4) Mount Maunganui
Mount Maunganui is a real resort with sunshine, shopping and an array of nice cafes and restaurants, bordered on either side by a beach and watched over by the impressive Mount. You can climb the Mount for dazzling views or take a more leisurely walk around it, or take a boat ride, during which you've got a good chance of seeing dolphins or killer whales.
The main beach, facing out into the Bay of Plenty, is a golden surfing beach, whereas the beach on the other side, a minute's walk away at the Mount's foot, is calm, perfect for kayaking or paddling with small children. Mount Maunganui's a great place to stay if you're on holiday in New Zealand - as well as a few expensive hotels and motels, it's got a cheaper campground, which is right at the foot of the Mount and next to a complex of natural, salt water spa pools.