Papamoa vacation rentals
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Your guide to Papamoa
All About Papamoa
Papamoa is a long stretch of golden sand on the eastern fringe of the city of Tauranga on New Zealand’s North Island, lapped by the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean in the Bay of Plenty. The beach is backed by a green coastal reserve, and behind that, the shops and residential streets have a village atmosphere, with cafes serving New Zealand’s popular flat white coffees.
Papamoa is a much-loved holiday beach for swimming and water sports. There is a surf lifesaving club in the center of the beach that provides patrolled areas for swimming. The waves are occasionally big enough to attract surfers, and surf-casting fishing is popular here. Picnic tables are shaded by evergreen pōhutukawas, which bloom brilliant red in December and are nicknamed the New Zealand Christmas tree. Away from the beach, stroll through the extensive parkland and waterways of the Wairakei Reserve or hit the Summerhill mountain bike park or inland golf course.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Papamoa
New Zealand has a temperate climate, and the Bay of Plenty area is known for particularly high levels of sunshine throughout the year. As it is in the Southern Hemisphere, seasons in New Zealand are opposite to what you are used to in the US. The summer months last from November through April, with February being the hottest. Make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen at all times as the UV rays can be very strong, even when temperatures are not high. On Saturdays in the summer, the Papamoa Pony Club hosts Little Big Markets, with gourmet food trucks and craftspeople selling their wares, as well as live music and kids’ entertainment.
Christmas and January are the busiest time of the year, and Papamoa accommodations can get booked up quickly. Fall and spring remain warm, and with fewer visitors, this may be the ideal time to come. The coolest months are June and July, but it never gets too cold in Papamoa, and the winter season is still great for outdoor activities, even swimming.
Top things to do in Papamoa
The nearby wharves in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui offer opportunities for wildlife spotting by boat on the rich marine waters. You’ll have the chance to watch humpbacked and blue whales in the spring and autumn and orcas throughout the summer. You may also see penguins and hammerhead sharks. If you’re lucky, big pods of dolphins will cavort around the boat, and you’ll spot fur seals basking on island rocks.
Kaituna Wetland and Scenic Reserve
The Kaituna River has its mouth at the eastern end of Papamoa Beach and extends upstream through a scenic reserve. You can hike the well-kept Kaituna Wetland Loop Track through this lush area, which has a viewing area and information boards about the natural environment. Further upriver, the Kaituna is famous for whitewater rafting and kayaking.
The extinct volcanic cone of Mount Maunganui can be seen from miles around, and at the summit, you’ll have views of the Bay of Plenty — from Papamoa Beach and the outlying islands sitting like green jewels in the sea to the blue smudge of the inland Kaimai Ranges. There are two summit tracks, depending on your fitness level. Oruahine is more gradual and has stunning views of the open ocean, while the Waikorire track is steeper and passes through lush native forest. For a more accessible option, take the base track around the mountain, which features sea views most of the way.