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About Mount Maunganui
Mount Maunganui crowns the peninsula stretching out across New Zealand's Bay of Plenty. This suburb of Tauranga, on New Zealand's North Island, is a beach town known for its relaxed atmosphere and long, white sandbank. Wrapped in mythology, the mountain's Māori name, Mauao, means "caught by the dawn" at the entrance to the bay. Mount Maunganui and its beach are firm favourites for surfers, hikers, divers and day-trippers going out to the islands. Immerse yourself in the many activities or just marvel at the spectacular views across the bay.
Mount Maunganui hostel guests tend to be sociable, and there are spacious lounges, outdoor areas communal kitchens where you can meet other travellers. You'll find friendly staff in the know about everything from booking adventure activities to finding a job (if you're on a working holiday visa). Mount Maunganui backpackers hostels include upscale accommodation in a quieter area, a stylish hostel on the town's main street, or backpacker dorms close to the beach. Free Wi-Fi is standard in Mount Maunganui hostels. To get active and explore, free surfboard hire is available; as well budget-friendly wetsuit and bike rental.
Mount Maunganui's main areas start at foot of its slopes. Busy Main Beach is here, filled with surfers and sunbathers. Cross a narrow land bridge to reach Moturiki (Leisure Island), a nature reserve with natural blow holes and rock pools. To the east is the uninhabited nature sanctuary, Moutohora (Whale Island). Behind the beach, long Maunganui Road's Mount Mainstreet is a shopping enclave where you'll find boutiques, chic cafés and galleries.
Nature-lovers are spoilt for choice here. You can hike through the trees along Mount Maunganui's Base Track Walk, explore the steaming inner crater of rocky White Island, or take a night-time glow worm-spotting trip on Lake McLaren. For local culture, head to contemporary Tauranga Art Gallery, or stroll through downtown to see colourful street art. At Te Puna Quarry Park, giant stone sculptures lurk in lush greenery, making for surreal scenes. Relax with a soak in thermal saltwater at the Mount Hot Pools set on Maunganui's slopes.
Tauranga Airport is 5km south of Mount Maunganui (around 5 minutes by taxi or by shuttle bus). It's close enough to walk if you don't have much luggage and should take roughly an hour on foot. A bus from Hamilton to the east is about 2 hours' journey. Most places in Mount Maunganui are within easy walking distance, and there are regular routes with Baybus to take you further afield. You can also rent a bicycle, motorbike or car.