My love of photography and creative arts started when I was a child. I got a camera as soon as I was old enough to use one and would spend hours taking photos of my parents garden and of my friends. My passion for photography grew into a job. I now create content for brands and capture beautiful pockets of New Zealand and the world whenever I can.
Why Visit Mount Maunganui
Mount Maunganui is a beautiful beach town known for “the Mount”. Mauao aka the Mount is accessible to walk up or around and showcases stunning views of the beach and town below. The Mount is perfect for people who love a coastal lifestyle with great coffee shops, boutiques and lovely people.
My favourite place in Mount Maunganui is a specific rock near the top of the Mount. It’s hidden along a goat’s track and overlooks the beautiful Matakana Island. This ledge is located far above the ocean where I love spending time reflecting and also recovering from the walk up!
10 Best Things To Do in Mount Maunganui
You can’t visit NZ without swimming at one of the best beaches in the country, walking up the summit at the Mount, wandering around the shops, having an ice cream and taking in the laid-back vibe of this coastal town. Below you will find my top 10 recommendations for the Mount.
1. Do the Mount Maunganui Summit Walk
This 40-minute walk up Mount Maunganui is the perfect introduction to the city. Choose from two scenic trails as you climb over 200 metres to the top where epic views of the beach, city and Matakana Island await. As I said before, make sure you take the hidden goat’s trail to find the best view.
2. Shop around the City of Mount Maunganui
3. Try a Fruit Ice Cream from Tay Street Store
Tay Street Store is the go-to place in the Mount to enjoy a real fruit ice cream on those hot summer days! Located a stone’s throw away from the beach, this store offers everything from coffee to ice cream to deli goods.
4. Enjoy Brunch at the General Cafe
The General Cafe is a fantastic option for brunch. Enjoy a locally sourced menu, great cabinet food and a superb cup of coffee! Tucked away off the main drag of the CBD, this cafe consistently puts out good food – whether it be super healthy dishes or a bit of a carb overload for hungry patrons!
5. Order a Coffee and Croissant from Eddies & Elspeth
Eddies and Elspeth Cafe is a combination of bakery (‘Elspeth’ part of the name) and cafe service (Eddies). Located just a short drive from the main shops of Mount Maunganui, this unique destination is a wonderful place to enjoy a full sit down brunch or simply order a coffee and croissant to go.
6. Take a Lovely Walk up Papamoa Hills
The view towards Mount Maunganui at the top of Papamoa Hills is just breathtaking and makes walking through the farmland worth it. Start at the carpark at Poplar Lane and head up to the trig station which sits at 224 metres above sea level. Even better, this walk only takes 45-minutes!
7. Visit the Paper Plane Store in the Mount
This gift shop is situated in downtown Mount Maunganui and sells quality homewares, fashion accessories and lifestyle goods. A great place to start your shopping where creativity and artisan products reign supreme.
8. Have Dinner at Rice Rice Baby
An authentic restaurant on Maunganui Road serving all the Vietnamese staples such as banh mi, pho bo and a few spicy dishes! Enjoy a sit down meal or order for takeaway at one of the best restaurants in the Mount.
9. Head to Bayfair to Go Shopping if Raining
On a rainy day head to Bayfair to go shopping with over 130 stores and restaurants to choose from. This is the largest undercover shopping centre in the Bay of Plenty and you will be spoiled for choice! You can even enjoy a film here as they have seven massive screens to watch movies at.
10. Day Trip to Kaiate Falls and Pori Pori Waterhole
The Kaiate Falls are located in Welcome Bay and are a beautiful place to drive to if you want to see what lies on the outskirts of Mount Maunganui. Less than a 20-minute drive away makes it an absolute no-brainer! Pori Pori Waterhole is another must-see in the Tauranga area. Just awesome!
Need to Know Before you Go
If you are looking for a place to stay, although not located directly in the Mount, I recommend Trinity Wharf Hotel. It’s my favourite place to stay. Trinity is on the water’s edge and makes for easy access to the Mount.
Other fantastic restaurants and bars which I have yet to mention in this Mount Maunganui guide are: Alpino, Astrolabe Brewbar, Brew Co, Hide Thirst And Hunger, and Frosty and Fox. Some of the restaurants and bars are getting busy so if you go during summer book your spot ahead of time.
Lastly, make sure you wear decent walking shoes when heading up the Mount. Jandals or sandals don’t really cut it! Hope you enjoy the Mount 🙂