Mount Maunganui is a beautiful town on NZ‘s North Island. It’s a peninsula, so it’s surrounded by beaches, walking distance from anywhere. If you imagine paradise with beaches, this might be it: beautiful beaches, Mauao (the mountain), little islands around, and all the amenities you might want close by.
Family friendly place to stay in Mount Maunganui
We spent 10 days there in May 2016, in this house. It was nearly perfect, except for the fact that we had to move things in the fridge and in the pantry to fit our stuff. It wasn’t exactly a bad thing, but I felt like I was doing something wrong, invading someone’s personal space or something like that. And then, when we were leaving, I didn’t know how to put things back, so I had to leave everything like we arranged. The owner was really nice and thanked us for tidying up the house before leaving. I’m sorry we couldn’t put everything back in place still.
Back to the point, the house is in an amazing location, we were able to go anywhere on foot – it was 20 minutes walk to the playground, less than 10 minutes to the supermarket or the center, around 10 minutes to the beach and around 25 minutes to Mauao, the mount. Loved it. The house – and place were really warm compared to other places. Where we needed the heater on everywhere else, we only turned it on twice there.
We didn’t eat out because we were saving our money to use in Wellington with our friends, so I can’t tell you about food this time.
What to do in Mount Maunganui with kids
We walked a lot. We went to the beach and took beautiful photos. Sunset there is just a gorgeous thing. Must see. Try watching it from the top of Mauao and from the beach.
We walked up to the summit of Mauao, the big mountain there. It’s said to take around 40 minutes and it took us a bit over one hour, with lots of stops to do some geocaching, sightseeing, resting and all the rest. It’s not a hard walk, it’s just uphill, so it’s tiring. Coral (4) walked all the way up and down and still had energy left to play at the summit.
The way down was easier, I guess because it’s downhill (of course) and we took a path with stairs.
You will find there are quite a few paths, and you can choose whichever you like either to go up or down. I did NOT notice which ones we took, sorry! We took the first one from the car park up and the one that was on the opposite way down – between the huge rock (trust me, you’ll know) and the lookout.
We also walked around Moturiki Island, and it was just lovely! There’s a path from the beach, so no boats needed. Short walk (around 30 minutes both ways) in such a beautiful place it was hard to leave. I loved it. Every minute of it. We spent a few hours there and no one complained. Near the beginning of the track, there’s a diversion from the track where you go down a few stairs and end up on some rocks in the sea. So beautiful!
We also had to drive to the mall (Bayfair) to get the glasses we ordered. It’s a small mall, but it’s got everything. It was a short drive from the house, though.
To finish it…
Our only regret is that we were there after summer. It was pretty hard not to jump on the water.
The Mount, as it’s called, is a beautiful place. If you’re ever wondering where to go next, and you love the beach, I would suggest you head there.
It’s also a great place to stay if you want to visit Hobbiton. It’s an hour away and way better than Matamata in my opinion.
- City / Country
- Minimun Stay
- $ ~ $$$
- Best local transport option
- Do we recommend it?
- Mount Maunganui / New Zealand
- A day, but you can stay for a lot longer
- It’s great for kids!