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.
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.
There is no public transport to speak of within the town itself, though the local Bayhopper buses pass through regularly.
- Comvita Honey Tour, 23 Wilson Road South, Paengaroa (drive 9 km southeast of Te Puke on State Highway 2 and then fork right on SH33), ☎+64 7 533 1987, toll-free: 0800 493 782, fax: +64 7 533-1672, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visitor Centre: M-F 08:30-17:00, Sa-Su 09:30-16:00. Tour through the honey and health product manufacturing facilities of Comvita. Their Manuka Honey bars are yummy and you should try some delicious honey flavoured Kapiti ice cream too; interesting visitors centre as well.
- 1 Kiwi360 (6 km south of Te Puke on State Highway 2), ☎+64 7 573-6340, fax: +64 7 573-6345. An interesting look at the local kiwifruit industry, offering orchard tours, a good cafe, and a good souvenir shop.