Mount Drury Reserve features a couple walks and a large, modern and popular playground for kids. Mt Maunganui shops are just a simple minute walk away as is the beach in the opposite direction. The playground has numerous amounts of features. Including swings and a slide. If you want to take the kids out and are looking for things to do, this playground is a great place to spend some time or have a picnic.
A well established loop track leads you through beautiful pohutakawa trees as it takes you to the lookout at the summit. The summit is around 40 metres and provides excellent views over Pilot Bay.
It is well known that Maori had occupied Hopukiore, now known as Mt Drury. Hopukiore was used by the Maori as a carving school. The name, Hopukiore, literally means to catch rats. The rat’s teeth were used as blades in the carving chisels.
It is also well documented that it was an old burial site. The early Maori used the caves as sites for burials. Information that had been received from local iwi states that a small party of Pākehā climbed the hill in the early 1900s and found two burial caves full of skeletons, greenstone drops, grinding stones, hooks, mats and some weapons.
Hopukiore, now known as Mount Drury, was also a sacred site used for tā moko. It was the bones of the native rat, or ‘kiore’ that were used to make the tatooing instruments.
Colonial forces used both Mauao and Hopukiore as bases. They were able to use these bases from which to carry out strategic military operations from around the 1840s onwards.
In 1842 and 1843 colonial troops (the 80th Regiment) were stationed there. It was during November, 1852, Commander Byron Drury arrived in Tauranga on board the HMS Pandora. He completed a Bay of Plenty coastal survey stared in 1848 by Captain John Lort Stokes in HMS Acheron.
Hopukiore was renamed Mt Drury in 1853 after Byron Drury.