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This small seaside town on the east coast of the peninsula has a nice harbour and good surfing. Its most striking feature is the extinct volcanic cone of Mount Paku at the head of Tairua Harbour, the top of which gives great views of Tairua and the surrounding areas. It’s a short walk to the top, and according to Maori legend, if you climb Mount Paku, you will return to Tairua within seven years.

Tairua has a pretty decent selection of restaurants, cafés, and shops and there’s a supermarket as well. It’s a popular holiday resort for Kiwis, but there are things for the international traveller to do. Some use the town as a base for visiting Hot Water Beach, which is a 20-minute drive away. Diving is nearby at the Alderman Islands, and there’s good fishing around Tairua; both activities can be booked in town. Tairua is also a good spot to learn how to windsurf. Some nice hiking trails are also available in nearby Broken Hills Recreation Area.

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