Things To Do
The best things to do in Pauanui for a quintessentially Kiwi getaway
Pauanui is a beautiful little resort town perched on the mouth of the Tairua River on the east coast of the Coromandel. Since the Coromandel is such a hotspot for tourists and Kiwis alike, it’s not a stretch to head over to Pauanui to take in even more beautiful sights, tastes and experiences. Check out this list of our favourite things to do in Pauanui, or see it from a brand new angle. (Hint hint, the best views are from the sky.)
Experience Pauanui from a plane
Pauanui is uniquely beautiful; being a narrow strip of land lined with golden sand between a gorgeous tranquil harbour and the Pacific Ocean, it is the picture of relaxation in paradise. Air Auckland offers two different departures, one from the South of Pauanui, and the other from the North, in a 30-minute round trip taking in the sights from the sky. Enjoy a guided tour looking down on striking scenery in a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is amazing for gifting or enjoying with your loved ones.
Take a Dip at the Falls
The (almost) hidden Pauanui waterfall boasts an idyllic little set of swimming holes that are a natural oasis, perfect for everyone to cool off during a walk on a hot summer’s day. Found away from main roads, three kilometres along Hikuai Settlement Rd from Pauanui – it’s largely unsigned and unnamed. It’s a relatively easy 10-minute walk to and from the falls, so perfect for most people to visit. Mind that one of the swimming holes is quite deep, so parental supervision is essential for the kids. The small waterfall cascades down into the water and is surrounded by dense New Zealand bush and toi toi, making this one of the most Kiwi things you can do in Pauanui to get closer to nature!
Hit the Beach!
One of the most obvious things to do in Pauanui is to grab your boogie board and head out into the waves. This pristine length of the coast is one of the longest swimming beaches in the area and is a super spot for the whole family to spend a beach day. Boasting a sheltered picnic area, toilets and BBQ on the southern end of the coastline, this beach offers a wide open space to stretch out and swim even on the busier summer days. Pauanui has some great operating surfing schools, so if you wanted to learn a new skill to take with you on your travels – then head to Outback Surf School to learn how to hit the waves solo or with a bunch of friends!
Explore on Foot
While the Pauanui trail is a challenging climb for the adventurous at heart, the views are well worth the effort! You’ll be taking in the panoramic views from the top of Mount Pauanui and might even spy an aircraft landing on the airstrip below (it might even be one of ours)! The surrounding area of Paunaui includes multiple islands, including Slipper, Aldermen and Shoe, ready to explore and/or stay on for an island hopping adventure. From Pauanui, you have access to some of New Zealand’s most famous spots – being just a 45-minute drive away from the mighty Coromandel. Use Pauamio as your base and take a trip out to see Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach or the Coromdanel hiking trails – located North of Pauanui town.
Taste the Local Cuisine
According to Trip Advisor, Manaia Kitchen & Bar in Tairua is one of the hottest places to eat in the area and a definite must for your itinerary if you’re staying in the area or road-tripping around the Coromandel. From delicious, locally-caught kaimoana (seafood) to woodsmoked pizzas made in a traditional outdoor oven, you can sit back in a sunny courtyard with a glass of wine and fresh food to refuel and relax while planning your next adventure. If you’re heading to Mt Paku in Tairua, there are plenty of places to stop and eat before or after your hike, including Tairua Beach Club, or if you want something closer to the heart of Pauanui – Cabana Kitchen & Bar may be more up your alley.