Mt Maunganui Summit Walk

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Also known as The Mauao summit track, the Mt Maunganui Summit walk is a hard walk up to the summit which will take around 45mins depending on which way you go.

At the summit the views are awesome, well worth the huff and puff, you can see the beach the inner harbour and port, Matakana Island, para ponts, ships and boats coming and going through the small harbour entrance, just fantastic.

There is a great full day guided tour that starts in Auckland and travels through the old mining town of Karangahake Gorge then onto Mount Maunganui. Here you can choose to do the Mt Maunganui Summit Walk or the easier base track walk.

If you’d like to learn more about the tales and myths that surround Mount Maunganui, including the arrival of the Maori in New Zealand, click here to download a Self-Guided 3 Hour Audio Tour to listen to as you walk around.

Hand picked Hobbiton & Lord of the Rings Tours from Tauranga & Mt Maunganui

We have gone through all the big tour booking guides and hand picked the following tours that offer the best value to the Hobbiton Movie Set that leave from Tauranga. These are the best prices.

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: Mt Maunganui, Bay Of Plenty, North Island
  • Distance: 3.80 kms
  • Time needed: 1 Hour 20 minutes no stopping
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Route: Round Trip
  • Elevation: 231m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Dogs: No
  • Mobile Coverage: Yes
  • Last Updated: November, 2019

Summary points about this walk

Points of interest along the walk​

Start of the walk up Mt Maunganui Summit Track from Pilot Bay

We like to walk up the road and come down the steeper side of the Mount. It’s a slightly easier walk without all the 100’s of stairs to climb on the way up. To find the start of the track, walk up to the mountain keeping Pilot Bay on your left shoulder, a road runs between the motorhome and caravan park and the beach. Follow this road around to the left. keep a look out for a track on your right, if you end up at the wharf, you have gone too far. Walk up this track for 3 mins, then take the next gate on the right, once through the gate turn to the left. You are now on the main track to the top.

Walk past the water tank

From the gate to the water tank is a gentle (3 Min) uphill hike. The views over to the left and out in to the inner harbour will take your mind off the climb. Watch out for the sheep.

Walk uphill to the top of Mt Maunganui peak

Just past the tank, is a gate to open. Now this is where the adventure starts. Uphill all the way to the top. Half way up is a sharp right hand corner, stop for a breather and look over the bank and down to into the harbour entrance. Out in the distance (27ks) is the Kaimai Ranges. Down in front of you is Matakana Island; you might be able to see the farm land in the distance.

Site on the seat and enjoy the stunning views

Up around the next corner is a sign giving you two ways to the top. Follow the main track to the left; you will meet up with the other track later. (15Min) to the top is good going, make it (20 Min). The next plato you walk on to is where the brave boys fly off the cliff face hanging onto their hand gliders for dear life. The model plane clubs also use this spot to fly from, the day we were there the hand gliders and model planes were fighting for air superiority, guess who won.

Walk further on to get views out to the Mount beach and Pilot Bay

(50 minutes) Was it worth the climb? On a warm summer’s night, hike up there around 5 o’clock. With a back pack full of goodies to eat and something to drink. Sit on the top and look out over Tauranga and watch the sun setting. Don’t forget the torch. Equally good is getting up just before first thing in the morning and watching the sun rise – awesome!

The return walk is a different way down

Here’s the easy part. Walk past the monument and follow the track down into the trees. From here on it is downhill all the way. There are a few steps to walk down but they are new and strong. After about (5 minutes) you will come to a T section. Turn to the left. Onto the Base track via Waikorere track. There is a large marker stone to the right of this track.

Quite a few steps this way down

The first few minutes of this walk is through light native bush. Then you walk over a bridge and around a corner to great views of the mount. Looking down to the bottom you will see the Mount thermal Hot pools. Very popular on a cold night. The steps on this side of the mountain are a little steep. So take your time on the way down.

Last few steps along the walk

The next turn off to the right is easy, just keep walking down hill. The track to the left will take you back the road you walked up earlier. As you walk down to the right, you will see a light beacon, on your right (2 min) down the hill is another gate. This paddock usually has sheep in it so watch were you step with your clean shoes. Down this track about another (5 min) on a right hand corner you will see the old stone steps leading down a gully, take this track.

End of the walk out onto Mt Maunganui beach past the campground

From the stone steps you can look down to the beach and the board walk alone the beach. Watch out when walking on the stone steps, they can be a little slippery when wet. When you met up with the base track, turn to the right and walk 5m to the gate on the left. Once through the gate follow the board walk to the Mt cafés and restaurants.

Take the boardwalk to the shops

The next building you come to after the motorhome and caravan park is the surf club. In the surf club there are public toilets, changing rooms and a tap for you to wash the sand of your feet before heading off for a coffee or ice-cream.

Hobbiton & Lord of the Rings Tours from Tauranga & Mt Maunganui

We have gone through all the big tour booking guides and hand picked the following tours that offer the best value to the Hobbiton Movie Set that leave from Tauranga. These are the best prices.

More things to do near Mt Maunganui

What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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