Oh Papamoa…. How I love you.

If you are planning a trip to New Zealand from overseas or simply want to see more of New Zealand if you are already lucky enough to live there, then Papamoa Beach, located in the gorgeous Bay of Plenty, should be high on your list of must visits.

The coastline of Papamoa Beach is one of the most spectacular in the whole country. White sand stretching for miles, views to Mount Maunganui, Motiti Island, White Island’s plumes of volcanic smoke on a clear day through to the curve of the land near Maketu make simply walking along this beach an incredible experience.

The beach is popular with surfers, fisherman, kite surfers, paddle boarders, body boarders and swimmers alike. Often you will see dolphins just off the coastline. Orca and sharks are also spotted depending on the season (they like to chase the stingray which are a staple in their diet).

Summer time at Papamoa Beach is amazing. Warm ocean waters combined with blue skies and sunshine make it the perfect holiday destination. But the other seasons hold something possibly even more magical. At many times of the year you can walk along this beach and see absolutely no one. Imagine having a beach to yourself as you breathe in the fresh sea air and gaze out toward such a beautiful ocean scape.

This part of New Zealand has been one of the fastest growing suburban areas since the early 1980s. The city of Tauranga was well know as a popular destination for retirees, but now the whole region is alive with families with young children, entrepeneurs, tertiary students, blue and white collar workers and those involved in a wide range of agriculture.

When you visit this area you are spoilt for choice with a range of activities in easy driving distance. If you love walking there are countless well developed tracks in the local hills and bush. You can walk around, or for the more physically able, up, the iconic Mt Maunganui. If you are lucky you can see seals and little penguins and a whole raft of native birds as you walk around this gorgeous natural treasure that joins the wild Main Beach to calm Pilot Bay. There are waterfalls to be found and lakes (man made and natural), heritage sites, museums and farm visits to enjoy. And of course there are surfing lessons galore for those who are young and young at heart.

There is fine dining, great cafes, markets galore, upmarking shopping and trendy recycled boutiques for those who love to grab a stylish bargain. Accomodation options are huge. From 5 Star Hotels and Apartment complexes, B&Bs, camp grounds, self contained houses and areas for freedom camper/travellers as well. No matter what your budget is there will be accomodation to suit.

Once you visit Papamoa Beach and the surrounding areas you will soon realise why I love this place I call home. I am truly one of the very lucky ones to have to be able to say postcode 3118 is mine.