife is far better in Tauranga and Mt. Maunganui.
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.
- Beacon Motel, 173 Jellicoe St, SH2, Te Puke (Across from the railway station), ☎ 64 7 573 7825. NZ$85+. edit
- Junction Motel, 246 State Highway 33, Paengaroa, Te Puke (Approximately 5km south of Te Puke on State Highway 1), ☎ (+64 7) 533 1023 (fax: (+64 7) 533 1022), . NZ$105. edit
- Princess street apartment, 7 Princess St, Te Puke, ☎ +64 7 573 9345. Serviced apartment, in a quiet urban area of Te Puke. $90. edit
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