Discovering Mount Maunganui in New Zealand’s North Island

For the longest time, I have been obsessed with the South Island of New Zealand. This part of New Zealand is known for its’ dramatic mountain ranges, epic ski season and plethora of hiking and mountain bike trails. But as much as I love the adventurous nature of the South Island, sometimes I just want to unwind. And having previously only spent time in Auckland as a short stopover, I figured now might be a great time to explore the North Island. And where better to unwind than Mount Maunganui?

Mount Maunganui | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Mount Maunganui

Earlier in the year one of my best friends Sophie rented a beach house in Mount Maunganui. She would video call me almost every evening telling me about her adventures by the beach. I suppose she called one too many times that I decided to book a flight. And alas, I came to know this beach town very well over the course of a few nights stay.

Mount Maunganui is the kind of sleepy beach town you thought didn’t exist anymore. It is popular among kiwis, but there isn’t much of an international crowd. I loved it so much that I started looking up real estate just a few days into my stay! It really is that much of an oasis.

Mount Maunganui | WORLD OF WANDERLUSTMount Maunganui | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

My favourite places in Mount Maunganui

One of our favourite pastimes is to explore the cafe scene in any city of town we’re visiting. So we made the most of long daylight hours by starting our sunrise on the beach and eating out for breakfast each day at a new cafe. If you’re looking for the best brunch place in Mount Maunganui, I’ve done the research for you! These are my favourite cafes in the town:

Eighty-Eight Cafe

Hands down our favourite cafe food with a huge range of baked-fresh-daily pastries. The carrot cake was described to me by the server as “life-changing” – he was right.

88 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga 3116, New Zealand

Luca

If you just want a really great coffee this is the place to go in town. 

90 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga 3116, New Zealand

George

Located by the beach and entirely vegetarian, this cafe became our go-to morning spot for coffee and a quick bite. The vegetarian sausage rolls are something else! 

91 Ocean beach Rd, Omanu, Mount Maunganui 3116, New Zealand

Mount Maunganui | WORLD OF WANDERLUST 

Mount Maunganui | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Why you should visit this beach town

While I was in town visiting Sophie we focused our efforts on beach activities instead of trying to sightsee. This is the kind of town you visit to relax, rather than achieve anything. And after living in Los Angeles for a few months, this seemed like a great opportunity to do more of nothing! 

If you are looking for the perfect sunset spot aside from the beach you can’t miss the chance to hike up Mount Maunganui itself. The mountains offers 360-degree views of the ocean and town below.

It was such a magical week unwinding and having no plans, something I want to spend more time doing in this new year. I hope it is good to you!

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