Celebrating my 23rd birthday the Kiwi way - to the Bay of Plenty!
Our Bay of Plenty trip began with a visit to The Mount – a popular attraction for both locals and tourists, Mt Maunganui (also known as Mauao) is an extinct volcanic cone in Tauranga. Before hiking up the summit, we had a wee wander around Pilot Bay.
It was a busy day with two cruise ships docked at the port, one being the Celebrity Solstice capable of carrying close to 3,000 passengers. “The Mall” along Pilot Bay Beach was packed with tourists from all corners of the world.
A walk around the port and we came across The Little Big Markets at Coronation Park – a twice-a-month Saturday morning craft market with many stalls selling their handmade goods. I managed to grab a succulent plant for $5.
After exploring the market, we began our hike up the summit. There were plenty of beautiful backdrops along the way. Budget for around 45 minutes to go up to the peak. It is rated as “difficult”, but honestly if you keep walking you’ll get there!
45 Minutes later and we’re on the top of the summit – 232 metres above ground. From the top you can see Mt Maunganui Main Beach and Moturiki (Leisure) Island, as well as Matakana Island and basically the entire Tauranga.
Breath-taking view of Tauranga from the top of the summit.
Later in the evening, we did a quick hike up Papamoa Hills with the panoramic view of the Bay of Plenty coastline.