Where: Bay of Plenty, Tauranga, New Zealand
What’s involved: This is a short 3.8km hike from the beachfront to the summit of the extinct volcano and takes between 30-45 mins one way. There are two different routes you can take with both tracks starting from the ocean side of the base:
- The Oruahine track brings you around the northern and western side of the mountain. This is less challenging however you’ll need to negotiate the steep trail at the top in order to reach the summit.
- The Waikorire track is the steepest track. It has numerous well-formed staircases which wind up the eastern side.
The Hike: This is a short hike you can do right on the beach front which will offer you panoramic views of the coast. It’s a continuous set of staircases that, in the midday heat, can seem unforgiving. There is very limited flat ground and many of the staircases do not have any handrails. There is no water on the walk so be sure to fill up bottles before you begin the ascent.
The Verdict: We completed the Waikorire track in about 40 minutes but it was definitely challenging in the heat. Luckily we got to the summit by midday and missed the worst of it. It’s a tough climb up all the steps in the sun however it is only a short hike and you are most certainly rewarded at the top with 360 degree views of the beachfront, town and ocean. This is a hugely popular hike in the town and both the pathway and summit were very crowded throughout the duration. Another thing to consider for this hike is car parking if you’re driving. We were here during the summer holidays so the town was heaving with people which resulted in us having to park about a 25 minute walk from the base of the mountain.
Grunt Factor: 4/10