EXPLORING BEAUTIFUL TAURANGA & MOUNT MAUNGANUI
Today we explore the beautiful seaside town of Tauranga, eat fish & chips by the beach and get our hiking groove on when climbing the inactive volcano of Mount Maunganui, offering the most stunning panoramic views of the North Island.
WELCOME TO TAURANGA – WELCOME TO SUMMER!
After a fantastic, informative and…well…a bit smelly day at WAI-O-TAPU Thermal Park and the city of Rotorua it was time to head to the coastal town of TAURANGA.
The charming harbour side city of Tauranga is idyllically located in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, just an hour’s drive from Rotorua.
We were however aiming for the small little beach town of Mount Maunganui, which is a suburb of Tauranga and connected to it via a bridge over the harbour.
Mount Maunganui – getting our hiking groove on!
If you are looking for a place to get your morning exercise fix than THIS IS IT! Here you’ll find the extinct volcano Mout Maunganui with it’s winding and extremely steep walking paths which will not only get your heart racing but also offers some of the most spectacular views over the bay.
I however regretted skipping on breakfast this morning as soon as we started our climb up. What was supposed to be just a short little morning stroll up a hill to get some scenic views (at least that’s how Martin sold it to me) quickly turned into a full on fitness boot camp from hell.
I was sweating, breathing hard and I could feel my head turning even more red with every step I took up that mean, mean hill. This wasn’t my jam!
But my ooohh my, the postcard views along the way kept pushing me forward. (And I also used them for some sneaky little rest breaks 🙂 )
VIEWS worth every drop of sweat!
After an hour of sweating and cursing we finally reached the top. From the lookout you’ll see an endless stretch of coastline to either side of Mount Maunganui which completely blew our mind – it was just soooo beautiful!!!
We exchanged high-fives for having made it up here in one piece felling super sporty and proud of ourselves when we saw a group of elderly people (estimated average age of 60yrs maybe) came running…RUNNING…up the hill. IN YOUR FACE BERIT! 😊 If I had doubted my level of fitness before, now I knew that it really was at an alarming stage! Oh my…
We stayed at the top for a while, still catching our breath and admiring the views. What a gorgeous place.
Less sweat, more views! Our return back to the city
We took a more relaxed route downhill. YES! There are different walkways to the top, which we however noticed a bit too late! 😊 Unknowingly we had picked the path from hell on our way up (or did Martin know??? Mmmhhh…..) Either way, this one leading us back to the city was much more fun, that’s for sure.
Back in town it was time to get us some carbs, coffee and chill at the beach for a while which looked sooo inviting on this late-summer day.
We should stay a little longer
Beach, Sunshine, Chill-Time, it was here and then that we decided to stay here overnight at the Mount Maunganui Holiday Park which is located right at the bottom of the volcano. The weather was just too nice to be sitting in the car and driving for the rest of the day to our next destination.
Tauranga has a great vibe to it with lots of restaurants and cafes right at the waterfront. I guess it’s the same with most coastal towns, if the weather is nice and the sun is out it’s hard not to like it. And we didn’t just like it, we absolutely loved it here.
We finished the day, harbour town-style, with some delicious fish & chips by the beach while 50 jealous seagulls stared at every bite we took. Sorry friends, no sharing today!
We enjoyed our perfect dinner, in the perfect location, in the perfect company (not talking about the seagulls here! 😊 ) while watching a picture-perfect sunset. Might sound like a cliché, but it couldn’t have been any more…well…perfect! 😊
Tomorrow we had another big day ahead of us!
Previous Day: DAY 21 – Wai-O-Tapu
Start at the beginning: DAY ONE – Christchurch to Akaroa
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