No Place Like the Bay of Plenty
By Adam Szentes
We love Mt Maunganui and the Bay of Plenty. We’ve been three times already this summer, but this time we were extra grateful to be in this beautiful beach side town as we were the special guest of Tiki Taane - multi-platinum award winning artist and music producer, and one of the Mount's favourite sons.
Tiki’s just released a new single called ‘No Place Like Home’ - and to celebrate, we've turned up to Tiki’s home town for a damn good party with a whole bunch of creative types from around the country to officially launch it.
The Mount’s a favourite summer spot characterised by surf lifesaving championships, people exercising in the sunshine, children playing on its golden sand shores, and a consistent break that attract surfers from all over the North Island.
The release party took place at the Mount’s Surf Club, set at the intersection of the foot of the mountain and the golden sand beach, providing a laid back vibe which is a real reflection of the local community. There’s no doubt why the top of the Mount is one of the most instagrammed places in New Zealand, and the area's beachy and laid-back character makes the town a tourism hotspot and hotbed for creativity.
‘No Place Like Home’ neatly encapsulates the vibe of ‘The Bay’, and Tiki ackowledges the importance of the local community with lyrics such as “everyone is welcome here, with open arms and plenty to share”. All proceeds from downloads will go towards 'Good Neighbour' - a local charity.
The track follows up from his albums ‘In The World of Light’ and ‘With Strings Attached’. The acoustic version Taane performed for us had a beautiful simplicity, with a recognisable reggae beat in the background.
It’s an up-tempo hit, with the track featuring some of the best singers and musicians from the Bay of Plenty, as well as the choir from Tahatai Coast, Taane’s children’s school. The studio single features more complexity and integration with a low-key guitar.
Being based at the surf club was the perfect platform to appreciate the region’s beauty. Mount Maunganui itself is breathtaking, an iconic mountain majestically guarding over the long stretches of white sandy beach that bless its shores.
On The Lawn - the food, beer, wine and music festival – was on at the same time and added to the party atmosphere. Jam packed with delectable street eats, craft drinks and awesome music, it’s a must-do if you’re ever in Tauranga in January.
There’s a lot to do here with a multitude of experiences that can be had on and off the water, an up and coming food scene with great new restaurants, and outside the box activities such as Blokarting. It’s only a one hour drive to the boat that takes you to White Island - an active volcano that tourists can experience up close and personal. The Pohutakawa Gallery is a favourite, with cute little gifts and souvenirs, as well as awesome New Zealand artwork. The Mount surf shop and museum showcases the evolution of NZ surfing through the 60s and 70s, a great stop for those interested in some local history.
There’s also a noticeable and real sense of community here, and this is evident in the hospitality and sense of humour of the locals. Our driver for the day treated us like one of the locals, joking with us throughout the day as we travelled around the Mount, and teasing that our plane had left without us and we would have to drive back to Auckland.
We had a great time celebrating the launch Tiki’s new single, we wish him well and we can’t wait to return to the Mount for another visit this Summer.
'No Place Like Home' is available for purchase from www.tikidub.com and streaming across all digital platforms now. Good Neighbour works to transform communities through neighbourhood projects, food rescue and community gardens. Further information and donations can be made at www.goodneighbour.co.nz.