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Mauao Walkways: Things to Do in Mount Maunganui

Mauao Walkways are one of New Zealand's most popular scenic walks! Whether you're a local or visiting the beautiful town of Mount Maunganui, this iconic landmark is a must-visit destination. With stunning views and rich history, the Mauao Walkways offers something for everyone.

Mauao Base Track

The centrepiece of the Mauao Walkway is the 3.4-kilometer Mauao Base Track. This popular route around the extinct volcano can be enjoyed in either direction. Start your journey from the white sand beach beside the surf lifesaving building, or begin at Pilot Bay. The choice is yours!

As you make your way along the gravel track, you will see harbour and sea views, passing boats, cargo ships, cruise ships and even the local sheep grazing on the grassy slopes! If you're lucky, you might even spot Oscar the seal sunbathing on the rocks or sand art created by local artists at low tide. 

Feel free to explore beyond the path and take a detour to the sandy beaches and shelly coves or scramble over the large rocks surrounding the base of Mauao. However, when the surf conditions are rough, for your safety we recommend avoiding the rocks. The base track will take approximately 45 minutes to walk around. 

Tracks To The Summit 

Reaching the summit of Mauao is an achievement worth celebrating. With an elevation of 232 meters above sea level, the panoramic views are simply breathtaking. Take in the stunning sunrise or sunset, capturing picturesque moments that will leave you in awe.

From the summit, you'll be treated to various scenic vistas. Admire the local islands, such as Moturiki Island, Matakana Island, Motiti Island and Mayor Island. On one side, gaze out towards the Kaimai Ranges; on the other, look out toward the endless curvature of the Pacific Ocean. Look down the coastline towards Papamoa and beyond on a clear day.

Multiple tracks lead to the summit of Mauao, but two are particularly popular. The Oruahine and Waikorire tracks begin from the base track's ocean side and follow the stairs upwards.

We promise this walkway is worth every step, taking approximately 40 minutes to reach the summit. 

Facilities and Tips

For your convenience, there are public toilets located at Pilot Bay and in front of the surf lifesaving club. Additionally, a water fountain is available near the surf club for you to drink from or refill your water bottle. 

When undertaking the Mount Maunganui summit walk, it's essential to consider your fitness level and bring enough water to hydrate. An average level of fitness would be recommended for this walk, as steeper hills on gravel tracks and stairs are a part of this walk.