What Makes Mount Maunganui Special

What is Mount Maunganui known for? 

In the picturesque Bay of Plenty region, Mount Maunganui – affectionately known as ‘The Mount’ – is an iconic destination brimming with natural beauty and thrilling adventures. But if you’ve never been here, you’re probably wondering: What is Mount Maunganui known for? 

Mount Maunganui is known for its stunning beaches, summit, surfing, Maunganui Hot Pools, Mauao Performing Arts Centre, kiwifruit, and plenty of outdoor activities. 

Interested? Let’s dive into all that this amazing location can offer!

Mount Maunganui is known for its stunning beaches

Mount Maunganui is a coastal paradise with some of the most breathtaking beaches you will ever encounter. The main Mount Maunganui Main Beach has something for everyone, whether it’s the excellent surf conditions, the beachside cafés, or the picturesque white sand.

Or there’s the quieter Papamoa Beach, a favourite among those seeking a more serene experience. Pilot Bay, another gem in Mount Maunganui, provides calm waters ideal for families and water sports enthusiasts. 

Mount Maunganui is known for its summit 

Mount Maunganui is also renowned for its iconic mountain, Mauao, which has become synonymous with the town itself. 

Mauao holds significant importance to the local Māori iwi mythology, making it a place of historical and cultural value. This spiritual connection adds depth to any visit, transforming a simple hike into an encounter with the rich tapestry of Māori culture and history.

Of course, most people venture to the top of Mount Maunganui summit because of the award that awaits at the top. The main Mount Maunganui Summit track is a challenging yet rewarding trek that requires a good level of fitness. 

You can choose from two scenic tracks to reach the summit, each offering unique views and encounters with the local flora and fauna. Depending which route you take, the hike can take around 40 to 45 minutes but promises an experience worth every step. 

The reward for reaching the summit is a stunning, unrestricted view of Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty. From the top, you can see the North Coast, Mount Maunganui Beach, White Island, and the town itself. 

Mount Maunganui is known for surfing

Mount Maunganui is renowned for its pristine beaches and world-class surf breaks. It’s a coveted destination for surfers worldwide because of its unparalleled surfing experience.

The Mount’s Main Beach offers consistent surf with right- and left-handed breaks. The beach’s reliable conditions make it the perfect place for surfers to enjoy their sport without the unpredictability often associated with surfing. 

Furthermore, the white sand beaches that line this beautiful coastline add to the allure, making your surf session a scenic delight.

But Mount Maunganui offers a range of surf spots for beginners and seasoned surfers. Here are some notable spots in Mount Maunganui to hit the waves! 

Puni’s Farm

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner just getting your feet wet, Puni’s Farm has a wave for you. Nestled near the southern end of Matakana Island, Puni’s Farm is a beach break on a sandy beach that offers an unforgettable surfing experience. Its remote location adds to its charm. 

You’ll need a boat or take the ferry to reach this isolated paradise, but trust us, the journey is worth every minute. 

Tay Street Beach

Situated just a stone’s throw from Mount Maunganui, Tay Street Beach caters to all levels of surfers. It’s a long beachfront with waves that lump up, making it perfect for those who are eager to catch their first wave or those looking to challenge themselves.

What sets Tay Street Beach apart is its artificial surfing reef, a world-first delta-wing-shaped reef located 250 meters offshore. This innovative feature enhances the surf break, adding extra excitement for surfers.

After a day of riding the waves, surfers can kick back at the Tay Street Cafe across the road—the perfect spot to unwind and meet fellow surfers. 


Nestled in the heart of Papamoa, this sandy beach is a beloved spot for surfers looking for the perfect wave. With its variable peaks and consistent breaks, Arataki offers an unparalleled surfing experience that caters to surfers of all levels.

The beach’s wide expanse allows ample room to maneuver, enabling everyone, from beginners to seasoned surfers, to find their own space in the water.

