Mount Maunganui is regarded as a coastal resort town, although Port of Tauranga, 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 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 Ranges to the west.
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.
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.
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, then $1M and to date have to date 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.
Mt Maunganui: it's easy to find your way around 'the Mount'. Marine Parade extends along the ocean side of the narrow peninsula.(Country overview)
May 01, 2009; On the other side, The Mall follows the coastline of sheltered Pilot Bay, while Maunganui Road runs through the middle of both...