The award-winning Mount Maunganui boardwalk that runs the length of Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach was a piece of inspired design — for one of New Zealand’s best known beaches that comes under huge people (many feet!) pressure.
Running from near the base of the Mount (Mauao) and the southern end of Main Beach, the wooden boardwalk is one of the Western Bay’s great people and surf-spotting promenades —a favourite of Sunday strollers (Mauao and the boardwalk area are covered in Walks 1 & 2). The timber boardwalk is three metres wide, and winds its way along the sand dunes, running along the grass berm between Marine Parade and the beach.
The ‘sinuous and sculptural’ boardwalk is a pleasant way for visitors to appreciate a beach that’s a Kiwi icon. At the southern end, walkers can combine hiking out onto Moturiki Island (the far point is known as the Blowhole for the geyser-like bursts of spray in big seas) with a three-minute walk up nearby Mount Drury (Hopukiore) across the road. Early Maori used its caves for burial crypts, and its terraces show evidence of Maori occupation.
Moturiki Island was once known as Leisure Island, home to a local marineland with dolphins. The park was removed in 1990, in the first of steps to restore the island to a natural state.