Pauanui is a popular beach settlement located on a narrow stretch of land between the Pacific Ocean and a tranquil inner harbour.
The broad, three-kilometre beach has a gentle gradient making it relatively safe for swimming. Depending on the direction of the wind, Pauanui can also be great for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing.
Inland side, the tranquil Tairua Harbour and estuary offer hours of fun for kayakers. You can swim here too, but keep an eye out for boats. Across the harbour mouth, at Tairua, the volcanic cone Paku rises steeply from the sea. Tairua can be reached by ferry (10 minutes) or car (25 minutes).
At the southern end of the beach, a trail leads to the summit of forested Pauanui Mountain. Rising to a height of 400 metres above the sea, the track is steep in places but the panoramic views from the top certainly justify the effort. For views from above, why not take a a scenic flight from Pauanui airfield and explore Mt Paku, Mt Pauanui, Slipper Island, Alderman Islands and Great Mercury Islands from the air.
A purpose-build holiday community, Pauanui has a residential canal development. Its amenities include restaurants, holiday homes for rent, a luxury hotel, a golf resort, B&Bs, motels and a campground holiday park.