Fodor's Expert Review Papamoa Hills Regional Park
A 45-minute climb through this 108-acre regional park will take you to the summit of a former Māori pā that dates back to 1460. It’s one of the earliest archaeological sites in the region. From the parking lot the trail is clearly marked: you climb through pine forest, then open farmland. Stop for the views, if not to catch your breath. The park is a 20-km (12½-mile) drive east of Tauranga (en route to Whakatane). You'll need to get off the tolled expressway for access. If traveling from Tauranga, take the Papamoa exit and then follow the signs indicating the free road to Te Puke. Go past Welcome Bay Road and look for Poplar Lane on the right. The parking lot is at the end of Poplar Lane.