Walking the Mount

 
 
Walking the Mount
                                                                                                                                                                   

One of the favourite past times of Tauranga residents as well as all visitors to the area, is a walk around the Mount.  The Mount, as Mount Maunganui is affectionately known, is an extinct volcano which guards the entrance to the Tauranga harbour, a large tidal estuary covering 218 square kilometres.  The Tauranga area is one of New Zealand's fastest growing residential areas.  The climate in Tauranga provides ideal conditions for the growing of kiwifruit and avocados.  The name ‘Tauranga’ means ‘landing place’. 

Mount Maunganui is shrouded in history and legend and is a dominant feature of the landscape.  A walk around the base of the Mount is an easy walk, ideal for Sunday mornings followed by breakfast at one of the popular beachfront cafes.  No hiking staffs are needed for this walk but a designer walking stick would provide an excellent topic of conversation when making new friends with similar interests.  The walk provides an ever changing vista as you pass rock pools and shelley beaches.  The side of the Mount facing onto the harbour entrance passes under a magnificent avenue of Pohutukawa trees. The Pahutakawa are known as New Zealand’s native Christmas trees because of the bright crimson flowers which decorate the trees in abundance over the Christmas period. This part of the walk is popular with walkers especially when a large cruise ship enters or leaves the harbour.   For the more physical walker, a walk to the summit of the Mount offers the reward of an amazing 360 degree view of the city and the Pacific ocean.