The seaside town of Pauanui is a beach of two halves. There is the calm estuary and the contrasting ocean surf beach. Ocean surf has safe swimming marked lifeguard flags in the peak summer season. Every year, the Pauanui Beach Summer Series Programme starts on Boxing Day and continues through to the end of January. The summer series is managed by Pauanui Sports and Recreation Club and includes the annual Pauanui Triathlon, King of the Mountain, Market Day, mud run, family sports day, sandcastle competition, golfing and fishing events and the Miss Pauanui. For walks and what to do and see in the area check out What’s so great about Tairua and What’s so great about Pauanui
There is a sizable permanent community at Pauanui.