White sand paradise beside blue sea
Pakiri Beach is renowned for its wild, sweeping ocean beach that stretches for 24km from Leigh to Te Arai Point, with Bream Head, Little Barrier and the Hen and Chickens Islands brooding on the horizon. Pakiri is the ancestral home of Ngati Wai, and in its heyday, in the 1850s, thousands of tonnes of kauri were cast into the surf at the Pakiri River and towed toward Auckland. A timber mill used to operate on the ground that now houses the Pakiri Holiday Camp, and ships were built near the river mouth. The old Pakiri church has been restored, ensuring the area’s history is preserved, and the little school remains open, despite occasional attempts to close the rural mainstay. The township has a small cluster of homes, tennis courts and a community hall, and most of the countryside to the south and east is steep farmland. The western side unfolds into a mixture of coastal and rich flat farmland. A horse hire business allows visitors to get first-hand experience of the beach, its sand dunes and farmland. Behind the little township is the beginning of the Tamahunga Trail, part of the Te Araroa walkway throughout New Zealand.