2018 HAL World Cruise
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Although once an independent city, Mt. Maunganui is, today, a suburb of Tauranga and the location for the Port of Tauranga. We chose to remain in Mt Maunganui rather than take the shuttle to downtown Tauranga, about 5 miles away. We’ll save that exploration for a future visit!
The “mount” of Mt. Maunganui is an extinct volcano. It was once a Maori stronghold during a time of fierce Maori wars between tribes. But when Capt. Cook arrived here in 1769, he named this area the “Bay of Plenty” because of the numbers of thriving settlements of friendly Maori he encountered. Obviously, the Maoris had settled their differences and created a peaceful and productive culture. Today, the mount attracts visitors from around New Zealand. Hiking and the thermal pools at the base of the mountain are the main attraction but the town with its tiled sidewalks lined with palm trees, turquoise-painted street lamps and gorgeous shoreline is extremely charming. We spent the day strolling, shopping, eating and drinking. It was lovely.
Next, we visit the Art Deco town of Napier.