With views out to the twin peaks of volcanic Mount Paku and the jagged Aldermen Islands, Tairua is scenic and stunning. Inside the headland, Tairua's harbour offers sheltered waters for sailing, kayaking and windsurfing. The ocean beach is ideal for body boarding, surfing and beach fishing - or you can simply relax on the sand.
There are several interesting walks within the Tairua Township, including a climb to the summit of Paku. To the north of the town, the 10-minute Twin Kauri Walk leads into a reserve of tree ferns and kauri trees. Another track, along Te Karo Bay, takes you to the memorial for a sailor who drowned in the surf in 1842.
Inland along the Puketui Valley, the Broken Hills Recreation Area offers fishing, kayaking, swimming, and camping opportunities. The beautiful scenery in this area includes some impressive rocky outcrops. Walking tracks range from an easy 10 minute stroll to a three-hour hike through a mine (bring a torch). You'll discover fascinating relics from the gold mining and kauri logging days, including a jail set into a cliff. Look and listen for tui, fantail, kereru, bellbirds, shining cuckoos, kingfishers, fernbirds and grey warblers.
For a small settlement, Tairua has an excellent range of restaurants and cafés. Accommodation is also plentiful, although it pays to book ahead, particularly from December to February. Pauanui is across the harbour from Tairua, 10 minutes by ferry or 25 minutes by road.
Content courtesy of Tourism NZ
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