Hiking Mount Maunganui – New Zealand

I will admit that I didn’t do much in Mount Maunganui, and know there are many beautiful things to do including beautiful white sand beaches and lovely cafes. I only had a few hours in the area and the main thing I wanted to do was hike to the summit of Mount Manganui for sunrise. 

Mount Maunganui, also known as “The Mount” or “Mauao”, is a volcanic cone and towers over the local landscape. It is beautiful from afar and up top. Both locals and visitors love to visit here, and it is especially popular at sunrise. 

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The Hikes

There are two main paths you can take to walk Mount Maunganui

  • Mount Maunganui Summit Walk – This walk takes approximately 45mins to reach the summit, depending how fit you are. It offers impressive views over the city and ocean. It contains a lot of steps going up, but it isn’t too bad if you have some degree of fitness. 
  • Mount Mauganui Base Track – This walk also takes approximately 45mins, but as a round trip, not one way like the above track. This walk offers gorgeous scenery of the coastal area. This walk is a lot easier than the above. 

Walking to the Summit

I started off my walk by parking at the Maunganui Beach carpark, this is to the right of the Lifeguard service. If you are staying at the Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park, the track starts right out front towards the beach. If you get lost, just follow the locals.

I believe there are two tracks you can take to reach the summit, one is a little less steep than the other. I opted for the steep one, which involved a lot of steps. If you want more of a gradual incline I would opt for the 4WD track route. Don’t worry there are sign posts the whole way, which tell you the elevation and how steep. 

You will get impressive views the whole walk, and panoramic views over the city below. Once you’ve reached the summit I would recommend walking a little further than the true summit to the side closest to the ocean. There are small paths that lead off from the main path to rocks. These rocks offer the best views for sunrise! Although they do fill up fast, especially on weekends. 

Set yourself down and watch the sunrise, before making your decent down. You can either choose to go back down the way you came or follow the path around – you can also join onto the base walk if you want to. 


  • How hard is the walk? I was able to get up there in 30 mins without a problem, I do a lot of hiking so it was fairly easy for me. 
  • Are there bathrooms/bins? There are no bathrooms or bins on the walk, make sure you use the ones at the Lifeguards before. 
  • Can I take my dog? Unfortunately not pups allowed. 


  • Make sure to bring water, even if its cold 
  • Bring a hat for the way down 
  • Bring a jacket for up top, it can get chilly! 
  • Pack a swimsuit for a cool off swim after the hike 
  • The hike gets very popular during the peak times (Dec-Feb) and on weekends, so if you want less crowds, I would hike during a weekday. 

Where to stay?

Adventures Nearby

  • The Pinnacles hike – a great day or overnight hike which I highly recommend you do
  • Head to Rotorua and explore more of what the Bay of plenty has to offer 
  • Explore the Coromandel Peninsula 

Click here for a detailed two week North Island itinerary!

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