If you want to escape the crowds, head to Te Karo Bay, also known as Sailors Grave, which is just north of Tairua.
Look for a white picket fence and you will find the oldest sailor’s grave in New Zealand, Sailors Grave Memorial: Tairua area. In May 1842, 22 year old William Sampson, a sailor on board the British Navy ship HMS Tortoise, accidentally drowned in Te Karo Bay after the boat he was in overturned. According to the original kauri headboard “he drowned in the surf. At low tide you can walk around the headland to Otara Bay. Remember to watch the tides for your return.