Dazzling views out across the sea, and the chance to stand on an ancient pa site where Maori warriors scanned the slopes for invaders … two of the best reasons for hiking into the Papamoa Hills, one of the first regional parks in New Zealand. The park was opened in July 2003, in a unique joint venture between the regional council, Environment Bay of Plenty (now sole owner), and Tauranga & Western Bay Councils.
Park rangers describe the park as having a definite ‘wow’ factor, with its panoramic views of both natural and man-made landscapes. Hikers look out over the Coromandel Peninsula, Mauao, and across to East Cape, and over islands including Mayor Island (Tuhua) and Motiti. It’s a great spot to view the urban sprawl of Mount Maunganui and Papamoa. The summit walk takes around 45 minutes.
Poplar Lane, off State Highway 2 (Tauranga Te Puke). (07) 577 7000