Where to go and what to see
Pauanui there are plenty of things to do. Pauanui is a town of two halves. There is the exclusive waterway community, specifically designed around artificially created canals and the historic small coastal community of holiday beaches and permanent residents. Pauanui is a holiday destination, particularly for the upper North Island as the town is considered a gateway to the Coromandel.
WHAT TO DO IN PAUANUI, HIGHLIGHTS
- Walk the Tangatarori Lane Boardwalk
- Climb Mt Pauanu, a steep climb that rewards with remarkable views from the summit
- Pauanui beach with a choice of estuary waters or ocean surf
- Superb local golf course
- An easy 400m climb through pōhutukawa-dominated coastal forest, past small beaches to Cave Bay to the Trig Lookout
- Another popular family activity is Flat Rock Walk – an easy walk through native bush and along Pauanui Beach’s rocky shoreline. It is a great low tide activity with rock pools to examine for marine life.
- Mt Pauanu is a challenging walk, however the view of The Pinnacles is perfect
- Puketui Valley is a short loop walk rich in gold mining history and glowworms
A Department of Conservation administered forest, Coromandel Forest Park offers holiday makers an array of interesting walks. For details check Broken Hills walking tracks.
The beach is characterised by two tides, the estuary and the ocean surf. The estuary is a water playground for kids with calm safe waters for swimming and water sports. During the summer season Pauanui beach and surf club is the venue for markets, surf carnivals, sandcastle building competition and pop up stalls. Check the Pauanui Surf Club News & Events for up to date swimming conditions.
Kiwi Dundee offers guided walks exploring the Puketui Valley. The former gold mining town is now a regenerating forest with relics peeking out of the ferns. Transverse rock pools, ancient rata trees and the Tairua River tumbles beside you as you enjoy the forest walk. Enter quiet cool shaded caves and observe glow worms busy in the darkened spaces.
BEST TIME TO VISIT PAUANUI
Year round with a temperate climate and plenty to do from studios, art galleries and museums on a rainy day in nearby Tairua.
WHAT TO DO WITH KIDS IN PAUANUI
- Kayaking in the estuary
- SUP around the inner harbour
- Fish n chips on the beach
WHAT TO DO NEARBY PAUANUI
Tairua offers an eclectic range of galleries, cafes and restaurants which can be accessed with a harbour ferry (operating in the summer).
- dive charters
- fishing charters
- Tairua heritage trail walk
Hahei and Hot Water Beach are 50 km away making for a great day trip. And then there is the iconic Cathedral Cove as part of the Hahei day trip experience.
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE IN PAUANUI
- Mt Paunanu views to prove you climbed the summit
- Your stupendous sandcastle at the beach, is it good enough for the annual competition
- Chilling out on the Tairua Ferry crossing
FESTIVALS IN PAUANUI
- Pauanui Summer Series
- 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.
- The Hopper brothers, property developers who developed the concept of canals and lavish houses as a resort
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED PAUANUI?
- The area has been continuously occupied by pre-European Maori due to the rich food resources. At times it was hotly contested land ownership. Kauri logging witnessed the beginnings of European settlement and then gold mining brought more activity. Farming developed in the early 1950’s. The completion of State Highway 25A (Kopu-Hikuai Rd) opened up Pauanui to the development.
The name refers to Big Paua.
GETTING AROUND PAUANUI
- Tairua Ferry — Tairua Information Centre, Tairua Ferry service provides transport from the Tairua Wharf, Pauanui and the bottom of Paku in Tairua. Bell Air is a catamaran licensed to transport 50 passengers within the Tairua Harbour area, including the Pauanui Waterways. Outside our normal timetable, the ferry can be chartered for harbour cruises and waterways tours. Tairua Ferry Services provides a convenient, quick way to access Tairua from Pauanui.
Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about the region check Thames & Coromandel Peninsula nearby attractions and events.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE