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Pilot Bay Beach

North Island, New Zealand

Harbour side Mount Maunganui / Tauranga another hot contender for one of New Zealand’s top beaches. The calm water is a great place for kayaking, SUP beginners and for adults to watch ships departing the nearby busy Tauranga port. The beach is popular for its sunset views. The views of the port, the beach and nearby Mount is the making of a great day at the beach. There are lifeguards during the peak summer season patrolling from Main Beach.

Getting to Pilot Bay Beach

While there is plenty of parking in the busy summer months it can be issue with overflow Mt Manganui Main beach visitors and shoppers create a log jam of people all wanting a park. Consider using the very efficient Bay Bus to get around Tauranga and Mt Manganui.

Featured on the top 21 family friendly beaches in BEST BITS, Pilot Bay Beach is a gem hiding in plain sight of the rockstar status of Mt Manganui Main Beach.

Enjoy the calm sheltered harbour beach opposite Mount Maunganui main beach. This is a family favourite with its cafes, restaurants and safe swimming. The grassed foreshore has public BBQ’s, picnic tables and generous parking spaces. The contrast between the massive container ships gliding into the busy port and the kayaker enjoying the sunset is magic. Join the dots at the Mount with a walk around the base of Mount Maunganui for a touch of Main Beach glamour.

Check out Bay of Plenty hot pools, mineral springs, and attractions.


Walking between Pilot Bay and Mt Manganui is an easy, flat walk it is approximately 1 km between the two beaches at the base of the Mount. You will pass coffee carts, ice cream parlours and Mount Hot Pools.

Check out Mount Maunganui, activities, events, attractions – Best Bits.

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