Sitting at the entrance to Tauranga harbour and at the end of the Mount Maunganui Peninsula is Mauao itself after which our beautiful coastline is named. The walk around the base track is one of the best walks in the bay. It is fully accessible for young families with pushchairs or those in a wheelchair. To climb it and experience the “see forever” views is a worthwhile and rewarding challenge.
I hadn’t been up it for many years when I decided to accept Sport Bay of Plenty’s challenge to climb the 230 metres to the top of the Mount. So with a group of liked minded people I embarked on my mission.
There are heaps of people who climb it daily as part of their exercise regime, or people like myself climbing it to see the spectacular views from Waihi beach in the North to White island in the east and take photos.
Sheep graze the Mount and in the spring the newborn lambs frolic on the hillside. It is a popular spot for hang gliding because the air currents can keep them aloft for ages and then they land gently on the Main mount beach – all going well!
At the end of the climb you can soak your body in the Hot Salt Pools at the base of the Mount or cool off with a dip in the ocean or the Harbour, and then treat yourself to a cafe coffee or an ice cream from the iconic Copenhagen Cones.
I felt both exhausted and exhilarated after my first attempt but it is compulsive once you start and now I try to go up at least once a week and when I get to the top it I see the magnificent stretch of coast line that is the Bay of Plenty.