Nutshell: Whether you choose to walk around the Mt Maunganui base track or up to the summit, both are super popular year round walks to do with the kids. The base track is by far the easier of the two, but both tracks reward you with glorious sea views.
1. Mt Maunganui base track: this is the most popular option to do with kids as it is relatively flat, non technical and very wide (there is one small section that contains stairs which are steep, so unless you have someone with you to help lift a buggy, a front or back child carrier might be the best option).
Start: You can either start from the Mount main beach, by the surf club and go anti-clockwise or begin at Pilot Bay and walk clockwise.
Duration: According to the Tauranga City Council the track is approximately 2.5km long (other websites say 3.4km) and on average takes 50 minutes to complete. Forest Family: I’ve been walking this track for years starting when the kids were in the buggy which does take approximately 50 minutes to an hour to complete. However I have also walked it with two frisky 4 year old’s who had to run up ALL of the the sheep tracks that are made off to the side of the actual walking track and one very determined 2 1/2 year old who had to copy his brother! This trip took 3 hours including a picnic! 😂 But oh man did they have a ball! Take plasters as the track is gravel and if the kids are running along… well just be prepared.
Highlights: Seals (sometimes you can see them however they are very camouflaged), sheep tracks on the side of the track (kids highlight!), gnarly pohutakawa trees and spectacular sea views!
Click here for the map of mauao.
2.The Mount Summit Track: Up, up,up but oh the views!
Start: There are several ways to reach the summit the two most scenic are the Waikorire track, which takes you up a lot of steps and the Oruahine track. Both are accessed from the Mt main beach, take the track past the surf club follow the stone steps up. The summit is 232m high. I love a loop track, so I will generally walk up one track and down the other. Either way it is steep going so you need a good level of fitness and sensible footwear.
Duration: The Tauranga City Council states the track is ~1.3km one way and takes 40 minutes to reach the summit. Forest Family: With kids walking from aged 4+ it took ~50 minutes to reach the top including a few stops and about 25 minutes to get down as they ran all the way!
Highlights: Spectacular views! Huge sense of achievement at reaching the top😁👊
Challenges: Be careful walking down hill as the gravel is loose making it easy to skid on. Both tracks have some steep drop offs (more so Oruahine track) so please be aware of this and talk to your kids beforehand. The tracks are exposed and can be very hot so take water, hats and sunscreen.
Note: There are toilets at both starting points and none on route. There is a drinking fountain outside the surf club/road side.
*Dogs are not permitted anywhere on the Mount itself.