11 epic things to do in Mount Maunganui

Plan an incredible getaway with our tried-and-tested recommendations. These are the best things to do in Mount Maunganui.

The Mount, as it is affectionately known, is situated along the Bay of Plenty in the scenic North Island.

With spectacular scenery, awesome wildlife, and beautiful beaches it’s no wonder this region is so popular, amongst locals and travellers alike.

There are so many adventures waiting for you in this region, so let’s dive straight in!

Mount Maunganui and a city at its foot while surrounded by turquoise waters.
Looking back at Mount Maunganui. Photo credit: Shellie Evans.

The Best Things to Do in Mount Maunganui

To make sure you have the ultimate trip to this beautiful area, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Mount Maunganui.

You can choose to go rock climbing, visit one of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand, or hike up Mount Maunganui itself.

Whether you prefer to relax or jam-pack your itinerary you won’t run out of things to do here!

You’ll also be close to Tauranga so perfectly positioned to explore what they have on offer too.

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1. Hike up Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui is 232 metres high and is often referred to as “The Mount” (or Mauao in te reo Māori). It’s hard to miss as you’ll see it from all around the region.

The Mount is one of the most famous landmarks in the area due to the breathtaking views from the summit.

There are two different walking tracks that you can take up, and both will require a relatively good level of fitness. You’re looking at a 30 to 60-minute hike to the top (depending on the track you take and your fitness), but it’s totally worth it!

From the summit, you’ll get panoramic views of the surrounding beaches, the Bay of Plenty and Tauranga city.

Our advice is to leave yourself some extra time at the top to take it all in because you’ll be left breathless!

The view of the Bay of Plenty and the cities as seen from Mount Maunganui.
Enjoy incredible views from Mount Maunganui.

2. Head to Leisure Island & See the Blowhole

Moturiki Island (also known as Leisure Island) is found just off Mount Maunganui’s main beach. A landbridge connects the beach to the Island, so getting across is easy.

Once you reach Moturiki, the most popular activity is to walk along the track to the blowhole. This takes about 10 minutes. We recommend you head there around high tide (or when there’s a good swell on) to enjoy watching large volumes of water shoot upwards — do check the weather is good enough for you to do so safely though.

Marine Parade, Mount Maunganui

A white beach showing the Moturiki Island.
Photo credit: Tourism Bay of Plenty.

3. Soak Up the Sun at Mount Maunganui Beach

Mount Maunganui Beach has been named the ‘best beach in New Zealand’ and frequently ranks among the 25 best beaches in the world. Once you take a look at its pristine white sands, spectacular backdrop, and ocean waves – it’s not hard to see why.

Spending some time at this beach is one of the top things to do in Mount Maunganui, so layer up your suncream, lounge on the beach, and prepare to head out for a swim.

If you’re feeling a bit more daring, then why not hire a surfboard? The waves there offer some pretty awesome surfing opportunities too.

Marine Parade, Mount Maunganui

A pohutukawa plant with a blurry background of Mount Maunganui Beach in the summertime.
Enjoy a day at the beach at Mount Maunganui.

4. Relax at the Hot Pools

We love the hot saltwater pools at the base of The Mount. In fact, we think a visit here is one of the best things to do in Mount Maunganui, especially during winter.

The Mount Hot Pools are located at the bottom of Mount Maunganui, and are perfect for a cold, rainy day!

The warm ocean water in the pools can reach temperatures of up to 39° (102°F), making this the perfect way to relax and unwind.

Bathing in heated saltwater is known to have healing properties in itself, but if you want to really treat yourself, you can get a massage from one of the experienced therapists on-site.

9 Adams Avenue, Mount Maunganui 3116

Tourists enjoying the evenings of Mount Hot Pools.

5. Enjoy a Self-Guided Food Crawl to All the Top Local Spots

Heading out on a food crawl of Mount Maunganui and nearby Tauranga is a must.

Here is a quick rundown of some of the best foodie spots:

  • Copenhagen Cone – a must for ice cream lovers. 14 Adams Avenue, Mount Maunganui 3116
  • Astrolabe Brewbar – cocktails & waffles! 82 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui 3116
  • Dixie Browns – offers takeout so perfect for spending an evening on the beach. 4A/4F Marine Parade, Mount Maunganui 3116
  • Little Big Markets (not food-focused but you’ll still find something yummy to eat there) – every Saturday, 9 am – 2 pm. Coronation Road, Mount Maunganui 3116
  • Tauranga Farmers Market – every Saturday, 7.45 am – 12 pm. 31 Fifth Avenue, Tauranga 3110
  • Bobby’s Fresh Fish Market – famous for classic fish and chips. 1 Dive Crescent, Tauranga 3110.
Holding an ice cream with Copenhagen Cones on the background.

