Mount Maunganui is a popular summer holiday destination in New Zealand and for good reasons too. With a range of outdoor activities such as surfing, paragliding and many more, it is an excellent choice, for locals and tourists to visit during the warm New Zealand summer months.
Early bird gets the worm! Book as soon as you can!
Mount Maunganui is a suburb of Tauranga, a city in the Bay of Plenty, with a population of 200,000 but this is steadily growing, as word gets out about this beautiful spot. In fact, the entire Bay of Plenty region, located on the Eastern coast of New Zealand, is known for its outdoor activities. During summer time (November to January), it pays to book accommodation several months early, as it is a hot spot for adrenaline junkies and outdoor lovers looking for something to do.
Top reasons to visit Mount Maunganui
There are many reasons to visit here and while the shopping is modest, the definite highlights are the many walks and activities to do here.“The Mount” as it is known by locals, is named for its key feature - the mountain, which is known in the Maori language as “Mauao” and it can be seen for miles around. The Mount is a popular walk with two different routes, suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The base track is suitable for everyone where you can walk under the beautiful native pohutukawa trees and listen to the rolling ocean sounds along the side of the path. There are rock pools to explore and plenty of international cargo and cruise ships that make for great photos. You will also see the forest covered island of Matakana that is one of the highlights at Mount Maunganui. You can catch a ferry from Mount Maunganui harbour to visit the Island for a day, but ensure that you read the information online, as it is Maori land and there are special restrictions on visiting hours and areas.
The second track is the summit walk, which is steeper and requires an intermediate fitness level. This is well worth the walk and good footwear is recommended. The view is exquisite and even more so at night time when the entire coast is set on fire in a blaze of sparkling lights. There are many islands to see from the summit of Mount Maunganui, hence, the region’s name, Bay of Plenty. Try to walk to the top if you can. The sweeping view from Tauranga city to the outer Kaimai ranges, up and down the coastline, is breathtaking. In addition, there are other islands, some of which are accessible by boats and scenic helicopter flights. If you are there for the adrenaline rush, then parasailing from the summit is a must do!
Gear up for the Great Outdoors!
The second best thing about visiting Mount Maunganui is that the Pacific ocean is at your back door and you can embark upon one of the many sea sports available. The beaches are littered with different pop up outfits where you can hire all the equipment for surfing, kayaking, wind sailing and more. Expect to pay around 90 USD for a few hours that includes a lesson by qualified and experienced instructors. If sports is not your thing, you have miles of coastline available for you to do whatever you like! Other available activities include swimming, sunbathing or a stroll along the sandy shores. It is also not unusual to see seals, dolphins and whales around during the summer months.
Kewpie cruises operate scenic tours several times a day, departing from the base of track around Mount Maunganui, so keep an eye out on your walk for the signs. These are an excellent introduction the beautiful Tauranga harbour and the historic stories of the Maori people and the special significance of Mauao. A one hour cruise costs only 20 USD per adult.
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Relax, unwind or catch a sunset at the summit of Mount Maunganui
After all the excitement and outdoor activities, the main street of the Mount is an excellent rest area. It is a single palm lined road that has many boutique and unique tourist shops with plenty of locally made items. There are plenty of top quality restaurants with a range of choices. Grab a bread and dip dish at Astrolabe one evening and sit outdoors in the retro themed setting under the fairy lights. You can even order a drink at the retro outdoor caravan and be taken right back to the 80’s with all the themed décor.
There is a local market every Saturday morning from 9am till lunch time that has a variety of stores with mostly fresh foods and produces that is definitely worth a look.
The sunsets are another highlight of visiting Mount Maunganui, grab some fresh ‘fish n chips’ from one of the many takeaway outlets and head down to Pilot Bay to watch the sun disappearing over the Kaimai ranges. Or wait until evening to walk to the summit of Mount Maunganui, absolute bliss!
Come visit Mount Maunganui in summer!
During the summer months the Mount is host to plenty of activities all you have to do is look in the free local papers to see what’s on in the days you are visiting. There is an outdoor movie night under the stars at Mount Dury, which is a hill shaped with inbuilt seating. Where will you be this summer?
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