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Beaches in Tauranga, Tauranga Overview

The Bay of Plenty - Tauranga is unofficially known as New Zealand’s beach-going capital for a reason, that being the abundance of beautiful beaches found along the vast waters which line the glorious coastline of the island. The said coastline stretches for almost a hundred kilometers from the Waihi Beach at the north end all the way to the southernmost point of the region.

Some of the most popular beaches are the Mount Main Beach (Ocean Beach), the Waihi Beach, the Omokoroa Beach, the Papamoa Beach, the Pilot Bay Beach, the Tay Street, the Anzac Bay, Mauao (The Mount) Beaches, and the Moturiki Island. All of these beaches are special in their own way, be it the specific activities related to them or the different types of sand and tidal waves found at these venues.

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Mount Main Beach (Ocean Beach)

Mount Main Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in the country because of its surf swells and rocky shores. The golden sandy beaches have been ranked second-best in all of South Pacific and one of the top 25 beaches in the world. Visitors can swim, surf, sunbathe and enjoy other beach activities along the 1 kilometer long stretch of the land which runs to the Moturiki (Leisure) Island. The beach also has lifeguards that stand along the safer points for swimming, and the sea temperatures reach a maximum of 21°C during the summer season which makes it a highly popular location amongst the tourists and locals alike. Car parking spots are available along the beach but they tend to get occupied during the summers and on weekends too. Public toilets are located at the Mount Drury Reserve which lies opposite the Moturiki (Leisure) Island. The beach also has multiple cafes and restaurants across the dividing road.

Omokoroa Beach

The Omokoroa Beach is located twenty minutes north of Tauranga, on the peninsula at the end of The Esplanade in Omokoroa. The scenic beach is a popular spot to take a day off amongst the locals and tourists alike because of the various amenities, such as the stores and eateries, that are available close to the shore. The beach is considered to be very safe for activities like swimming and surfing, which makes it secure for children too. There are public toilets available halfway along the beachfront and parking spots are available 24 hours for both cars and trailers without any parking fee.

Papamoa Beach

The Papamoa Beach is popular for its white flat sand, rolling surfs and extensive sand dunes, and is located along the coastline from Mount Maunganui. The beach stretches for around 16 kilometers and is extremely family-friendly because of the low tides and lack of huge rocks along the shores. The most popular swimming spot at the beach is located outside the Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club which has many lifeguards stationed along the waters who constantly patrol the beach, especially during the summers. Parking spots are available at the grass reserve beside the Papamoa Beach Resort Campground. The beach offers not only surfing on the tides but also kite flying and windsurfing to its visitors. People can also indulge in offshore fishing which is known to be highly productive.

Pilot Bay Beach

The Pilot Bay Beach is located along the harbor’s edge in Mount Maurangi, at the southwestern side of the mountain’s peninsula, and is a popular location for various beach-related activities like swimming, surfing, water sports, setting up a picnic and to even watch the constantly moving cruise ships. The waters are always calm and have low tides all year round as the beach is sheltered from the open ocean, which makes it effectively family-friendly. The Norfolk Pine trees lined along the Pilot Bay Beach make it picturesque for its visitors and the people aboard the plethora of cruise ships that constantly dock at the harbor nearby. Visitors can set up barbeques or go kayaking in the waters, as the beach offers ample parking spaces for personal boats.

Waihi Beach

The Waihi Beach lies at a distance of 50 minutes from Tauranga located in the Western Bay of Plenty and is also the gateway to Coromandel. Visitors can reach the beach via the semi-regular buses that run from Tauranga to the beach via the Bayhopper services. The beach is known for hosting a lot of events such as weddings, etc. and is also a great location for various sports and other beach activities, such as camping at the beach’s assigned camping spots. The Waihi Beach Village offers a variety of amenities like a chemist, the Home Hardware store, dairy, cafes, restaurants and takeaway, Four Square, giftware stores, clothing and shoe stores, chocolate shops, etc. The location also has a small airport, a gas station, childcare services and much more.

Tay Street

Tay Street is one of the most popular kitesurfing spots in Tauranga and has some of the best surf breaks that draw in visitors from all over the city. It is located towards the south end of Marine Parade and is home to New Zealand’s first artificial surfing reef constructed out of geotextile bags anchored to the seabed which lies off the beach’s shore. Visitors can enjoy swimming and surfing in the patrolled and flagged areas of the beaches which are considered to be the safest given the unpredictable tidal conditions of the waters. The beach also has public toilets and an outdoor shower stall.

Anzac Bay

The Anzac Bay is one of the lesser-known locations but is extremely beautiful and peaceful as compared to most of the other beaches. It is located at the southern end of the Waihi Beach, at Bowentown Heads. There are fast tides that go towards the southern entrance to Tauranga Harbour, so it is best to save water-related activities to the main beach itself. Anzac Bay also has a boat ramp for docking private boats and is surrounded by native trees like the Pohutukawa trees. Public toilets and changing rooms are available for the visitors along with barbeque spots.

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