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Mauao is an historic reserve. It is owned by iwi and managed by Tauranga City Council.

The strand banner

Mauao historic reserve is owned by local Iwi's Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga in the form of the Mauao Trust. The reserve is managed by Tauranga City Council under the direction of the Nga Poutiriao o Mauao joint administration board.

The Mauao base track was damaged during ex-Cyclone Debbie in April. A project is underway to provide a fully accessible, long-term solution. In the meantime, temporary access around the slip site has been installed. This route involves box steps and is not suitable for prams, strollers and wheelchairs. More information on Mauao base track repairs

Legend of Mauao (33kb pdf)


There are several tracks to the summit. The summit is 232m high – it takes about 40 minutes to get to the top. On a hot day it can be hard work – pace yourself and take water, sunscreen and a hat. Please take all rubbish away with you, keep to the left of the track, share with care as tracks are busy and leave all gates as you find them. 

4WD track

The 4WD track starts at the end of Pilot Bay. You can use this track to walk to the summit. Vehicles are not allowed except for maintenance and emergency purposes.

Waikorire and Oruahine tracks

Both of these tracks start from the ocean side of the base track.

Follow the boardwalk in front of the surf club to the start of the base track.  The summit climb begins a few metres from the end of the boardwalk.

The Oruahine track ends part way up the 4WD track. Turn left onto the 4WD track and continue to the summit, or turn off the 4WD track onto the Motu Kauri track, then turn left at the lookout intersection to go to the summit.

The Waikorire track is the quickest/easiest route to the summit, it is a steep track and consists of predominantly stairs. Turn right at the lookout intersection to go to the summit.

Base track

The base track is 3.4 km and takes about 45 minutes to walk. As it was damaged on the Pilot Bay side of the mountain during ex-Cyclone Debbie in April 2017, a set of temporary steps was installed around a slip. These stairs are not accessible for prams, strollers and wheelchairs. 

Please take care as there are area with steep drop offs and rock falls.


Toilets are in front of the surf club and opposite the boat ramp at Pilot Bay.


No fires are permitted on Mauao at any time. This includes cigarettes, lighters, fireworks and any recreational fires.

Mauao Historic Reserve Management Plan

In 2018, Council adopted the Mauao Historic Reserve Management Plan, which guides the way Mauao will be managed going forward.

Mauao Historic Reserve management plan (3mb pdf)

Last Reviewed: 24/07/2018


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