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Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty

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February 2020 Issue

The Mighty Mount

Guarding the entrance to Tauranga Harbour, Mt Maunganui is possibly the most well known, well used, and most popular landmark feature in the Bay of Plenty.

The 232m circular dome is an ancient volcano and dominates any and all views of the city of Tauranga from whichever point it’s viewed, with the most dramatic being from the long and beautiful sweep of Papamoa Beach.

The presence of the ‘Mount’, as it is affectionately called by locals, increases as you approach along the beach until the sheer bulk of this beautiful rock lords it over Marine Parade and the wild surf beach at its foot.

I love this place and especially its backdrop of cliff face and dense forest through which run a veritable maze of walking and running tracks, up, down and around the Mount. It’s a magnet, drawing everyone to the summit and the beauty of the podocarp forest found here.

My favourite track is the summit track, which ascends in moderately brutal fashion from behind the motor camp on the beachfront at Marine Parade, directly to the top and that view. The track is a well-graded zigzag pathway with a firm surface and not a few steps. There are good views all the way up, with the best being from the summit where you can watch night fall over the bay, the Mount, the city and as far as you can see to the west, north, and south.

Another good route is the Round-the- Mount-Walk. An easy, almost flat, cruisey walk around the volcano. This walk starts and finishes near the hot pools on Marine Parade (no bets taken on where you might end up post-walk!) and takes in the harbour entrance, the spectacular rocky coastline, passing container ships, the surf beach, and beautiful pohutukawa forests.

The Mount is a catch-all for a great snap-shot experience of almost everything that makes the outdoors in New Zealand so good.

Don’t miss it.

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Distance
2.45km
Total Ascent
347m
Grade
Easy
Time
45min to the summit. 45-60min to walk around the Round-the-Mount Walk
Access
Directly off Marine Parade at Mt Maunganui
Map
BD37

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