Have you ever been somewhere so beautiful that you never wanted to leave? Well the small beach town of Tairua New Zealand was exactly that for us! Here you’ll be surrounded by the ocean and stunning Mount Paku volcano hike, making for the ultimate vacation spot on the Coromandel Peninsula. Join us as we share our week long experience in Tairua, the best beaches, and even some fun day trips.
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Our Visit to Tairua New Zealand
The Coromandel Peninsula is so famous, but we honestly hadn’t heard much about the little town of Tairua until our visit. When looking for a place to stay we randomly booked an Airbnb, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions on our road trip!
What we thought was just an view of the ocean, actually ended up being a small apartment on the side of Mount Paku. This gave us the perfect location to enjoy the Tairua beach, the town, and place to tackle the Mount Paku hike from.
Tairua New Zealand Town
Like much of New Zealand (and specifically Coromandel), the towns are quite small with just a few shops to wander into. In fact, you can stroll down the entire main street of Tairua town in just 10 minutes!
You’ll see some gift shops along with tour companies, and a small Four Square grocery store. There’s also a few great cafes and restaurants to check out for when you get hungry. We didn’t have the chance to try them all, but the ones we did really hit the spot!
Surf n’ Sand Takeaways: Known as the best fish and chips in Tairua, and they also do an amazing kiwi burger.
Flock Kitchen & Bar: Nice outdoor seating area and a great place to stop in for lunch. They also serve a solid selection of organic coffees and craft beer here.
Two Tides Bakery: Funky bakery that specializes in pressed coffee, vegan sweets, and smoothies.
The Old Mill Cafe: Nice brunch spot at the base of the volcano, especially for a light meal after the Mount Paku hike.
Tairua Beach Club: Fun bar and restaurant with an upscale menu, and located right around the corner from the Old Mill Cafe and Tairua Beach. Make sure to try the oysters as an appetizer!
Tropical Tairua Beach
The best part about visiting this area of New Zealand is all the beautiful beaches! Tairua Beach was one of our favorite in Coromandel for its tropical setting next to Mount Paku. It was a little too cold for us to swim in mid-winter here, but we still had some nice long walks.
In the summer you can take the boat from the Tairua wharf to Pauanui beach and even to the bottom of Mount Paku in Tairua. The ferry cost $5 NZD each way.
Mount Paku Hike
The most exciting part of visiting Tairua New Zealand is that you’ll be in the presence of a volcano! Before you panic though… Mount Paku is dormant. The last time it erupted was 8 million years ago.
Climbing to the top of the short Mount Paku hike will be the highlight of your time here. If you make the drive up the hill there’s a parking lot where you can start the hike from.
It’s a steep walk up the mountain, but it will only take you 20 minutes to get to the summit. From here you’ll see Tairua Beach, the harbor, and the sprawling New Zealand countryside in the distance!
Fun Things to do Near Tairua New Zealand
Twin Kauri Walk: (5 min) – 30 minute walk through the Twin Kauri Scenic Reserve. Beautiful way to see the kauri trees and more North Island nature.
Hot Water Beach: (25 min) – One of a kind beach that has hot springs underneath. Bring a shovel at low tide and dig your own jacuzzi as the waves roll in!
Cathedral Cove: (30 min) – Take a clifftop walk along the Coromandel Coast to see one of the most famous beaches in New Zealand. Plan for about 2-3 hours round trip.
Whitianga: (40 min) – Enjoy an afternoon in one of the most popular towns in Coromandel. Many bars and restaurants here, and it’s an easy drive from Tairua Beach.
New Chums Beach: (1h 15 min) – Another amazing beach to visit on the East Coast of New Zealand. You have probably seen a picture here from the lookout over Wainuiototo Bay!
Kauaeranga Valley: (1h 15 min) – Explore the forest of Kauaeranga for waterfalls, rivers, and unique landscapes.
Coromandel Oyster Company: (1h 30 min) – Quite simply the best seafood we had in New Zealand! The oysters and muscle chowder were totally worth the drive from Tairua. Also, great lunch stop if you are looping Coromandel in one day.
*All times included are driving distance from Tairua.
Where To Stay In Tairua New Zealand
Ultra Luxury – Paku Palms – This bed and breakfast offers boutique apartments with views of the ocean. Gorgeous setting and place to start your trip in the Coromandel Peninsula.
Fun Vacation – Paku Lodge Resort – Overlooking Tairua Harbour you can stay in small private apartments with balconies!
Bed & Breakfast – The Boat House Studio – Cute and stylish space that is located just a quick walk from Tairua town center.
Quick Stay – Tairua Shores Motel – This budget motel is set in near downtown Tairua, and is great for a night or two stay while passing through. Large clean rooms and studio apartments available.
For more places to stay in Tairua New Zealand you can explore the latest prices here!
Have any questions on the Mount Paku hike or want to share your own experiences in Tairua New Zealand? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
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New Zealand Travel Planning
Jucy Van: The best way to explore New Zealand is with a Jucy camper! We spent over six weeks driving around the North and South Islands in a van and loved every moment.
Rental Car: If you’re not renting a van you’ll need a car to see this country. We use Discover Cars when traveling and enjoy having the freedom to get around.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over New Zealand! They have everything from tickets to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to a Hobbiton movie set tour, and even a Northland hole in the rock dolphin cruise!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for insurance the last few years and they are always there when we need them.
North Island New Zealand
Travel Tips & Guides: 10 Helpful NZ Travel Tips – North Island Itinerary – South Island Itinerary – 25 Beautiful Beaches – Wellington to Picton Ferry – 15 Freedom Camping Tips – 27 Delicious Food & Drinks
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