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Mauao in Mount Maunganui is the unmissable mountain that can be seen for miles. This mountain is treasured by locals and those visiting for its beautiful walks and amazing views – the Mount Maunganui Summit Track itself is most impressive.
People from all over the Bay Of Plenty and New Zealand, including the world over have walked this great track. Those visiting Mt Maunganui on cruise ships find the summit walk as being at the top of their list of things to do. It is also a great place to view the cruise ships arrive and leave.
Standing 232m above sea level, this iconic mountain, ‘Mauao’, is significant in many ways.
The Mount Maunganui summit walk is not an easy track. This hike will require a reasonably good level of fitness and mobility to climb to the top. With that being said, it’s a fantastic walk and the effort that is put in is well rewarded. Be sure to take water and pace yourself.
Upon reaching the summit of Mauao, your scenic view will differ depending on which direction you choose to look from. Your view is panoramic and lets you see for miles in any direction.
Views From The Summit
When you reach the summit, your views will consist of a wide range of different scenery. This will depend where you stand when at the top. Some of this scenery are the local islands that sit off the coast in the Pacific Ocean. The islands you will be able to see are:
Other parts of the scenic views will be Mount Main, Mount Maunganui Beach and down the coastline towards Papamoa and beyond.
Tauranga’s harbour, city and suburbs.
Bowentown and Waihi Beach.
Right from the east to west is the Kaimai Ranges of which the city of Tauranga sits inside of.
Tracks To The Summit Of Mauao
There are multiple tracks that lead you to the summit, two being most popular.
Oruahine track and Waikorire track. Both begin from the ocean side of the base track. The Oruahine track merges with the third track upon which you carry on up towards the summit. The third walking track starts near Pilot Bay. It is also a 4WD track that is used by vehicles during emergencies and for maintenance, not accessible to vehicles from the general public.
Toilets And Water Fountain
Before you make your way up the Mauao summit track, either side of each access points are public toilets. Near Pilot Bay and the front of the surf lifesaving club. Here, nearby the surf club, you will also find a water fountain where you can enjoy a drink or fill up your water bottle.
The Mount Maunganui summit walk is an iconic spot to hike and is an excellent place for a picnic. The most scenic time to walk is sunrise or sunset. Its name in Maori means “caught by the morning sun.” If you’re a keen photographer, you’ll want to photograph the sunrise from the top. A panorama of the bay and the mountain is the best reward! Of course down below, is the Mauao base track.
This map belongs to the local Tauranga City Council – If you wish to view their maps, click the link below.
Maori history is as rich in Mount Maunganui, as it is throughout New Zealand. Mauao and Mt Drury were both inhabited by Maori.
On Mauao, there are at least three defended pa sites and a number of terraces, pits and middens which have been recorded by present day archaeological exploration. Perhaps the Maori too, enjoyed the summit walk.
Ranginui and Kinonui of the Takitimu waka were Maori who had established pa on Mauao. The Waitaha people also established pa. The Maori who settled here inhabited Mauao for centuries. It wasn’t until later on that Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Pukenga also settled in the area, forming strong marital relationships.
During 1820, Mauao was no longer used as a stronghold. It was during this year Ngapuhi, under the leadership of Te Morenga, went ahead and attacked out of revenge the Ngai Te Rangi pa. The revenge was for the killing of Te Morenga’s niece, Tawaputa, in 1806.
There is also a Maori Legend associated with Mauao. – The Legend of Mauao can be found and read here.
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