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Mount Maunganui is a town in the Bay of Plentymarker, New Zealandmarker, located on a peninsula to the north of the neighbouring city Tauranga, which Mount Maunganui fought fiercely during the 1950s to retain independence from, then fail with the completion of the harbour bridge in 1988. It is also the name of the extinct volcanic cone which rises above the town (which is now officially known by its Māori name Mauaomarker). According to Maori legend, this hill was a pononga [slave] to a mountain called Otanewainuku. It is colloquially known in New Zealand simply as The Mount. The town itself is located on top of a sand bar that connects Mauao to the mainland, a geographical formation known as a tombolo. Because of this formation, the residents of Mount Maunganui are lucky enough to have both a harbour beach (Pilot Bay) and an ocean beach with great surf, within a short distance (At the base of Mauao, the distance between the harbour and ocean side is a couple of blocks).


The mountain in summer.
View from the mountain.
Mount Maunganui is regarded as a coastal resort town, although Port of Taurangamarker, a major facility, is also partly located on the western (harbour) side. It is also well-known for the quality of its surfing conditions, though parts of the beach are notoriously dangerous. The harbour bridge was opened in 1988, linking Mount Maunganui with Tauranga. Currently, a duplication bridge is being built ( Open Dec 2009* ) which will form the link in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui's growing motorway system.

A large container terminal and overseas wharf is located at Mount Maunganui. A branch railway from the East Coast Main Trunk railway runs between Te Maunga and Mount Maunganui.

The conical headland which gives the town its name is 232 metres in height, and dominates the mostly flat surrounding countryside. It was formerly a Māori pa, and the remains of trenches can be seen in the ridges, as well as ancient shell middens. Today, it is open to the public year round, and is a popular place to either walk around, or climb up. From the summit, a good stretch of coastline can be seen in either direction, as well as the Kaimai Rangesmarker to the west.

The town was the home of Americanmarker actress Jessica Rose of Lonelygirl15 fame.

Mount Maunganui also features the popular Bayfair shopping centre. The centre is one of the largest in the North Island outside Auckland and Wellington. It features a large Farmers, Kmart, Countdown, Woolworths, plus over 80 specialty stores and a food court all situated on 1 level.

Population of Mt Maunganui & Suburbs (2001 census): 30,387.

Sporting Events

Every year the Mt Maunganui beach hosts the Northern Regional Surf Championships (NRC's), and other events like the NZ Under 14 Ocean Athlete Championships and the Pro Volleyball Tour. The Port of Tauranga Half Ironman triathlon is held at Mt Maunganui.

Artificial reef

New Zealand's first artificial reef has been installed at the Mount. Construction of the reef was hampered by lack of funds and ironically, too many waves. Initially the public was told the reef would cost about $500k, but costs escalated to $800k, and to date have exceeded $1.5M. Recently the media has reported that local surfers are disappointed with the waves produced by the reef. The reef has also been blamed for creating rips.

Panorama of Mount Maunganui and the Main Beach


On May 14, 2008, New Zealand's Parliament adopted legislation whereby ownership of Mount Maunganui was transferred from the Crown to the Ngati Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga iwi. The land had been alienated following the 1863 land wars.


  2. Harbour Bridge Heritage
  4. New Zealand Herald, 8/11/2005, Mount reef builders battle big swells, Juliet Rowan
  5. New Zealand Herald, 18/06/2003, Artificial surf reef needs wave of cash, Rosaleen MacBrayne
  6. New Zealand Herald, 20/03/2004, Mount missing the wave with artificial reef project, Rosaleen MacBrayne
  7. New Zealand Herald, 25/09/2006, Surf’s up at the Mount – almost, Juliet Rowan
  8. New Zealand Herald, 22/02/2007, Artificial reef fails to win surfers' approval, Joel Ford
  9. New Zealand Herald, 03/01/2006, Reef at Mt Maunganui a headache for lifeguards, Juliet Rowan
  10. "Iwi celebrate return of 'The Mount'", Mike Houlahan, New Zealand Herald, may 15, 2008

See also

External links

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