Mount Maunganui (Mauao in Maori) is an iconic New Zealand walk with two options. Round the mountain or up to the summit.
The 232-metre-high rhyolite dome was erupted around 4 million years ago. Since it lies in isolation from any other high ground, it commands spectacular views to distant horizons. The walk’s views are an eclectic mix of urban and natural. The developed resort behind Mount Maunganui Beach, the industrial areas and port of Tauranga, the estuary and city, Matakana Island and wide open ocean all appear as you complete the walk. The atmosphere changes noticeably according to your outlook.
From behind the campground at the north-western end of Marine Parade on the beach side of the town
For the 4WD track, from the northern end of Pilot Bay, on the estuary side of Mount Maunganui.
A network of tracks weaves and cris-crosses the Mount to the summit. All are steep. Familiarise yourself with the track layout on the noticeboards at the start of the tracks, as navigation can sometimes be confusing.
The easiest and quickest route is to follow the 4WD track from the northern end of Pilot Bay (45 minutes one-way). This is wide and metalled.
The Oruahire Track departs from the north-western end of Mount Maunganui Beach and climbs via the historic stone steps across pasture. After approximately 15 minutes there is an option to turn left along the Waikorere Track (20 minutes one-way to the summit), or continue right along the Oruahire Track (30 minutes one-way to the summit). The Oruahire track joins the 4WD track on the north-western side of the Mount.
A signpost to the Waikorere Track below the summit climbs steeply on a stepped, but uneven track to the summit.
You can also join the Oruahire Track from an access track which climbs from the Base Track near North-West Rock.
An estimated 180 million tonnes of water flow through the Tauranga Entrance of Tauranga Harbour each tide, at the base of Mount Maunganui.
According to one Maori legend, there were once three hills at the foot of the Kaimai Range. The beautiful Puwhenua was in love with Otanewainuku, a mighty hill nearby. The third hill, who was nameless, was also stricken by Puwhenua’s beauty, but was rejected by her because he was nameless.
In despair, he asked the patupaiarehe (mystical bush fairies) to cast him to sea. Working under cover of darkness, the patupaiarehe dragged him to the coast, forming the Waimapu Valley and Te Awanui (Tauranga Harbour).
At first light, the patupaiarehe had to abandon the hill alone in his final resting place. Through the ordeal he was named ‘Mauao’, which means ‘trapped by the light’.
North Island ▷ Bay of Plenty ▷ Mt Maunganui
Showing 13 reviews of 78.
18Sept18. Enjoyed the walk in spite of a little rain. The views from the top were a bit limited due to the trees etc. Hopefully they will not be allowed to grow too much more.
A good gelato shop when we got back down.
It is a beautiful walk, it is easy and you can see a seal. Tauranga is a very attractive city. It is a good place.
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We have been there for the sunrise!! It was very interesting because of the contrasts. You sit there in the middle of the nature and look down to the town...... crazy contrast, we never had before.
I walked for 6km for a very beautiful view.
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Best done first thing in the morning. The tough 45 minute walk is worth the views.
Pretty easy hike up to the top of Mt Maunganui, an hour up and down with lots of stunning views all the way up and down. It was a beautiful sunny day and loved sitting at the top watching the surfers and paragliders look like specks in the distance.
Pretty nice view over the city/beach/seaside/nice houses, nice people, you can watch surfers, beautiful nature.
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The walk was not very hard and the view over the beach and the little city were similar to the scenery 'Miami Beach'.
Easy walk to the top of the hill. Good view, perfect spot for a beer with a friend during the sunset.
Great walk, amazing scenery, summit is the way to go.
Quick hike up to a mountain with a great view to Mt Maunganui and the Bay of Plenty. If you are sporty enough, take your running shoes and join all the other runners to the top - good exercise!!
Beautiful views, not too exhausting, you can see the whole city.
Nice little walk.
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