Donna Brooke is the owner of Sunlover Retreat in Tairua and an expert on making the most of a relaxing break.
Tairua – two tides... We will forgive you if you think this is just the seaside town you pass through on the way to somewhere better. Little do you know.
The first giveaway that you have arrived somewhere special is the line-up of kids doing bombs off the one-lane bridge as you come into. Tairua is a great place for families. Isn’t it fantastic how they all come in different shapes and sizes? We’ve got something for your family here. Bring your boogie boards, land yachts and kayaks, our hard sand estuary is the best playground at low tide as well as high.
Pick up your coffee at Out of the Blue, Pepe Café or Two Tides Bakery on the main street and hang a right. You’re on your way to the surf beach. A two-minute drive and you get to one of The Coromandel’s best surf breaks, Tairua’s Ocean Beach. With the advent of foiling it’s not uncommon to see windsurfers or SUPs on foils. It seems we are all flying these days.
Everything is easily accessible on your push or e-bike. We have lots of hidden scenic trails, like the one around the back of the Golf Club, a challenging picturesque 18-hole course. You can rent a bike from Spoke Law to get around and get the inside gen on where to go. An e-bike is great to head over past the marina, past the safe calm waters of nana bay (not its real name but you get the picture – grandmas and kids) and up Mount Paku. The point of this is to take in the 360-degree vista, where you can gaze over Pauanui and Tairua beaches, the Coromandel ranges and the Aldermen Islands, famous for diving and fishing. And you can really see why Tairua got its name, “two tides” in te reo Māori.
The view toward the summit of Mount Paku looking east over the harbour entrance.
As you come down you can stop off at The Old Mill Cafe for coffee and baking and check out Paku wharf. There are two wharves harking back to days as a timber town, but these days you’ll find kids learning to fish. Tairua has always been big for boating and fishing, and the fishing club at the marina has one of the best views.
We could be so bold as to say we are Aucklanders’ fave getaway. So why would people come here? For a romantic getaway. To relax and unwind. In fact, that's the first thing I hear, the audible sigh, because I do hear that, people relaxing, sitting down, stopping to take it all in. You don't have to do all the adrenaline stuff, just go for a long walk with your significant other, have a glass of wine either at your bach or your favourite accommodation place or one of the local eateries.
At the end of your day you’ll either be enjoying fish and chips at the north end beach or pizza from Manaia Kitchen, tasty Asian-inspired food at Flock, or you’ll be really spoiling yourself at Tairua Beach Club, watching the sun set over the harbour.
Donna Brook is the owner and host of Sunlover Retreat. Nestled high overlooking the harbour, inner harbour and small seaside village of Tairua, you feel close to all the amenities, yet secluded in privacy. For a romantic escape, a girls' getaway or a family catch up, the two suites with their own living space provide carefree barefoot luxury with all the comforts. And if you're lucky Donna might share her famous sourdough recipe, if you haven't perfected yet yours.