Pataua

Pataua combines all the best bits of the New Zealand seaside. With the salty tang in the air, the pohutukawa at water’s edge, vibrant flora, native birds mingling with seagulls, and quaint baches, it’s reassuringly “kiwi” in a nostalgic way you recognise but can never quite describe.

It’s not an international tourist destination, and never will be, but it is a place that people of a certain vintage who call Aotearoa home will connect with instantly and happily. Bring your tamariki to enjoy a holiday experience that hasn’t changed for fifty years.

Pataua North and Pataua South are connected by a pedestrian bridge and it’s a 45-minute circuitous route to drive between the two so set the sat nav to ensure you end up on the right side of the estuary.

Whether it’s fishing, surfing, boating, kayaking, or swimming, you are spoilt for choice.

The Pataua North Beach is a beautiful golden sand beach frequented by fishermen and surfies.

The inner harbour, a tidal estuary, provides a safe haven from the surf and currents.

Pataua South beach (also known as Frogtown) is a very popular family beach, ideal for boogie boarding or just playing in the waves. It’s an intimate bay safe, white sand beach.

The local campground store on the south side is open over the summer months, selling ice cream, fish and chips.