Tauranga - a place of Plenty


Even if you haven't heard of Tauranga, you may know of The Bay of Plenty. It's a bounteous name that suits this lush and lovely area, rich in wine and food-loving people. The Bay itself is a generous scoop out the north-east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. South of the Coromandel Peninsula it sweeps away for 259 kilometres before officially finishing at Cape Runaway.

Cafe 88, in Maunganui is one of those cafes you would like in your town or suburb. Located near the ex-volcano, Mount Maunganui, just north of the city of Tauranga, this is the quiet end of town. This is where people walk along the beach and look across to see whatever large ship is anchored in the harbour today; where they begin their hour-long walk around the base of the mountain; where they stop for a coffee first (or afterwards) and sample something from this amazing array of cakes and slices.

It's a fun drop-in spot for everyone - and almost everybody leaves a message!

And with dishes such as these, and rich double-shot coffees, you can see why they  come.

 

Mount Maunganui is now officially known by its Maori name, Mauao, but is colloquially known in New Zealand simply as The Mount. As with many volcanic regions, there are thermal springs and here they have been put to a very pleasant use. 

 

Enjoy this video of a walk around Mt Maunganu and learn the Maori legend of Mauao.

The conical headland which gives the town its name is 232 metres (761 ft) in height, and dominates the mostly flat surrounding countryside. It was formerly a Maori 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 Range to the west.

For the more energetic, steps or paths lead up to the peak or inland parts of the headland. Sheep graze in many places .

A leisurely circuit of The Mount takes about an hour. The views are stunning and it's an easy walk.

You may not recognise one of these words on this sign. FYI, Kina is the local word for sea-urchins. Paua is the local abalone, and its beautiful mother-of-pearl shell is used in many ways, often as jewellery sold all over  the country as souvenirs to tourists.

In cruise season many ships berth at Tauranga port, and they are visible from Maunganui.

Tauranga lies in the north-western corner of the Bay of Plenty, on the south-eastern edge of Tauranga Harbour. It was settled by Europeans in the 19th century.

A large ship leaving port on a sunny Sunday makes the ideal excuse for a walk around the base of The Mount.

The Mount is so obviously an extinct volcano, seen here with Mount Beach beyond.
 


Kiwis are a symbol only associated with New Zealand. They even form a clever and iconic concept for a grille design!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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