Tucked away in the east coast in northern New Zealand lies the holiday playground for perfect kiwi summer. The coromandel peninsula layes claim to dotted beaches, lush forrests and farm land. Surrounding these rolling mountains is Pauanui, hosing one of the most beautiful beaches for miles along with tennis courts, golf course and the local village shops.
There is a hive of activity around Easter and New Years with triathlons, half marathons, markets, beauty pageants, aerobatic aircraft flying formations and fireworks displays. To find out what is on the activity list, go to the Pauanui Club and have a spot of lunch or a few drinks with the locals. The outlook onto the aircraft landing strip and the golf course is unexpectedly entertaining.
It is a relaxed holiday spot where renting a house with a few friends and barbecuing are the main draw card. There aren’t any great restaurants or cafe’s, not to say they aren’t there but the quality is nothing to go by. There is one great spot however, the Puka Park Resort on the right hand side mountain. If you would prefer more of a hotel experience you can stay there or visiting for drinks or dinner is also easy. There are panoramic views of the ocean and surrounded by beautiful forrest on the outside deck. It is the perfect way to unwind and enjoy some luxuries and in the winter the fireplace is always very welcome amount the kauri tree beams. Make sure to book in advance by phoning the hotel as it often books out.
The most anticipated activity is climbing to the Pauanui Summit to get up-close and personal with the wild. It can take between 30 to 40 minutes to get to the top and if you are organised then bring a picnic to enjoy at the top. You will want to stop to appreciate the view and your effort.
Fishing off near by islands is often rewarding and there are boats that you can book to go or chartering one of your own is also possible. There are rocks to the right of the beach were you can test out a few of your lures before heading out. I once caught a 2.5k kowhai just off the rocks which was thrilling. Also at a very low tide you can dig your feet down into the sand and pull put pippies. They are white shelled muscles that can be steamed open over the barbecue as many New Zealanders enjoy during summer months. Adding a garlic chilli sauce with coriander adds some extra flavour. There is something thrilling to pulling delicious food out of the ocean and eating it.
The beach is the real star of the show and 3km of creamy sand with Slipper Island in the distance makes that certain. There is also an estuary that runs for another 5km on the left framed with pine trees and luxury modern palaces at the end waterways. Getting up early to watch the sun rise above the mountains and reflecting on the water is magic sparkles is energising.
There are nearby places to visit like Whangamata for restaurants, supermarkets and other supplies. Also Tairua across the estuary has some lovely cafes and another breath taking beach.
Natural wonders like hot water beach, waterfalls and swimming spots are in short distance to visit on your way home. There is an abundance of activities to fill your days so you won’t be at a loose end. Returning feeling revived and ready to take on new challenges is always met after a few days in Pauanui.
Puka Park Resort ($280 pn)
Rent a beach hideaway ($150pn)
Make a BBQ at your holiday house from the food at the village supermarket
Go to the Papanui Club for a roast with the locals
Have a special meal at Puka Park Resort
Be the king of the mountain and walk up to Pauanui Summit
Have a round of golf
Compete in a triathlon or similar at the Pauanui Summer Series
Go and see a concert or a food festival in a neighbouring town
Walk through the archway at Cathedral Cove (one hour away driving)
Go early to dig your own sand hot tub at Hot Water Beach (one hour away driving)
Pauanui is two hours driving from Auckland through forrests and sheep filled farm lands