"I wanna hang a map of the world at my house. Then I wanna stick pins in the locations that I`ve traveled to.
...But first I have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won`t fall down."
-Mitch Hedberg

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mount Maunganui and Tauranga

It’s a strange feeling to head east, leaving the safety and familiarity of Auckland behind us. We’ve taken our time getting to the jumping off point of the trip - vacationing in Fiji and staying in Auckland for weeks building Flash. Even driving up to Northland felt safe because we knew we’d swing back through Auckland to stay with Pete and Michelle again. But now that Hot Water Beach is behind us, we seriously have no idea what we’re doing. It was the last destination that we knew anything about. We're finally traveling by the seat of our pants, and it's an awesome feeling.

The first stop on the “we’ve got no plan at all” leg of the voyage was Mount Maunganui – and it was sweet. We freedom camped right next to the water, and climbed the deceptively tall mountain at the mouth of the harbor. The 360 degree views of the bay, the beach, the ocean, and a long, thin, sandy island that’s actually a forest preserve are amazing. But the best part is that from the peak you can see the waves stacking up like corduroy.

Carolyn chased down a few pocket-sized sheep for a photo-op on our way down as I ran to get my board. Seriously – best waves of the trip.

Good size waves (overhead), peeling rights, beautiful sun, and best of all – no insane paddle out define Mount Maunganui's surf. A few hours later I got out, exhausted but happy, and Care and I watched the sun go down on the water. It wasn’t as cheesy as it sounds.

After that we saw Avatar. Speechless.

The “we’ve got no plan at all” plan is awesome.
by Shawn Forno
Mount Maunganui, the 256 meter mountain that guards the entrance to the city’s bustling harbor, is the namesake for this laidback jumping off point to the Bay of Plenty in the North Island. Mount Maunganui's gradual ascent and beautiful views provide just the right environment...read more


  1. You are in my favorite Kiwi City... Christchurch will be cool too but my heart belongs to Tauranga and all the nutty things you can do there in a day. Class 5 white water rafting? Paragliding? Hot springs? Hang out in a really cool park? Run up a hill? Check.

    I am feeling a little green. Go to the dollar store and get a pair of those really scary fake face glasses for me.

  2. wow, we DID go to the dollar store in Tauranga, you know that town well. i bought the coolest visor ever - it has retractable sunglasses.