Leisure Island in Mt Maunganui – Day 324
Awesome walk and views from Leisure Island!
Today we’re doing a free activity, the walk on Leisure Island in Mt Maunganui! If you like this video and want more inspiration for your New Zealand trip, take a look at our 365 Days: 365 Activities over on YouTube!
Today we’re going to have a leisurely day on Leisure Island.
Today as soon as we get out of the Harbourside Backpackers which is located right in the city centre of Tauranga we hear bagpipes.
So we just get out of the hostel and we are greeted by the Scottish federation of very annoying people.
The Scottish Federation of Very Annoying People?
Yeah. Who ever told them that this was an instrument? What the hell?
The waterfront of Tauranga is just on the doorstep of the Harbourside City Backpackers and this is called The Strand. If you remember just a couple of days ago, there was a whole food festival going on here which we’ll link to in the cards above but our main activity of today is to head straight back to Mt Maunganui which is the city suburb of Tauranga and here is Leisure Island.
Leisure Island is just off the coast of Mt Maunganui’s main beach and that’s actually the name of the beach, it’s called Main Beach, and it’s a really good place to go for a walk cos it’s a super long beach. There’s all these little off-shore rocky islands so there’s lots to see.
As soon as we head to this island which is almost not an island but it’s still and island, we’ll explain that a little bit later, we are taking the time to check out the views even before we are there. There is a few rocks on the side which are really easy to climb and give us a really awesome viewing point.
While I check the bird life happening that we can see seagulls actually fishing for crabs it’s quite crazy how we actually get to see them in their natural environment right before our eyes. Laura is scrambling at the bottom on all the rocks taking pictures of all the seashells that are scattered around there is even a few fossils which is quite amazing to see in such a frequented place like Mt Maunganui.
Once Laura gets back up from the rocks, I get down from my rock and we are gathering back together in the trial because we want to explore the whole of Leisure Island.
Luckily you don’t have to take a boat to get to Leisure Island, you can actually access it on this stack of rocks with a walkway built on top of it.
Told you we’d get to that later.
Leisure Island’s real name is Moturiki and that’s because it used to be a Maori pa site which is fortified village where early Maori tribes used to live.
The Island covers about 2.5 hectares and there’s a lot of little side tracks to explore.
I can even see some trees growing out of the roots of that tree.
The good thing about all these side tracks, whether they are official tracks or just forged by people exploring, is that they actually all lead onto the main track of the island. Along the main track are all these interpretation panels telling us about the really colourful history of Leisure Island or Moturiki, for instance we told you already that it used to be a pa site then after that it was a quarry for a while until in the 1960 it sort of became this marine tourist attraction with wildlife shows and that closed down in the 1990s.
So it’s called Leisure Island because there used to be a whole spa complex right here with pool, massages, and even a marine land type park with some dolphin shows and stuff so luckily, this is not happening in New Zealand anymore. There’s no more dolphins in cage in stuff. Which is a good thing.
After a little bit of a walk it’s less than 15 minutes and honestly one of the gentler walks in the area, we arrive at the end of the island and we can see a ton of awesome views especially of Mt Maunganui. If you guys remember we did climb Mt Maunganui a few days ago and video is in the card right above but there is also views on the other side of the Leisure Island which is pretty awesome. We get to see Motuotau Island which is a lonely island just off the coast of Leisure Island.
Today the sea is very calm but when there is high swell you actually can see a lot of blow holes just off the coast of Leisure Island which makes for a really good viewpoint. But we’re gonna have to make do with just the seabirds and the wave crashing on the rocks.
Leisure Island is another awesome free things to do in Tauranga. A lot of people just climb Mt Maunganui and then they are off to the rest of their travel but stopping by Leisure Island is really cool. Plus, it’s only a short walk from Mt Maunganui so if you have a spare afternoon combine them together for an awesome seashore experience.
After taking way too many pictures, you guys know us by now, we are now making our back toward the land, because yes, Leisure Island is an island after all so I consider it an overseas trip.
Tonight we are staying at the Harbourside City Backpackers which is an awesome hostel right in the city centre of Tauranga and it’s bingo night because yes, there is heaps of backpackers that organise little activities events and soirees for their guests and it’s actually a really good thing to do. Check out if they do organise social events if they do usually, it’s a really cool hostel because the owners cares and the guests cares as well..
Usually the prizes are not the flashiest we get some candy bars, we get some vouchers for the laundry, it’s all a fun atmosphere plus on top of that, it’s even funnier cos I get nothing!
And today we’re taking it pretty easy, we’re even taking it Leisurely.