Life at No.22, New Zealand, Walks

The Climb up Mount Maunganui [Mauao]

It had to be done.

I have been telling myself I needed another exercise challenge.

Especially now that me and my new tramping boots are rediscovering the New Zealand bush and my leg muscles. Time to take the Mount on once again and make it a regular thing. That is the theory! Whether it is here or elsewhere I need to get hill fit.

One morning a few weeks ago, seemed a good enough day to just do it.

I started the walk skywards via the boardwalk which runs alongside the beach with clear signage of the Mauao Reserve and the start of the walking tracks.

The lower half of the extinct volcano is carpeted in lush farmland with the very bottom lined with pohutukawa trees, a native tree found on coastal areas with branches that seem to wind out of control. There gloriously rich red blooms make a dramatic appearance from early December to January.

It is our “New Zealand Christmas Tree”. I couldn’t resist mentioning my favourite tree.

BIRDS AND VIEWS START ROLLING IN

Up the mount 2

It’s a steady climb, to begin with on this lower part of the mountain. Rabbits and blackbirds hop near my feet, not seeming bothered whatsoever by people jogging by. Tauranga is no different from various other cities in that there is always a favourite place in which to exercise, with that place here being The Mount.

Even before I gained any real height on The Mount, terraces beside the track provide spectacular vantage points of Mt Maunganui’s long-stretching white sand beach.

Still more steps.jpg

DIFFICULT OR MODERATE?

I soon come to a split in the track with the quick but “difficult” climb to the summit, or the longer but “moderate” walk to the summit. However, I like to think that the “moderate” route has to be the scenic and the one to chose!

CLIFFS AND OCEAN VIEWS

Scary walkway around the mount

The track circumvents the perimeter of The Mount below huge rocky cliffs occupied by pigeons. I stop a couple of times when a native fantail, a bird with some acrobatic skills thanks to its fan-like tail, nearly flies into my face. Whoever decides to walk up the mount you will undoubtedly have some fantastic views out to the Pacific Ocean.

A QUICK DELVE INTO BUSH

Down I go

The track then takes me into a small section of native forest, a complete contrast to the green farmlands I was on before. What is lovely is that I can hear the warbling noises of the native tui bird filling this section of forest, but the dark metallic blue and black birds blend in too well with the shade of the canopy.

THE FINAL PUSH TO EPIC VISTAS

20140715_145113_edited

Yes, it is an old photo of me. I was so busy enjoying the view [as much as someone who dislikes heights can enjoy it!]. So did a few other people. Early morning is much preferable!The final uphill struggle and believe me it was a struggle, as it has certainly been a while since I have ventured up here. It finally brings me to an exposed mountaintop with low vegetation revealing a whole level more of views. Benches are here, there and everywhere to pick a spot to catch my breath.

Once seated it is hard not to spend time daydreaming and gazing out towards the expansive ocean, overlooking the central urban area of Tauranga City from across the harbour, or oversee the long sandspit below of Mt Maunganui wedged between a beach and a harbour.

The descent is the hardest part of the walk for me, quite jarring on my knees. The only thing to recover from that is a good quality espresso with a view.

To see more pics and views of the Mount follow me via Instagram HERE.

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The Climb up Mount Maunganui [Mauao]

49 thoughts on “The Climb up Mount Maunganui [Mauao]”

  1. Such a gorgeous view Suzanne and well worth the effort to reach the top. I’ve visited the area but never climbed Mount Maunganui. You did well to keep going and must have felt a great deal of satisfaction when you reached the summit – your own Mt Everest! Thank you for sharing and linking up at #MLSTL, I always enjoy your posts and your photos. x

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  2. Wonderful views and it’s always great when you conquer a challenge. I’m not a big fan of heights, but if the ground is solid and stable under my feet I’m usually okay – esp with a view like that as a reward.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

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    1. Leanne, I used to walk up the mount on a regular basis just been a while and I’m pleased to write that the vegetation has grown quite a bit so the cliff face isn’t so visible. Doesn’t take long to get back into it!

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    1. Oh there are a few moans and groans from visitors, as I think they over estimate their fitness and the mountain. Not sure if it gets any easier, the enjoyment of the challenge and the recovery rate improves. I hike with some people well into their seventies and they are certainly fitter than me, well, at the moment they are 🙂

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  3. Well done with your hike to the top, Suzanne! Such beautiful scenery and vistas. NZ looks like a hiker’s paradise. The more NZ photos I see, the more I wonder how long I should plan for my trip there. It’s a long way from Toronto, Canada 🙂

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    1. Thanks Natalie, just close your eyes have a nap and before you know it you will be placing your shoes onto Aotearoa soil. 🙂 If you have the time I would allow 2-4 weeks, though how long is a piece of string and how much do you want to see?. I always believe we can’t possibly see everything so what we do see is a bonus and something we previously had not experienced. I hope you do get the opportunity to come down to the Southern Hemisphere.

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      1. I recall a few years ago being overtaken by a group in their 70s climbing to the top of Whale Island. They strode up with purpose leaving us relative youngsters in their wake. Inspiring and slightly intimidating. 🙂

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            1. Never Wendy 🙂 Well, I suppose my roots have always been here, just been stretched too far away places. I think there is a few more trips to go. We shall see how brave I am as time passes!!

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  4. Squeeee I totally approve! I love that you are tramping now you’re back in Kiwiland!

    This one looks spectacular and well worth all those steps up! I am the same with the descent. My knees always find that harder than the way up. Have you considered getting hiking poles?

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    1. It is now though 7 years ago I used to walk 18kms from Papamoa then climb the Mount. Though the average kms per week was well over 40-50. Slowly getting back to that level of fitness. Though wanting to so it at a more leisurely pace 🙂 Like tramping/hiking in the bush!

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