Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Mt Maunganui – Day 323
SUP lessons & tour around Mt Maunganui!
Today we are doing an awesome favourite Kiwi pastime, SUP! If you like this video and want more inspiration for your NZ bucket list, head on over to our epic YouTube Channel!
We are heading around Mt Maunganui on a stand-up paddleboard.
Today we are joining the team from East Coast Paddler for an amazing SUP trip.
We are going to do some stand-up paddle boarding from Pilot Bay in Mt Maunganui, go check out the water on a floating device.
Where we start this trip depends on the weather, because Pilot Beach is facing into the Tauranga Harbour it’s nice and sheltered to do our beginning SUP lesson with the East Coast Paddler.
We are meeting our guide Porina, then blowing up our stand-up paddle boards and heading onto the beach for our SUP lesson.
Porina goes through the basics and basically teaching us how to not fall off our paddle boards first we are learning how to paddle while we are on our knees then we are leaning how to stand up efficiently without falling into the water.
Once we get onto the water, we realise how amazingly calm and clear the water of the Tauranga Harbour is. Not only can we see loads of starfish underneath our paddle boards but the water is super calm enough for beginners SUPpers like us.
We are getting the hang of paddling while we’re on our knees then once we got the hang of that it’s time to graduate to standing up.
Although SUP does look really peaceful on the water I have to say it’s an amazing way to exercise. It almost uses every single body muscle that I have to actually stand on the board and making it actually stay flat. It’s quite amazing.
But we are not just here to exercise, we’re here to take in the amazing views.
This tour is taking us around The Mount which is the huge extinct volcano at the end of Mt Maunganui. It’s absolutely amazing to get some views from the water because if you guys remember only a few days ago we were climbing that mountain. And you can check out this video in the card above.
Porina gives us a ton of insights about the area but also gives us a ton of feedback on our paddle boarding technique. To be honest there is not much technique to start with. She tells us how to paddle more efficiently and also how to get some speed, but, one of the most insightful thing that she tells us is the story of the Maori warrior statue that we are standing in front.
This Maori warrior statue is actually Tangaroa which is the Maori God of the ocean. His position in the challenging stance like during the Powhiri, if you guys saw any of our Maori marae visits he is welcoming all the vessels into the harbour and protecting the said harbour.
But it is time for us to stand back up onto our paddle board and keep making our way toward the end of the volcano. There is really heaps of awesome views along the way, the volcano looks absolutely amazing and it’s really cool to see below our feet because yes the water is that clear, we see heaps of seaweed, seashells and even some animals.
Along the way, we’re spotting loads of different marine wildlife right underneath our boards from shellfish, loads of different species of starfish and we even spot a couple of stingrays along the way.
But we get to this really awesome section of The Mount which is this long pristine beach absolutely no one is on it except for a couple of seagulls so we decide to actually go visit the beach and let a huge container ship go past before we continue around The Mount.
Not only is The Mount surrounded by these beautiful beaches and hidden bays but it’s also lined with pohutukawa trees which is a type of New Zealand tree which blossoms red flowers during Christmas time and that’s why it is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree.
Because our guide Porina is Maori herself, she knows all the local Maori legends and she can tell them to us in such an amazing captivating way. For instance, she tells us the Maori legend of Mauao which is the Maori name for The Mount itself. And the name actually means “caught by the morning sun”. In short, the story goes that there were three mountains living in the nearby forest to Tauranga and they had a little bit of a love triangle going on but The Mount, the one that we’re paddle boarding round now, this was the odd one out and he had no name at this point. Because The Mount was in such despair that the love of his life-s heart actually belonged to another mountain, he asked the people of magic powers to drag his body, or his mountain self, toward the ocean where he could drown, so the magic power people started to drag him but once the sun rose this is where their powers ran out and they had to leave him in the place where he is in today.
And that’s why Mauao means caught by the morning sun.
This tour is just an amazing tour that keeps on giving, on top of the awesome stories we are paddle boarding around an amazing sight. I really enjoy everything about the tour and if I have to keep one thing in mind is that love triangles are just trouble even for mountain gods.
So we are settling in there and getting ready for tomorrow’s activity which to be fair is pretty relaxing. We’re gonna be checking out Leisure Island which just off the coast of Mt Maunganui beach so join us then. It’s a free activity.