Te Puke /tɨˈpʊki/ is a town located 28 kilometres southeast of Tauranga on State Highway 2 in the Western Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand. It is particularly famous for the cultivation of kiwifruit. Te Puke has a population of 7496 as of the 2013 Census.
Te Puke is in close proximity to Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Papamoa, and Maketu, which are all coastal towns/cities, as well as the small townships of Waitangi, Manoeka, Pongakawa and Paengaroa. It is 56.9 kilometres from Rotorua and 66.5 kilometres from Whakatane.
The town's name means The Hill, and should be pronounced "teh-pook-eh", not the occasional "Te-Pyook". This name is reflective of its location, as it is on a hill near the Papamoa Hills.
Te Puke has quite a number of attractions.
Perhaps the most notable attraction in Te Puke is Kiwi 360, with its famous landmark, the giant kiwifruit clearly visible from the highway just west of the township of Te Puke.
This fully operational kiwifruit orchard offers tours on their KiwiKart, kiwifruit-shaped open carriages pulled by a tractor. The informational tours includes commentary about the processes used to harvest and export the kiwifruit, with stops along the way to have a closer look at the kiwifruit plantations.
Kiwi 360 was openend in 1987 under the name 'Kiwifruit Country'. The visitor centre complex at Kiwi 360 also houses a café, large souvenir shop selling many kiwifruit-based products, and conference facilities.
The giant kiwifruit has been featured on NZ Post stamps in 1998 and 2014. The landmark building's two faces were originally both painted green, until a repaint in 2010 where one side was repainted green and the other yellow, to reflect the two most popular kiwifruit varieties. The giant kiwifruit contains a staircase to a viewing balcony near the top, which is open to the public during opening hours of Kiwi 360.
Te Puke Vintage Auto Barn:
Te Puke Vintage Auto Barn, situated next door to Kiwi 360, had an impressive range of vintage cars, but was closed in November, 2006 because the elderly owner was no longer able to maintain the museum and no other investors were prepared to buy it. Now it has been transformed into a backpackers lodge.
The Amazing Race:
Te Puke is the destination of the 4th leg of the US reality show The Amazing Race 13 that was filmed in 2008.