Mount Maunganui is a coastal resort town which enjoys great weather year round, and is a popular destination for those seeking sun, sand and relaxation. Mount Maunganui, or Mauao, is also the name of the extinct volcano which rises above the town. Shrouded in history and legend, the mountain is a dominant feature of the landscape, and a climb to the summit, which takes around an hour to reach, offers amazing views of the surrounding city and ocean.
The relaxed atmosphere of Mount Maunganui has something for everyone, from its vibrant cafe and pub scene, to its coastal shopping and beach culture. The sweep of beaches fringing the Bay of Plenty have been a drawcard for generations of holidaymakers. Yet Tauranga and Mt Maunganui offer an up-beat lifestyle complete with modern apartments, trendy cafes, bars, boutiques and malls. Hot salt-water pools provide an opportunity to unwind and relax, with a large hot pool, cooler pools, a fountain, a slide and two private pools.
Mount Maunganui, New Zealands Surf City, is known internationally as a main summertime centre, and draws huge numbers of visitors each year. The Mount's beaches are great for relaxing in the sun, surf and sand, and play host to everything from surf-lifesaving events to beach volleyball, national surf contests to sandcastle-building. This beach is the ideal summer holiday venue, with its golden sands and rolling waves.
Tauranga is located at the head of a large harbour which extends along the Western Bay of Plenty, and is protected by Matakana Island. Tauranga harbour is a valued recreational haven and one of New Zealand's most popular holiday destinations. The town and headland of Mount Maunganui stand at the entrance to the harbour, five kilometres north of Tauranga. "The Mount", as it is known, is often regarded as a satellite town of Tauranga. The area has been inhabited for at least 600 years with Maori, New Zealand's indigenous people, settling in an area with a pleasant climate, fertile land, and welcoming harbour (the name Tauranga means "sheltered waters" in Maori.
Due to its sheltered position on the east coast, Tauranga enjoys a warm, dry climate. This has made it a popular location to retire to. During the summer months the population swells as the holidaymakers descend on the city. The sunny Pacific Coast of the aptly-named Bay of Plenty offers some of New Zealand's finest beaches for swimming, surfing and other water sports - Mount Maunganui is among the best known beaches in the country.
Much of the countryside surrounding Tauranga is horticultural land, used to grow a wide range of fresh produce for both domestic consumption and export. The area is particularly well known for growing tangelos (a grapefruit / tangerine cross) and kiwifruit. The Port of Tauranga also experiences brisk but seasonal shipping traffic and is a regular stop off for both container ships and luxury cruise liners. The City of Tauranga is home to a population of 110,000 and is the economic hub of the Bay of Plenty region, supporting a wide range of manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and horticulture industries.