Before we set out on this trip, we agreed that we would leave room in our schedule to take on adventures that others recommended to us and that we may not have already heard of. Hiking Mt. Maunganui was one of our first such adventures.
We met Alex at Matamata Backpackers the night before we were leaving. He told us about Tauranga and showed us pictures from the top of the mountain. We were easily convinced.
It’s an hour long hike to get to the top of the mountain that sits at the end of the Tauranga peninsula. We got lucky and managed to get up to the top while the sky was (almost) cloudless and the breeze was cool.
The view is spectacular. The city stretches out before you and the beaches there are beautiful. If you’re ever looking to surf in Northern New Zealand, we were told that this is definitely the spot. (We almost let ourselves get talked into a surfing lesson but the water was a bit too cold for us).
On our way back down the mountain, we ran into the second person to talk us into something we hadn’t planned to do. While we never learned his name, he was an older New Zealander with a fondness for beautiful road trips and he told us about the East Coast Road.
When we found ourselves on this road a few days later, we wished we had a way to thank him for the suggestion.