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Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui, is a major residential, commercial and industrial suburb of Tauranga, located on a peninsula to the north-east of Tauranga's city centre. It was an independent town from Tauranga until the completion of the Tauranga Harbour Bridge in 1988, which connects Mount Maunganui to Tauranga's central business district.Mount Maunganui is also the name of the large lava dome which was formed by the upwelling of rhyolite lava about two to three million years ago. It is officially known by its Māori name Mauao, but is colloquially known in New Zealand simply as The Mount.GeographyMount Maunganui is located atop a sand bar that connects Mauao to the mainland, a geographical formation known as a tombolo. Because of this formation, the residents of Mount Maunganui have both a harbour beach (Pilot Bay) and an ocean beach with great surf, within a short distance. At the base of Mauao, the distance between the harbour and ocean side is a couple of blocks.The ocean beach has Mauao or Mount Maunganui at its western end, and a man made land bridge connecting Moturiki Island at its eastern end.Adjacent to Mount Maunganui on its south-eastern edge (from Sandhurst Drive onwards) is Papamoa Beach, another very large suburb of Tauranga. Papamoa Beach has a slightly larger population than Mount Maunganui, but doesn't have as many businesses as Mount Maunganui. Both suburbs are distinctly geographically separate from the rest of Tauranga by the Tauranga Harbour; two road bridges (SH2 and SH29) and a windy rural road (Welcome Bay Road) are the only feasible access ways to the rest of the city.
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