The town of Mount Maunganui is located close to Tauranga, in the sunny Bay of Plenty region of North Island, and is known to locals, and holidaying Kiwis, simply as “The Mount” after its namesake, which stands tall and proud overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Local legend suggests there were once three mountains living in the Hautere forest overlooking Tauranga Moana. The mighty Otanewainuku boasted the tallest trees and rich birdlife; Puwhenua, the lush female mountain, was protected by native plantlife, and then there was the other mountain.. a maunga pononga (nameless mountain).
The nameless mountain was hopelessly in love with Puwhenua, but she only had eyes for the grand Otanewainuku, so one evening, the nameless mountain asked local shamans to drag him into the Pacific Ocean. As they began to drag him to his miserable demise, his base carved out the Waimapu River (weeping waters), which still cries tears to this very day.
However, as the sun began to rise, the magic people fled back into the sanctuary of the forest, abandoning the pitiful mountain by the shoreside, but not before naming him – Mauao – ‘caught by the morning sun’.
What our travellers enjoyed about visiting Mount Maunganui…
- Walking the short distance up The Mount with local guides who bring the legend of Mauao to life
- Relaxing on the beach and watching the surfers catch a wave
- Visiting the Classic Flyers Vintage Aviation Museum, and taking a scenic flight in a world-war two era open cockpit bi-plane
- Rock climbing with local experts
- Kicking back in the local hot pools