"Hey Mum! Wanna come pick me up in Auckland and we can drive down and hike Mount Mauganui to catch the sunset?"
Written by: Jacques
I had flown into NZ the day before and I was itching to get out of Auckland and head on down to the central North Island. Where my heart really lives. But I needed to hit the coast first and get me some much needed NZ ocean vibes. So I got on the phone to my parents who were visiting some family up in Auckland, hustled a ride and convinced them that it was a great idea to stop off at Mount Manganui and try and catch a sunset from the top... It was overcast... but hey optimism is always the key!
If you are planning on stopping off at Mount Manganui during your NZ North Island road trip... you should! It is a beautiful beach side town with some great coffee, hiking and surfing. So let's get you some information so you are ready to go.
Where and how do I get to Mount Maunganui?
... ummm... you are probably thinking, 'How the hell do I pronounce that name?' Well get used to it because NZ is full of hard to pronounce names and locations. Don't worry the locals will help you out and they will probably just laugh it off. Kiwis(New Zealanders) don't tend to get offended that easily.
To get down to The Mount (Mount Maunganui) from Auckland make your way onto the No. 1 Highway going south. You will get to a major intersection just before the town of Pokeno. Turn left at this intersection. You will now be on State Highway no. 2 sign posted for The Mount and Tauranga. When you get to the small town of Mangatarata stay right to continue onto State Highway no. 27 (this will be sign posted). Stay on the 27 until you reach Matamata continue straight onto the no. 24 towards the Karangahake Gorge(Say that 5 times real fast!). This stretch of the drive is stunning so be sure to take your time and plenty of photo's.
At some point the highway becomes the no. 29 but don't worry too much just keep following the main road. This highway will take you all the way to Mount Maunganui.
THIS LINK will help you!
Oh and if you are coming across from Rotorua try THIS LINK.
Alright I am in the Mount... Now What?
Alright so obviously the main focus of this blog is hiking Mount Mauganui so lets get into the details of the hike first.
Mount Mauganui Summit Hike
Let's start with where the trailhead begins. If you are already in Mount Mauganui then get yourself onto Totara Street, drive to the end of this road making sure you are headed in the direction of the mountain and not Tauranga. At Rata Street turn Right and then immediately turn left onto Mauganui Road. Drive to the end and you will reach a round-a-bout, in front of you will be 'The Mount Hot Pools'... note this spot for the evening. Turn left onto Adams Avenue. At the end of the Avenue turn right onto Pilot Quay and find yourself a park. Walk towards the Mount keeping Pilot Bay on your left shoulder. You should see the trailhead on your right... well let's hike!
Now you can actually spend the whole day hiking numerous trails on The Mountain so if you are prepared then do it! But don't be that guy that decides to try his/her luck with no water and no daylight.
In all honesty I would recommend trying this hike with the goal of summiting at sunrise. In my opinion that is the best time to go and the light is breath taking!
COFFEE- There are some great cafe's in The Mount and you can find the majority of them close to the mountain. Try out Deckchair Cafe on 2 Marine Parade or Tay Street Cafe the coffee is great and the food is yum!
The Beach- The Main beach is beautiful with Moturiki Island acting as the perfect break in ocean scenery. Moturiki Island is the big island just off the Main Beach. If you are adventurous enough you can get out to the island at low tide, it can be dangerous though so be prepared and be sure to talk to the locals before you try. If surfing is more your thing then you are in the right place, The Mount boasts some amazing breaks so fingers crossed you get the right swell during your visit.
If you are after bathrooms on the hike you are out of luck so make sure you use the bathrooms at the base of the Mountain. Once you are in town after your hike there are plenty of places to get water, use the bathroom, top up the fuel tank and get a bite to eat.
Mount Manganui aka The Mount is an awesome destination and I would highly recommend ticking the Hike off your bucket list while you are visiting.
If you have any questions or you just want to let us know how your hike went then please be sure to drop us a comment.
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Keep Chasing those dreams!
Jacques | Massie Bros
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