Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mount Mauganui

Wednesday March 3, 2010

What a great stop.  The "Mount" as the locals call it, is a rising holiday spot for Kiwis, and I can see why. It is beach suburb of the city of Tauranga, New Zealand's 5th largest city and the fastest growing city in the country.

Mount Mauganui was originally planned to just be a small port and an industrial area but was soon loved by locals for its pristine beaches. It was pretty cool actually, on one part of town you had a huge industrial area, the other part a mountain, and the last, a stretch of beautiful clean golden beaches.

My hostel, Pacific Coast Backpackers, was about a 5 minute walk from the beach. Unfortunately our bus got in at around 430 and was only staying 1 night, but I definitely made the most of my time.

Believe it or not, New Zealand has a plethora of great beaches along its coast, however on my bus route it is rare to come upon them, we just hit the main town, mostly inland. These beaches were the first real beaches I have been to here and I loved every bit of them.

I walked for miles on them and was awe struck on the amount of sea shells along the beach, all in perfect condition. As I saw from a few people, this beach was a sea shell collectors heaven. Even myself kinda got into it. I honestly could not get over the amount of shells, it was absolutely crazy. There had to be millions and this was all along about a 2-3 kilometer span.  Low tide at this time obviously helped as when I returned a few hours later half of them disappeared into sea.

Shell City

I call this shell the "Rasta Shell" for its Jamaican colors

Anyhow I made way out onto an island sort of thing and walked to the tip of the land mass where there were heaps of fishermen and locals jumping off the rocks. It would have been an ideal place to catch sunset but unfortunately had a few hours to go and I had some waves to attend to.

It was my first time in the ocean since Australia and what a great time I had. Water was a bit cold but fine after awhile. I got in the water just as a pretty solid set came in, bringin back my old australian pastime, body surfing. Caught some great ones and was stoked on it. It then got a bit flat and took the time to look around. What a paradise I was swimming in. Surrounded by a few islands, birds everywhere and a beach that extends for miles, all with one big mountain behind me. Reconfirmed what a great holiday getaway Mount Mauganui would be.

The wind started to pick up and the waves had really flattened out, so I headed back in. The sun was just setting a bit over the mountain as I walked back along the beach.  It really felt good to be on a beach, made me think back to all those great times on the east coast of Australia.

Great Sunset

Unfortunate I didn't have longer in this hidden gem on my bus route but still had a great couple hours in the town.

Back at the hostel I made a filling meal and then hung out with some people on the bus and watched Shallow Hal, pretty good flick

My days here are numbered and I am really beginning to realize it..not sweet as.

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