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Papamoa Beach

Living by the Sea


Papamoa Beach

PAPAMOA BEACH

 

 

Papamoa BeachBy Richard Moore

Hotels in Mount Maunganui
Hotels in Tauranga

Places to Eat

Papamoa Beach is my place, a sleepy town on one of the best bits of sand in New Zealand.

Situated across the harbour bridge from Tauranga, Papamoa is called the biggest suburb of that city but, like its neighbour Mount Maunganui, is really its own spot.

Papamoa Beach township stretches for more than 10 kilomtres along the ocean and the beach itself spreads for more than 20 kilometres. Out from its white sands is the island of Motiti and, in the distance east towards Whakatane, are Whale Island and the volcano White Island.

When White Island is getting a little energetic you can see the steam rising from it while standing on Papamoa Beach.

There are plenty of places to eat in Papamoa, mainly in the West of the place near the main shopping areas of the Plaza and Fashion Island.

My favoured ones include the Stars and Stripes Diner in the Plaza, the Boulevarde (down Papamoa East) and the excellent Indian Mumbai Masala at Fashion Island.

Now down on the border with Mount Maunganui is another regular haunt - the neighbourhood pizzeria Milanos.

I've been going to Milanos for a relaxed, easy, inexpensive meal out for about seven years and I still enjoy it.

Milanos reminds me of one of those little ethnic restaurants in Melbourne's suburbs that offer good food at good prices and a really nice atmosphere.

There are petrol stations, supermarkets, a Warehouse store, and all the banks with ATMs.

Activities in Papamoa include climbing the Papamoa Hills several kilometres from the town centre, going Blokarting in land yachts, fishing from the beach, visiting the Kaiate Falls, cycling down the straight and flat Papamoa Beach Rd or ... walking on the fabulous beach.

While you are down there have a look out for the wreck of the container ship Rena on the horizon to the left of Motiti Island. Go to richardmoore.com for hundreds of pictures of the Rena disaster that spread oil all across these fabulous sands and sparked one of the biggest community cleanups in NZ history.

The weather in Papamoa Beach is usually very pleasant with hot summers and mild winters - except in May of 2009 when we were hit by a weather bomb that dumped about a foot of hail on to the suburb! It stayed around for days and turned the sands of Papamoa Beach into a snow-like landscape.

Down the road from Papamoa is The Mount, or Mount Maunganui, and there are cafes and eateries for Africa there.

On the way you can check out whale and dolphin watching trips or organise some fishing expeditions.

Papamoa is a 2.5 hour drive from Auckland, 45 minutes from Rotorua and about an hour-and-a-half from Hamilton.

 

 

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