My desire to climb Mount Maunganui (or “The Mount” by locals) started on our site visit to New Zealand. Andrew and I took a break from exploring areas to live and pricing groceries to make our way out to the busiest beach. Here we stood at the base of Mount Maunganui and joked about hiking up. We were unprepared for the challenge in the middle of summer with no hats, sunscreen or water. This would have to wait until after we moved.
I am not sure why it took us two years to actually make the climb. Could have been the fact that Ella was only two when we boarded our one way flight to New Zealand. Even at four she hitched a ride on Andrew’s shoulders for the 2nd half of the climb.
The Mount or Mauao by its Maori name is actually a lava dome formed a couple million years ago. The only history I can remember from the sign!
There are a few different options to reach the summit and we started with the longer 4WD track. There were no stairs which we thought would be easier for the girls. This trail starts on the back side of the mountain so you get a great Port of Tauranga view. There were two large cruise ships parked the day of our hike which meant there would be many tourists.
Along the earlier parts of the walk sheep were laying beneath the trees. No one living in New Zealand would be surprised by this considering sheep out number people.
The hike itself takes a couple hours (with little ones) round trip. My guess is an adult in fairly decent shape could have done it in about half that time.
We decided to follow the Base Track on the return trip which lead us out to the beach. This route is faster although steeper and made up of mostly stairs towards the top.
The spectacular view from the top!