When you visit Mt Maunganui by cruise ship and have a day in port, you will be offered tours to various locations a few hours' drive away.
These will of course be interesting, and I recommend going. But if you feel like staying local and taking a short walk, Mt Maunganui is a great place to visit. You don't have to walk up the mountain, but if you do it's lovely on a nice day.
A nice day would be to walk along Pilot Bay which is a harbourside beach, the water is somewhat calmer than the ocean. Enjoy the sand or grass under your feet and walk along the lovely row of Norfolk Pine trees not so very common in all countries. Head from the wharf towards the mountain, and you can take the perimeter track, around the base of the mountain. You will need to take a windbreak jacket (even in summer) in case the weather throws a cold wind at you. Enjoy the views of nearby islands and birds and sheep and rocks. There are also nice trees on the mountain, some our native Pohutukawa, which may be in flower if you are there around Xmas. Gorgeous red flowers. Once around the mount, you are then on the ocean side and meet the well known surfbeach. At this point it's nice to cross the road and buy a coffee and/or lunch in one of the very nice cafes. You can then take a walk on the surf beach and smell the sea air, if the day is nice.
From here, if you still have time, you can walk out onto Moturiki Island, accessible from the south end of the surf beach, you can get to it by walking in perhaps ankle deep water, depending on the tide.
Some nice views and rocks to see out there. Maybe even some seals if you are lucky.
Following that, a nice amble back to the wharf via the small mainstreet of Mt Maunganui (the town), another coffee or beer, and that will have given you a nice day out.
In the height of summer the place can be bustling and perhaps overcrowded, but exciting. In winter it's almost deserted, but cruiseships rarely visit in winter.
Mount Maunganui has a very small town feel to it, even though it is located next to one of New Zealand's largest seaports, Tauranga. The visitor's center will put you in touch with the people and companies that will help you enjoy your time here, as well as provide you with some discounts for activities here.
It is located just at the base of the mountain, so you can grab your info and head out to hike shortly after.
Some of the activities available are:
Swimming with Dolphins
and 4-wheel driving!
At the beginning of the Mauro walking track you pass a dear wee bay called Pilot Bay.
On the left you can see the last of the red Pohutukawa tree blooms and on the right you can see the walking track around Mauro.
On the ocean side of the Mount, fossick in the coves and look for shells. We don't have the large colourful shells of the tropics, but the tiny ones are very beautiful in their own way. Besides, small shells are more convenient for international travelling, and putting in your luggage!
Around the Mauro "Mount Maunganui" there are several walks you can take to just enjoy the scenery around the base of the MOUNT or do a work out by climbing to the top of the MOUNT.
50 Wharf Street, Tauranga, 3110, New Zealand
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This complex consists of 60 luxurious units with lift access. The Motor Lodge has spacious studio...more
23 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Good for: Couples