Mount Maunganui Track

Mount Maunganui Track

Mount Maunganui Summit Track is a classic Tauranga walk that is popular among tourist and locals. In summer it is a classic excursion for people spending their Christmas/New Years in Tauranga. It is almost tradition that every time I go to Tauranga and catch up with cousins that we climb Mt Maunganui and later grab ice-creams from Copenhagen Cones. It’s a well-deserved summer treat after a short but steep hike for some stunning views out over the city of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui. After the hike, you can cool off in the sea and tan on the beach, an ideal outing.


1.5 hours


3.5 km


302 m





In Detail

Mount Maunganui Summit track is probably the most iconic walk in Tauranga and possibly Bay of Plenty. It is popular among many and a training ground for those that live in this part of Tauranga. Often you will find people running up and down the Mount. It’s always a good challenge to see how far you can get without stopping. It takes approximately 45 mins walking to reach the summit, however, this time is variable depending on your fitness. There are a number of different routes that will lead to the summit of the Mount Maunganui depending on where you park and what you are for I have detailed a number of different options below.

Getting there & Parking

The Mt Maunganui Summit Track begins either at the bottom of Pilot Bay or on Mt Maunganui’s Beach. It is best to keep an eye out for a carpark as soon as Pilot Bay is visible. Over the summer period, it gets really busy and can take some time to locate a carpark. Below is a map of the streets of Tauranga with an orange line marked to give a representation of where carparks can be found at the bottom of Mount Maunganui. Ensure that you take all your rubbish with you, as there are no bins anywhere along the summit track.


There are two main routes that lead to the summit of Mt Maunganui. In this post, the route described is the one from the main beach shown on the map below. It’s the most common way to hike to the summit and has the most foot traffic. There is another track, however, it’s more of a vehicle track which doesn’t have the same views as the main track. If walking up steep hills isn’t on your agenda, there is another walk around the base of Mount Maunganui which is well worth checking out.

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Climbing the Mount

Climbing the Mount Maunganui Summit Track starts with a large number of steps. Pasture surrounds the base of Mount Maunganui where few sheep graze. After climbing just a short way you can appreciate the views out over Mount Maunganui as you look out over the city and beach. As you enter the forest there is a sharp turn left after passing through a small gate.

The next part of the walk takes you through a mixture of native forest. A number of steps to be climbed and even a bridge to be crossed as you continue your ascent of Mount Maunganui. Through the forest, there are a number of points where you can catch glimpses of your progress through the trees. Still, the forest is lush, the track is easy to follow. You’ll usually end up finding people trailing behind you and people trailing in front of you that will all be making the summit. If you go off the main trail route you can find yourself at a number of smaller lookout points along the trail.

Shortly after you begin following the Mountain around you will find you come to track junction. Take a hard right here which will lead you to the summit. It’s not until this point that the bush clears and you are able to see out over the city of Tauranga.

Mt Maunganui Summit

At the summit, there are a number of small goat tracks to some photo opportunities and epic views. Each spot gives you a different perspective on the area and some awesome opportunities to capture a different angle of Mt Maunganui, Tauranga and it’s surroundings. It’s an incredible view out over the city for the small distance that you have to walk. With it being the only hill in such a wide area, the summit sticks out like a sore thumb but provides some epic views.

Side Tracks

From the summit track as you walk around the small loop track around the summit you can spot a number of sidetracks that lead down the mountain that can be a lot of fun for snapping a photo or two. Some of these tracks can be a little overgrown in places and make it a battle to push past all the shrub.

Return Journey

On the route down you can either follow the same route which you came up or take the vehicle track down. The vehicle track is marked by the yellow trail that leads down past a small pond. It doesn’t have quite the same views or the same amount of foot traffic as the main summit route walk.


Mount Maunganui Summit is one of the best spots in Tauranga to catch the sunrise, being in the east the sun rises up from the ocean and makes for a beautiful start to the day. It is a little painful to get up so early sometimes, especially in the summer. On a good day, an early morning sunrise will never disappoint. Remember to take a torch with you to help you find your way up to the top before sunrise so that you can appreciate the scenery at the summit.

In the Area

If you have already been up to the summit of Mt Maunganui before or are looking for a different adventure in the area be sure to check out some of the waterfalls that I have explored in the Bay Of Plenty area. I have written up about both Omanawa Falls and Kaiate Falls on Adventures from the South.