A port for all types.
Mount Maunganui has a multi purpose port, catering for cruise ships, and cargo ships as well as a very nice marina for sailboats and launches. Nice restaurants at the marina as well, with interesting people rambling around.
The Marina is not really walking distance from the central part of town, although it is closer to a mall, "Bayfair", than the Port is. I particularly love the ocean feel of Mount Maunganui, and the smell of the sea, and the exuberance of most of the inhabitants.
Surf and sand
Mount Maunganui has both harbour beaches and Surf/Ocean beaches. Here you see the ocean beach, which can produce some nice waves for the surfers in certain conditions.
So many options here, climb the Mount, walk around it's base at sea level, walk the surf beach, walk the shops and cafés, go boating on the harbour. The way the beach runs right up to the town, making everything so accessible and compact. However in peak times, especially New Year's Eve, this place gets pretty full with people.
The old and the New
This community has been a favourite holiday spot for varying New Zealanders, for years. Many families owned holiday cottages here in prime spots. This is one of the last examples of these, set right at the base of the Mount between the harbour and the ocean. Slowly the family ownership has moved to commercial as the big money has been offered.
Right next to this cottage, known as a Bach in NZ, is the stretch of modern apartments shown in the second photo. Of course the apartments make this spot available to more people, but once gone, the family baches will be merely a memory.
Naturally this is a common situation around the world at popular beachside towns. One restriction here is being an isthmus means that room is limited. It also means though, that during busy festive periods it is very congested and now has strict alcohol restriction. I remember visiting this town and camping as a child on friends front lawns. Those places are now where the modern apartments are built so modern generations will never have this experience.
Great View from the Summit
The Summit of Mt Maunganui is a great place for 360deg views. On a clear day you can see forever. Northwest towards Coromandel, SE towards Whakatane and East Cape, West towards the Kaimai Range and East towards South America and Chile!! This photo shows the view towards the West, showing the forest covered Matakana Island, the smaller Rangiwaea Island and across Tauranga Harbour and the mainland to the Kaimai Range on the horizon.
***Click on the photo to see more views from the summit.***
Climbing Mount Maunganui
Climbing Mount Maunganui is a fantastic experiance which will take you around 30 minutes to reach the summit. The tracks are wide and user friendly, please be sure to keep left when climbing or decending. Enjoy a picnic at the top (picnic tables are on the summit) or keep strolling down. I reccomend taking the track that is labled 'hard' over the moderate track, it is not at all harder.