Those enthusiastic travelling types (of which you are clearly one!) always say that the view is worth the climb, but in the case of magnificent Mauao, it truly is.
It’s also wonderful that such a significant landmark — it dominates the Tauranga region — is so accessible. And because there is a range of tracks to the terrific top, you can take it at your own pace.
Athletic types run up and down the Mount regularly (in minutes, friends, minutes), but even walking the steep sections at a brisk pace will ensure your fitness levels remain at their peak. Twenty minutes each way is quite achievable.
There are gentler tracks to the summit, as well as plenty of low-level ways to weave your way around the lower slopes, which will still reward you with spectacular views and a wonderful experience of the little beaches and rocky shores that wrap around the base of the big hill.
If you’re heading for the top, you will be delivered crystal-clear views of the great sweep of coastline, with active volcano White Island generally gently puffing in the far distance.
To the north, the low-lying Matakana and Rangiwaea islands and their be-forested surfaces make for a captivating sight, too.
Head back down to the bottom, lie in the natural hot pools and look up at your latest physical achievement and then go and have a meal and a glass of wine at one of the many restaurants and cafés that pepper the streets at the bottom of the hill. Hey, you’ve earned it.