Pukehina beach is a popular place to live and thousands of homes line Pukehina Parade – the main road which runs parallel to the ocean.
This community is a 4km drive inland off SH2 (the main road between Tauranga and Whakatane) and is a great place to visit for a day trip, or stay and rent a beachfront holiday home.
Pukehina beach is essentially a long sandspit that forms the northern edge of Waihi Harbour – one of four large estuarine harbours in the Bay of Plenty.
At the far northwestern end of this sandspit you’ll find Pukehina’s Surf Rescue Club at Dotterel Point – the best place for you to swim. Waves break more evenly at this end of the beach and lifeguards patrol between the flags during summer. Picnic tables are also on hand for you to use.
This beach features wide, smooth sand and well-established sand dunes. You can see both Motiti Island and Moutohora (Whale Island) a short distance out to sea. The beach is a safe swimming spot when there’s little to no swell, but larger, more dangerous waves are also possible here.
If you have a young family, bring a small shade tent and set yourself up for a day in the sun. Gather shells, build sand castles and play in the surf. Or if you prefer calmer waters, swim in the estuary on the other side of Dotterel Point.
Surfing is popular anywhere along the shore, although the best waves are usually found at the northwest end of the beach near the estuary mouth.
This is a great place to try surf-casting as there are lots of underlying reefs and rocks that attract fish. Fishing in general is best at the northwest end of the beach around Dotterel Point. The water is deeper here and the estuary mouth also lures fish. A boat ramp is located close by. If you love shellfish you can also gather pipi, tuatua, cockles, pacific oysters and pupo (paddle crab) from around this area.
There are frequent beach access points and multiple reserves with children’s playgrounds along the 6km-long Pukehina Parade.
About half way down you’ll find The Hippy Pippy Tavern where you can grab a coffee and takeaways. A second café sits opposite Seabreeze Park and public tennis courts are also available near Midway Park.
This beach is an easy 30 minute drive from Tauranga and a great place to spend a day in the sunshine