‘The Mount’ is the colloquial term of affection for the volcanic cone that rises abruptly on the long sandy peninsula known as Mt. Maunganui.
This icon for lovers of sun, sand and surf, symbolises all the diverse pleasures to be had at this Kiwi holiday ‘hot spot’. Things like riding the perfect wave, body-surfing the shoreline break, lazing on the beach under clear blue skies, and chatting over coffee in a street cafè. The main shopping street is well supplied with quality retail outlets and the harbour bridge provides a direct link to Tauranga City.
For New Zealanders ‘The Mount’ is synonymous with summer holidays and long lazy days on Ocean Beach. This marvellous beach continues as an unbroken stretch of sand for 15 km to Papamoa. From Mt. Maunganui’s lofty summit you can see forever. To the west are the rugged Kaimai Ranges and out to sea, a faint plume of steam signals volcanic activity on White Island. On your descent, the soothing waters of a thermal saltwater pool await. If you prefer, you can swim in the clear sheltered waters on the harbour-side beaches by the ‘round the mountain’ walking track.
Mt. Maunganui’s action takes place on Ocean Beach where surf carnivals and special events are held regularly. There is a party atmosphere along the busy waterfront Strand where you will find a great selection of seafood restaurants, bars and cafès. Down by the port, there are many vessels offering trips and charters. You have a choice of scenic harbour cruises, fishing and scuba diving, or you may crave the excitement of reeling in a marlin.
To the south is the township of Te Puke, which is definitely worth a visit. The town has no hesitation in proclaiming itself ‘The Kiwifruit Capital of the World’ as the first kiwifruit orchards were developed here. ‘Kiwifruit Country’ has extensive displays about this exceptional fruit and nearby is a vintage automobile display which features 80 vintage and classic cars.
‘The Mount’ is the quintessential seaside resort with an irresistible draw for people who believe that ‘Life is a Beach’.