A large sand dune fire has ravaged Mount Maunganui beach.

About 12 firefighters were called to the scene of the blaze about 12.10am today off Oceanbeach Rd, said a Fire and Emergency NZ spokesman.

The fire spread 50m x 100m and was about "the length of a rugby field", he said.

There were multiple calls to emergency services from worried members of the public who saw the blaze, he said.

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He said crews had difficulty gaining access but managed to get the fire under control in about an hour.

The firefighters left the scene just after 1am.

The cause of the fire was unknown, but it was not being deemed suspicious, he said.