The Mount. Located somewhere in paradise, at the very end of the road leading through a narrow peninsula. In the heart of the Bay of Plenty. Majestically dominating the land. Captivating, iconic, round. One of its kind.
Once you make it to the top, what you see will definitely blow your mind. Spectacular. Incomparable. Pristine.
I'm not kidding, seriously, this is the view from the top. Been there, climbed it, saw it. Magical.
Join me for one of New Zealand's most popular summit walks? Let's go! :)
So let the fun begin. We started off in a perfectly peaceful moment, hardly anyone around. Just us and the Mount.
The Mount. In Maori, Mauao, its name, stands for "caught by the dawn". A sacred place and a heartbreaking love story behind. As the legend goes, once upon a time there was a nameless hill that fell in love with beautiful Puwhenua, a hill dressed in lush green trees by the God of the Forests, Tane. Unfortunately, the heart of Puwhenua already belonged to another hill, Otanewainuku, and the nameless hill, desperate of an unfulfilled love, decided to end his life by asking the patupaiarehe to help him drown in the ocean. The patupaiarehe, the fairy people, had magical powers in the dark forest. They laced ropes to the hill and pulled him towards the water. But the first rays of light appeared, too early... Dawn broke, forcing the helpers to retreat back into the dark, leaving the heartbroken hill behind, caught forever in the light...
232 m caught forever in the light... And what a light, especially if you decide to make your way up at sunset. Wandering through the fascinating sea of grey volcanic rocks emerging from the bright green grass... so uniquely green to New Zealand.
Making your way through the scented manuka and pohutukawa trees, the forests of flax and ferns and occasionally some cabbage trees... Looking for a window of opportunity to peek out far towards the horizon.
Watching the setting sun brush some glimmer on the waves. Shine through the clouds...
Look to the left and you see the ocean, with the amazingly wide, white-gold sandy beach featuring as New Zealand's #1 according to Trip Advisor. Perfect for a swim, perfect for surf, or just perfect to watch.
Then look to the right and you see the city, Pilot Bay and the harbour, the largest cruise ship destination of the country, with thousands of tourists coming to visit this beautiful place and its surrounding from all over the world. As we got to know during our stay, Port of Tauranga just welcomed the 90th and last ship for this season. Could be a cool activity to watch each of them pass by. :) Here is a great link to check when the next ones are coming in and how big they are!
The hike to the top takes about 40 minutes, but it also depends on your fitness level and how many photos you take. You can also walk around the Mount without climbing it. :) If you choose to go for the challenge, there are two options, you can choose either the moderate or the difficult track. No matter which you pick, the final destination is the same. With the shades of greens and browns soon mixing with the beautiful blues of the Pacific right in front of your eyes.
And the breathtaking colours of the sky. As you finally reach up, immersing yourself in pure beauty and processing 360 degrees of the Bay of Plenty from up high.
Congratulations! You made it! All the way!
And watch out, you will not have to cope with sore feet! ;) Not this time.
Hope you enjoyed the views! Now time to roll down. :)
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