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One of the Kiwi´s favorite weekend destinations (Of course it is also worth staying longer) is located in the Bay of Plenty region – the welcoming little holiday town of Mount Maunganui, named after the big volcano mountain just next to the open sea.
As some of you already know I used to live in Auckland for a couple of years.
Every now and then I felt the desire of being away from the big city of Auckland. And even though the ocean was next to my door, it was sometimes not enough. So I often decided to rent a car and to leave the big city with it´s skyscrapers and the tower behind me and would just drive, sometimes as far as the road would go.
So let me show you where i went.
Welcome to Mount Maunganui
Mount Maunganui is a vibrant place and has everything you need for a relaxing time with a beautiful esplanade, cute little shops and boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and cafes and many outdoor activities, like Swimming and Surfing, playing golf and many more. It is very famous by locals and people from the big city to spend some time off here, but will never be crowded, as the beach goes beyond the horizon. Hundred kilometers of coast line go on and on and on.
No wonder the beach has been rated on Trip Adviser as New Zealands #1 Best Beach 2019. Wanna learn how to surf? This might be the place for you!
Sometimes I would also call it Little Kiwi Paradise 🙂
With palm trees and only a three hour drive away from Auckland.
Over here you will have most of the sun in the North Island which makes this place even more happier.
A perfect day in Little Kiwi Paradise
Get up early and grab a tasty breakfast in one of the many local cafes.
Then walk up to the mountain, it lies just at the end of the township so combine it with a walk along the beach. For the ones who are not very into sport and exercising (like me…) – it will be steep just before you reach the top but that´s one more reason to climb the mount. Afterwards you will feel very proud. 😉
For the lazy ones, who don´t wanna go up, there is also a nice and easy lope track around the mountain, that also takes about an hour to complete.
Two ways go up to the top, an easy way and a.. well let´s say not so easy and more steep way… I always would take the easy way, and not because I am lazy, but because the view on the easy way in my opinion is always be better than on the other side. Let the sport enthusiastic ones run up the hill, I prefer to take my time and to stop every now and then to take pictures and watch the sun glittering in the sea.
Enjoy the view from Mount Maunganui across the Bay of Plenty
Once you make it up to the top you will be able to shoot some of your best pictures ever, I promise! To the right you have the endless beach of the Bay of Plenty, and the township just next to it. Look ahead and you will see nothing else than the ocean and on the left site stretches Matamata Island. Further you can see the harbor and the town of Tauranga, which is also nice to visit. In the summer months it is also a popular destination for big cruise liners.
There are many places to have great views but only a few will stay in your memory forever. And this one certainly will!
If you are up early enough you can be lucky to catch a great sunrise above the bay. I have been up the mountain for many times but getting up there to watch sunrise is still on my list. I just have to convince myself to set my alarm early during my holiday.
After the Mount grab some ice cream and walk to Moturiki Island which can be accessed by foot. There are many little spots to relax and to enjoy the sun.
Kaiate Falls – Precious tip for extra time!
Everytime I go to the Bay of Plenty area, I would make a stop at the Kaiate Falls, just a 30min drive from Mount Maunganui. The falls are located in the wide open forest, a road will lead to a carpark from where the track to the falls starts. At the beginning I always enjoy the lookout over the forest. Green is all what it shows for miles. After the lookout the track will easily lead to the first falls – a beautiful cascade of different steps the water has to past before leading into a stream of clear water. Go further and take a break at the second falls. If you are brave enough jump into the water hole of freezing water. I haven’t done it yet, as I try to avoid everything that is freezing cold, except ice cream of course. 😀 Anyway I can highly recommend it if you are in the area. The nature is breathtaking, the walk is pretty easy and the falls are just the perfect place for a relaxing day!
How to get to Maunt Maunganui?
Mount Maunganui is very easy to reach from many locations in New Zealand. Most easy way is of course by car. From Auckland it takes around 2.5 – 3 hours. First you drive along highway one and then change onto highway two all the way to Tauranga and Mount Maunganui. If you drive from Rotorua or Taupo it takes between 1 and 2 hours.
Bus services with Intercity run daily from Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and Whakatane. Check out the timetable on their website www.intercity.co.nz
Tauranga Airport is just a short drive away from Mount Maunganui and Air New Zealand operates daily flights from all across New Zealand.
You can get some very good deals if you check prices on Grab a Seat www.grabaseat.co.nz
a discount flight fare website that is owned by Air NZ.
From Mount Maunganui it is pretty easy to reach more beautiful destinations in the North Island, such like Whakatane, Rotorua or Coromandel.
When I first came to Mount Maunganui in 2013 it became one of my favorite places in New Zealand within seconds. The holiday atmosphere, the friendly locals and the beautiful scenery are always reason enough to return to this little holiday paradise.
Let me know in the comments if you plan to travel to New Zealand and Mount Maunganui soon, or share your own NZ experience.
I am looking forward to it! Love, Alice 🙂