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Pilot Bay , Tauranga Overview

Located at the foot of Mount Maunganui, Pilot Bay is one of Tauranga’s popular beaches. Pilot Bay, also known as Waikorire, is the original Maori name for the area which extends along the beachfront and the base of Mauoa, where the camping ground and hot pools are situated.

This beach is great for kids as it doesn’t throw huge or harsh waves. The Bay is also great for disabled people and is wheelchair-friendly as it has excellent flat wooden boardwalks that go the length of the bay. When you want a typical beach day- picnic with loved ones, kids enjoy playing in the water, building sandcastles and soothing waves, then head to Pilot Bay without thinking twice.

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Sports and Activities

Equipment for kayaking and other water sports are available at this beach. The beach is not too crowded and hence, is a great place to launch your jet ski, stand up paddleboard or watch waka, crews train for their next contest. Pilot Bay is also a popular location for triathlons and other open water swimming events during summer months.


Waikorire is well known for the musket (a type of long gun) war raids by Ngapuhi from the North. Armed with muskets, Ngai Te Rangi was attacked first in the year 1818 and then again in 1820. Many Ngai Te Rangi were killed or captured and taken to the north.

In 1910, Mount Maunganui became the base for the construction of the East Coast railways. A workshop and a camp were established and a ‘horseshoe’ wharf was built for larger ships which were involved in bringing timber and steel for the railway construction.

How To Reach Pilot Bay

The Pilot Bay is situated in Tauranga district. The Bay is sited at 8.4 kilometres from the city centre. If you consider travelling via bus, then from Tauranga CBD - Stand A, take the CL BAYFAIR bus. The nearest bus stop to the Bay is The Mall - Pacific Avenue. From there, the distance to the beach is a 5-minute walk.

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