In the sunniest region in New Zealand there are plenty of reasons to put on your walking shoes and get outdoors.
Mauao is an iconic landmark and traversing its 3.4km base track is New Zealand’s single most popular walk. Allow 45 minutes and plenty of time to enjoy the crashing ocean waves and views across to Tauranga and Katakana Island. Macao was once a Maori pa site and evidence of trenches and ancient shell middens can be seen as you walk around. There are numerous park benches to sit and enjoy the view as you walk around this track - watch vessels of all shapes and sizes as the navigate one of New Zealand's busiest ports. Keep a look out for seals sunbathing on the rocks below. This well marked pathway is wide enough for pushchairs, and will take you full circle around this extinct volcano. It can be walked in either direction – from the white sand on Mount Maunganui's ocean beach right around to the sheltered waters of Pilot Bay and vice versa.
Mauao stands 232m above sea level - so it provides a serious 35 - 45 minute fitness work-out. You'll need a reasonably good level of fitness and mobility to climb to the summit. The 360 degree views are simply breath-taking. Mauao means ‘caught by the dawn’ and plenty of people enjoy climbing to the summit to greet each new day. Public toilets are available at both Pilot Bay and in front of the surf lifesaving club on the beachfront. A water fountain is also on the ocean beach side, so make use of whatever facilities you need before you set off.