While Main Beach tends to draw the crowds, Arataki offers a more relaxed atmosphere. It’s a little off the beaten path, which lends it a sense of serenity, making it a great place to unwind after a day of surfing.

The best conditions for surfing at Arataki occur when a North-northeast swell combines with an offshore wind direction from the South-southwest. After a day of riding the waves, you can enjoy the stunning views of Mount Maunganui from the beach—if you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins.

Papamoa Beach 

Papamoa Beach is a haven for surfers seeking both thrill and tranquillity. It is a sandy beach break with several peaks to choose from, offering both right and left-handers. 

The waves here are punchy and fun, making it an ideal spot for surfers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro looking for a challenging ride or a beginner eager to catch your first wave, Papamoa Beach has something for everyone.

The best time to surf at Papamoa Beach is when offshore winds blow from the west. After riding the waves, unwind on the pristine sands or take a leisurely walk along the shore. 

Mount Maunganui is known for its hot pools

One key attraction in Mount Maunganui that continues to draw visitors worldwide is the Mount Maunganui Hot Pools. 

The Mount Maunganui Hot Pools are a testament to the town’s innovative spirit, commitment to health and well-being, and appreciation of natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking relief from aching muscles, looking for a serene spot to relax, or wanting to experience a slice of Mount Maunganui’s history, the hot pools are a must-visit.

They offer a variety of pools to cater to all ages and are metres away from the beach—the ideal setting for unwinding after a day spent exploring the area.

Mount Maunganui is renowned for its Mauao Performing Arts Centre

The Mauao Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) is a vibrant hub of creativity that is a key attraction for tourists and a nurturing space for budding and established artists alike.

The Mauao Performing Arts Centre has made a name for itself by offering comprehensive music tuition. The centre caters to individuals of all ages and skill levels, with lessons available for drums, guitar, bass, voice, piano, keyboards, percussion, saxophone, flute, and ukulele. 

Its mission to provide a fun and educational experience in the performing arts has played a significant role in putting Mount Maunganui on the map for arts education. Beyond its educational role, MPAC doubles as a lively venue for live performances of local and international artists. 

Mount Maunganui is known for kiwifruit

Mount Maunganui has earned a reputation as the heart of the country’s kiwifruit industry. 

The Bay of Plenty has a temperate climate, volcanic ash soil, topological conditions, and a coastal location, all of which provide ideal conditions for kiwifruit cultivation in Mount Maunganui. These factors have enabled the region to produce high-quality kiwifruit that is sought after around the globe.

Approximately 79% of New Zealand-grown kiwifruit comes from the Bay of Plenty. Zespri International Limited, the world’s largest kiwifruit marketer, has its headquarters here. This extensive production and major industry presence have cemented Mount Maunganui’s status as a key player in the global kiwifruit market.

Mount Maunganui is renowned for its outdoor activities 

Mount Maunganui is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, offering various activities that make the most of its unique landscape. Whether it’s surfing in the summer, hiking in the spring, or wildlife encounters in the autumn and winter, there’s always something to do outdoors.

Below are two notable outdoor activities in Mount Maunganui for you to give a try when you visit!  

Wildlife Encounters

Mount Maunganui offers unique eco-tourism experiences, including world-famous whale and dolphin-watching cruises. The Bay of Plenty region is home to diverse and spectacular sea life, from majestic dolphins and orcas to beautiful fur seals, making it an ideal place for marine encounters.

Native birds are also well-represented in the area. Encounters with Oystercatchers, Pied Shags, and Gulls are almost guaranteed, especially when walking around the Mount.

If you’re lucky, you might spot some elusive reptiles like geckos to unique species like the tuatara, known as the “living dinosaur.” 


For many, skydiving is a bucket list adventure, and what better place to tick it off than over Mount Maunganui? The thrilling freefall and the incredible Bay of Plenty views make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Even the scenic flight before the jump offers panoramic vistas of the town, its golden beaches, and the bay’s sparkling waters.