52 - Tahunanui and Back Beach
This walk takes you along the back beach at Tahunanui and returns along the main beach.
Time: 1 1/4 hours
Note: The latter part of the walk is tidal, and should not be attempted 2-3 hours on either side of high tide.
Start Location: Carparking area by the modellers' pond in the Tahunanui recreation area.
Download the Tahunanui and Back Beach map (179KB PDF)
Walk around the modellers' pond on the path to the right which takes you to the BMX track and Beach Road*. Head to Golf Road and follow it to turn right into Parkers Road as it veers to the right and runs alongside the Tahunanui Holiday Park - one of New Zealand's largest and most popular motor camps.
Take the steps down to the beach at Parkers Cove. You may have to take your shoes off or use stepping stones to cross the channel, even at low tide. You are now on the Back Beach and ready to walk right along to the Tahunanui main beach.
If you have a dog with you, make your exit from the beach as the signs indicate. If not, stay on the sand until you see a sign pointing to the café. Take a right turn up the boardwalk and make the short walk back past Natureland to your starting point at the modellers' pond.
While you are at Tahunanui you can take advantage of a variety of recreation options. There is a hydroslide, bumper boats, Indy 500 cars, mini golf and rides on miniature trains around the modellers' pond. Some of these activities operate only in the weekend or peak holiday times, but Natureland is open every day with a small entry charge.
Options: *For a different route at low tide, you can walk along the estuary to Parkers Cove and continue along the back and main beaches.
The Tahunanui Back Beach is home to the rare Back Beach Beetle - watch a video about it here and an animation here