6. Check Out The Exciting Activities at BayStation!

If you’re looking for fun and adventure at The Mount, there’s one place that has to be on your itinerary – BayStation!

Choose from the following exciting activities:

  • Blokart sailing – Combining sailing and go-karting, this all-ages activity is heaps of fun! Make your way around their purpose-built track, harnessing the power of the wind. It’s easy to learn to pilot a blokart so even if this is your first time in one, you’ll be up and running in no time.
  • Drift trikes – Hop on your drift trike and challenge your buddies to a race. These front-wheel drive buggies are made to slip and slide on the polished concrete track so prepare for plenty of sideways action.
  • Laser tag – Laser tag is a great way to get your heart pumping whilst still being totally family-friendly. Suitable for ages 8 and up, you’ll play in BayStation’s outdoor arena. You’ll also be offered a number of different game modes, ensuring the perfect fit for your group. This is the closest you’ll get to paint ball without the mess (or pain).
  • Paintball – Not for the faint-of-heart, paintball is the ultimate combat game. Shooting paint-pellets in an outdoor area, you’ll have vehicle bodies, drum bunkers and a house to hide in. As with laser tag, it’s possible to play a number of different game modes too.

81 Truman Road, Mount Maunganui 3175

A young woman riding in drift trikes in BayStation, Mount Maunganui.

7. Play a Round of Mini Golf

Golf360 has 18 holes of mini golf fun. Each hole is inspired by local landmarks and attractions, offering a great level of challenge.

As you’d expect, this course is perfect for all ages and provides affordable entertainment.

Challenge your travel buddies to a game when you’re next in town.

2 Matapihi Road, Mount Maunganui 3116

Ladies having a great time playing golf in Golf360.

8. Go Rock Climbing

Rocktopia is the ultimate climbing destination in the Bay of Plenty. From kids right through to proclimbers, you’ll be looked after here.

Clip ‘n Climb

Described as ‘indoor rock climbing meets theme park’, this Clip ‘n Climb takes rock climbing and makes it even more exciting!

With an automatic belay system, parents can breathe easy knowing their kids are safe on the walls too.

Rock On Walls

If you’re a more experienced climber, head straight for the Rock On Walls at Rocktopia.

With 19 walls, built by climbers for climbers, and 2 boulder caves, you’ll find plenty in the way of a challenge here.

9 Triton Avenue, Mount Maunganui 3116

Indoor rock climbing in the Rock House.

9. Take on a Challenge – Go Skydiving

Now, this is the ultimate activity for all those daredevils out there!

Skydiving over Mount Maunganui and the Bay of Plenty is truly a bucket list experience.

Not only will you be rewarded with spectacular views of the bay, but you’ll also get to see White Island, Mount Ruapehu and Lake Rotorua.

First, you’ll head out on a 20-minute scenic flight, before then jumping from either 12,000 or 15,000 ft.

However, this one isn’t for the faint-hearted, as once you’ve jumped out of the plane, you’ll be falling down to earth at speeds of over 200kmph!

It’s an experience unlike anything else though and one that we’re sure you’ll love. Take it from us, although the freefall is what makes first-timer’s the more nervous, it’s also the best part — so be sure to book the big jump!

2 Kittyhawk Way, Mount Maunganui 3116

Skydiving and having a great view of the ocean, a small strait, and the City of Tauranga.

10. Visit Papamoa

Papamoa is the largest suburb of Tauranga and is just a 15-minute drive from Mount Maunganui.

It’s a popular holiday destination, and once you see it, you’ll understand why. It is home to many popular attractions and great restaurants, but the highlight is the 16km golden-sand beach. A wonderful beach destination, you’ll often find it much quieter than other beaches in the area.

Other popular activities in Papamoa include mountain biking, visiting the ‘Dinner in the Domain’ food market, and hiking in the Papamoa Hills. You’ll also find the Kaiate Falls nearby.

Wild flowers growing at a distance of Papamoa Beach.

11. Go Swimming at Bay Wave TECT Aquatic & Leisure Centre

This is one of the best things to do in Mont Maunganui on a rainy day!

Bay Wave TECT Aquatic & Leisure Centre is the largest swimming pool complex in the area, attracting around 300,000 people every year.

It is also home to the biggest wave pool in New Zealand making it a must-visit!

Aside from the wave pool, you can also use the 25m lap pool, spa pool, sauna, and hydro slides. This facility even runs aqua aerobic classes and there is an Aqua Play Station for the little ones.

When you need a break from the water, you can grab a bite to eat at the Poolside Cafe & Shop too.

Corner Girven Road & Gloucester Rd, Bayfair, Mount Maunganui 3116

So many people swimming in an indoor swimming pool of Baywave.

Which of these fantastic Mount activities and attractions looks good to you?

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