White beaches, hot sand, glorious weather and friendly people are only a few of the wonderful things this town has to offer. Mt Maunganui is situated two hours south of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. It is on the east coast and home to many great beaches. It is a perfect tourist destination due to the laid-back atmosphere, interesting sites and good weather. There are also many other wonderful cities close by that offer unique kiwi experiences. Hire a car, and explore what NZ has to offer!
Get a spectacular view of Mt Maunganui at the top of Mauao!
The mountain, Mauao, is the main attraction in this town. Thousands of people walk up and down it each year as you get a spectacular view of the city at the top. It usually takes just under 30 minutes to climb, however you could complete it in 20 if you are fast! As the mountain is quite steep with many steps, you will need a certain level of fitness to complete the walk. There are many native trees and bushes on the track that can only be found in New Zealand. Keep an eye out for unusual looking shrubs, as these are the ones that are native!
Catch spectacular surf waves during the summer months!
Mt Maunganui is known around New Zealand for its spectacular surf waves. Hundreds of surfers from all over the world come here each year just to surf! The waves are best over the summer months (December to February) and, of course the water is warmer. If you have never surfed before, do not stress, as there are many great surf schools where you can receive one on one tuition with a professional. Prices vary from school to school. However, the standard price of a private lesson is approximately 150 NZD (100 USD). If you would rather skip the lesson and spend time in the water by yourself, you can also hire boards and surf gear from the schools.
Rejuvenate by soaking in hot salt water pools
After a long day of surfing, many people would head to the Mt Maunganui hot pools to relax their sore muscles. Better known as Mount Hot Pools, they are situated at the base of the mountain and will cost you 10 NZD (7 USD) to enter. This allows you to stay for as long as you want! These pools are special, as they are all salt water and, therefore, will rebalance and detoxify your body. If you feel like treating yourself, you can also get a massage from a qualified therapist. Don’t fret if you have kids, as there is a supervised pool specifically for your young ones. It includes a fantastic slide that will surely keep them entertained while you enjoy your therapeutic soak in the salt water.
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Shopping choices and recommended cafes
If you enjoy shopping, you will love the fashionable surf shops that offer great clothing for a good price. Staff are very friendly in this town and will happily help you decide on an outfit. The shops can all be found on the main street (Mt Maunganui road) that leads straight to the base of the mountain. If you are after something a little classier, I would suggest giving Sisters and Black Chaos a visit. Both shops offer clothing from some of New Zealand’s top designers. These shops are also situated on the main road.
The café culture in New Zealand is huge. It is a country well known for great coffee and barista skills. You will indeed find many amazing cafes in this town that offer great food and coffee. My personal favourites are Sidetrack, Café 88 and Tay street cafe. Sidetrack is located at the base of the mountain, so a perfect spot to enjoy lunch after you have completed the walk. Café 88 is situated on the main street with all the shops; While Tay street café is located further down the road.
Best time to visit Mt Maunganui
Mt Maunganui is known for its fantastic weather all year round. However, I do suggest visiting in the summer, as this is when the temperature is warm. Mt Maunganui is a very seasonal place and, therefore, it comes alive during the warmer months. Unlike most of the world, New Zealand has its summer over Christmas time and the New Year. During winter, many of the shops and restaurants close, so it is very quiet.
Mt Maunguani has something for everyone
If you are planning on visiting Mt Maunganui over summer, I would highly suggest you to book accommodation in advance, as it is a very popular destination. There is a great camping ground at the base of the mountain, which is far cheaper than staying in a hotel. You will also meet lots of people, as it is a very social campground. Hostels can also be found on the main street with the shops and the restaurants if you are looking for budget stays.
A Must Go!
Mt Maunganui is a great destination if you are looking for an action-packed holiday or simply a place to relax. There is something for everyone in this town and it is close to many other popular tourist destinations in New Zealand.
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