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Explore Mount Maunganui

September 18, 2023

Explore Mount Maunganui

The Bay of Plenty region is teeming with exciting activities, and the good news is that there are plenty of cost-effective options in both Tauranga and Mt Maunganui. Whether you're interested in hiking, art galleries, culinary adventures, or social gatherings, you'll find a wealth of opportunities for all ages, all abilities and all pockets!!

Today we are focusing on Mount Maunganui and we’ll start with the most obvious activity …

Climb Mt Maunganui

Waste no time soaking in the breathtaking views from the summit of Mt Maunganui, also known as Mauao or "The Mount." Several walking trails lead up and around The Mount, but the 30-minute climb to the summit offers sweeping panoramic vistas of beaches, Tauranga city, and the Pacific Ocean. Fitness enthusiasts can tackle a run up and down "the Mount" or families with pushchairs or those not wanting quite such a strenuous activity “The Base Track” walk around the base of the Mount is also a great walk worth taking. Why not enjoy both!

Whilst in the same area why not try your hand (or rather feet and legs) at …

View from the top of Mount Maunganui
Matakana Island from top of Mount Maunganui

Surfing at Mt Maunganui

When the waves are up Mt Maunganui Beach offers great thrilling wave-riding fun. There are plenty of surf shops and kiosks along the beach front that often offer deals on surfboard rentals and opportunities for lessons. Surfing is, naturally, high in popularity as an activity in Tauranga.

And before moving on from the immediate vicinity, after your strenuous climb and attempts at riding the waves why not head to …

The Mount Hot Pools

Enjoy a relaxing soak in the Mount Hot Pools located beneath the majesty of Mauao and the only hot ocean water complex in the world! Prices are quite reasonable, including family pass options. Plus if you have a Tauranga Residents Card you get further discounts!

The pools also offer private pools, massage options and aquafit classes!

Salt water bathing health benefits were recognised as far back as 500BC by Hippocrates believing the warm waters help to rebalance and detoxify our bodies and improve mobility by easing muscle and joint inflammation.

Pilot Bay

If you’re in the Mount and you’re not into the surf  of Mount Maunganui beach then don’t worry! Just on the other side of the Peninsula and edging Tauranga Harbour you will find stunningly beautiful white sands and calm waters of Pilot Bay! This is the side to enjoy kayaks, fishing and paddle boarding. Great for families who want to avoid the surf and Pilot Bay is also the home of Kewpie Cruises.

Mount Maunganui surf beach
Mount Parade

Kewpie Cruises

In 1953, a Kauri hull vessel called KEWPIE was crafted in Opua Bay of Islands, coinciding with the same year as Queen Elizabeth's Coronation. Over the span of its 60 years of service, KEWPIE has woven a vibrant tapestry into New Zealand's history.

Originally commissioned by (Fullers) to support the burgeoning commerce along the renowned Bay of Islands "Cream Run," KEWPIE embarked daily from (Russel) to the outlying islands. Its duties encompassed collecting milk cans, transporting passengers, and delivering mail. This commercial venture eventually evolved into one of New Zealand's most sought-after tourist experiences, with tourism surpassing freight as the primary source of revenue.

The vessel's moniker, KEWPIE, was a nod to its former guide, Ted KEWBIT, who achieved fame during his lifetime as one of New Zealand's most renowned guides. The story goes that Ted earned the nickname KEWPIE from his fellow patrons at the local pub. Ted was a charismatic and unforgettable character, characterized by his short stature, ruddy complexion, and cheeky demeanor, which endeared him to both adult passengers and children alike.

It wasn't until the vessel's christening, marked by the smashing of champagne on its bow, that the name KEWPIE was unveiled, leaving Ted in astonishment and deeply moved. In 1957, Ted passed away, leaving behind a legacy embodied by the enduring KEWPIE.

Now running from the jetty at Pilot Bay you can enjoy an iconic scenic harbour cruise on board or get dropped off and enjoy Matakana Island and kids under 12 also travel free!

Note cruises do not run in the winter.

Classic Flyers Aviation Museum

Situated within Tauranga Airport, the Classic Flyers Aviation Museum holds great appeal for aviation enthusiasts and doesn’t leave the kids out either! Its impressive assortment encompasses vintage aircraft, aviation relics, and informative exhibitions that chronicle the aviation heritage of New Zealand.

At this museum, visitors can discover a wide array of aircraft examples and history, encompassing classic warplanes, commercial airliners, and aged helicopters. Additionally, they offer interactive displays and exhibitions divulging the progression of aviation technology and its significance in New Zealand's past.

With the option to climb through aircraft hulls and enjoy toy airplane fun for the kids, as well as a children’s birthday party venue, there really is something for all ages and is an excellent destination to explore.

Classic Flyers Aviation Museum, Mount Maunganui
Classic Flyers Aviation Museum, Mount Maunganui

Mount Brewing Co - The Rising Tide

A locally owned and operated 2nd generation brewery with a passion for making tasty high quality brews found, unexpectedly in the heart of the industrial area of the Mount.

Great for family outings with a varied menu and options for great tasting paddles for the adults of their varieties of brews and ciders and right on the park edge where the kids can play safely.

There’s a great atmosphere and a real buzz to an outing to this place!

The Lion and Tusk Museum of the Rhodesian Services Association

Perhaps considered an unusual place to find a museum dedicated to the Rhodesian Services Association. The Lion and Tusk Museum was established in 2018. It contains a collection of historical, cultural, artistic and scientific information displays, video, photos and writings which depict Rhodesia, and Rhodesians of all races, from the late 19th century until the country's transition to Zimbabwe in 1980.

Displays include and Alouette III helicopter, medals, badges, weapons, uniforms, equipment, shop, souvenirs, library and Memorial Garden.

Shopping and Dining

If you’re a fan of either shopping or dining then you’ll love Mount Maunganui! The town centre is a hub packed with eateries and boutique shops with beautiful gifts, clothing and more. There really is too many to start singling out shops or eateries covering all cuisines, you really have to just go to the Mount and discover for yourself!

The Mount Brewery Co, Mount Maunganui
The Rising Tide, The Mount Brewery Co, Mount Maunganui

The Bay Oval

Calling all cricket lovers! Bay Oval, the home of Bay of Plenty cricket, is found right here in Mount  Maunganui. It has been a witness to numerous unforgettable moments in cricket, spanning from domestic contests to international clashes. Thanks to its tranquil beachside ambiance and the region's consistently sunny and pleasant weather, Bay Oval stands out as a delightful venue for both participating in and spectating cricket in New Zealand. With a seating capacity of 12,000, it provides an intimate sporting experience that brings cricket enthusiasts closer to the on-field action. If you’re wondering what’s on at the Oval check out their website events at

Papamoa Beach

Whilst Mt Maunganui beach and Papamoa beach are separate beaches they are adjacent and you can’t visit the area without also spending some time on Papamoa beach. Mt Maunganui beach is approximately 1.6 km long and Papamoa beach is approximately 16 km long. Uncrowded and pristine white sands the beach is definitely worth a visit and play for the kids!

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