Tairua is one of the larger communities along the coast, and one of the prettiest, nestled beside an estuary, harbor, and hills, with an ocean beach close by. Because State Highway 25 is the town's main road, it's also convenient for a bite en route to other seaside spots around Whitianga and Hahei. In Tairua, the twin volcanic peaks of Paku rise up beside the harbor. The five-minute ferry ride from Tairua across the harbor
to the holiday homes of Pauanui takes you to the immediate area's best beach. The ferry runs hourly through summer school holidays, weekends and long weekends: NZ$5 round-trip. If you’re here at the end of March you can get fully immersed, literally, in the Tairu Wet & Wild weekend—involving lots of water-sports fun. For year-round activities and maps check out the Pauanui and Tairua information centers.