The massive sandbar extending from Tauranga's harbor leads to one of New Zealand’s most beloved beaches at Mount Maunganui, known locally as The Mount. The white sand ocean-side beach is a surfer’s dream, and while an artificial reef was installed to create even more "perfect" waves, it was removed after it caused too many dangers to swimmers and disappointments to surfers. Pilot’s Bay is the sheltered beach on the harbor side, opposite the port. The actual mountain towering over the beach is called Mauao, meaning "caught by the dawn" after a sad Maori legend about the bereft mountain trying to plunge itself into the sea but fixed in place by the rising sun. The mountain’s base is encircled by a popular walking track, hot pools and Pohutukawa trees. Offshore, you can spot pods of dolphins and whales, as well as fishermen and SCUBA divers angling near Motiti Island.
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Mount Maunganui is a natural landmark towering above the beach town that goes by the same name. The cone of an extinct volcano, it marks the entrance to the busy harbor in the neighboring city of Tauranga. Maunganui stands 232 meters (761 feet) tall and is rich in Maori lore. (Its Maori name, Mauao, means “caught by the morning sun.”) Among its scenic hiking trails are a popular 3.4-kilometer (two-mile) track around its base and several routes to the summit, where a 360-degree panorama awaits.
Mount Maunganui is a town in the Bay of Plenty, North Island of New Zealand, and also the name of the extinct volcanic cone, officially known as Mauao or simply as The Mount.
I really recommend a climb to the top, 232 meters high, for a view of the entire Bay of Plenty Region. Sit on the wooden bench, relax and enjoy the view over Matakana Island.
There is a base track with 3.4 km and takes about 45 minutes to walk. To the summit, there are several tracks, for sightseers take Oruahine or Waikorire, it takes about 40 minutes to get to the top, but it is worthwhile.
You know you’re in a great place to stand up paddle when you’ve got the option of the bay on one side and the ocean on the other. Mt. Maunganui is at the bottom tip of the C-shaped Tauranga Bay, a spot that has “holiday beach town” written all over it. Yet despite the influx of tourists soaking up the rays, its mellow side still prevails. And it’s definitely worth your time to get out on the water. Hiria and Seaton Rolleston, are the awesomely fun, local owners of East Coast Paddler, a SUP school, store, and rental company. For an authentic experience, this local company did not disappoint.
What is free, awe-inspiring, and all-natural? A hike up “The Mount,” as locals call it. Maunganui is the Diamond Head of Tauranga, New Zealand. Sitting at the end of a peninsula, it offers up jaw dropping views during the ascent and at the finish of your climb. Fit hikers can do it in less than an hour. Taking the climb at an easy stroll and stopping for picks with roaming sheep will have you enjoying the experience for 2 hours or more. In the high season summer months, the hike up the Mount is a refreshing exercise in Kiwi culture.