I spent the last two nights in a small town, Tauranga, which is about 2 hours SE from Auckland.
Right next door there is an extinct volcano, Mount Maunganui, which is supposed to be a great hike. It’s also the name of a quaint beach town, at the base of the volcano.
There are a few different routes you can take. I started with a walk around the base of the volcano; this alone gave amazing views! I know I’ve mentioned this before, but everything is so green – I love it! The walk was only about 45 minutes with pretty views of the bay and some islands.
I then went up the summit, which only took about 20 minutes. I went up the “difficult” side and down the “moderate”. The difficult was pretty steep, but they added in a ton of wooden stairs to make it easier. The whole way up you have incredible views.
I finely had nice weather (a tanktop and shorts!), so it was pretty warm going up.
The views at the top were worth it! You got a 360 degree view of the Bay of Plenty, which eventually turns into the Pacific Ocean. You could see the entire coastline, where the town was, some more islands, and far in the distance you could see mountain ranges.
They had a few signs that said “Cruise lines,” so it’s a pretty big port/cruise ship spot.
I’m now off to Rotorua for several days!