From the cool shade of the Norfolk Pine trees, looking out across the water, the view is picturesque.
The crystal blue water, which for many is still a few degrees too cold for a dip, stretches out across the harbour. The sail boats rest quietly in the water basking in the warm sun.
Pilot Bay, also known as Waikorire, is located along The Mall in Mount Maunganui, just around the corner from the main surf beach.
Pilot Bay offers entertainment for the whole family and is the perfect place for a summer's day out. The sheltered bay on the inner harbour is lined with trees providing shady picnic spots and barbeque areas.
The harbor is also a safe swimming destination and ideal for snorkelling.
With plenty of white sandy beach, there is room for sunbathing, the odd game of summer cricket and fish and chips while watching the sunset.
Pilot Bay lies at the foot of Mauao, a popular tourist destination with two scenic walks. A stroll around the Base Track takes approximately 40 minutes and is 3.5km long.
However, if long tramps appeal, try the Mauao Summit Tramp which leads to the top. At the summit, enjoy a picnic and the breathtaking view of Mount Maunganui and Tauranga. The Summit tramp takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and is 3.8km.
Both tracks are kept well maintained, making every step an enjoyable one.
Aside from the walks, there are other activities including kayaking and fishing off the wharf.
Salisbury Wharf, at the port end of the bay, is known for its fishing with kingfish and trevally, more often than not, caught on the end of the line.
Pilot Bay also has a launching pad for boats if deep sea fishing is the way to go.
Over the years Pilot Bay has been the home to many triathlons and duathlons with competitors battling the currents and swimming back and fourth along the stretch of water.
The Tinman Triathlon will be held there this weekend on December 5 from 8am.
Mount Maunganui town centre is a short 200m from the wharf where there is a variety of shops including restaurants, clothing stores and art galleries.
NEED TO KNOW:
Where is Pilot Bay? The Mall, Mount Maunganui.
Public toilets: Located half-way down Pilot Bay and at the foot of the Mount.
Parking: Free on-street parking.
Closest icecreams: Dairy on Salisbury Wharf.
Liquor laws: Not included in a permanent liquor free zone but often has temporary liquor bans. For information on these times contact Tauranga City Council.
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