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Life Puzzle is an exhibition of Nick Austin’s 15-odd years of practice so far, curated by the artist himself. The exhibition is presented in the manner of a person who, late in the evening, gazing into the middle ... More ►
The exhibition showcases practical and decorative casings from the Whāngarei Museum collection. Cases, pouches, boxes, containers, pockets, cylinders, kete, chests and trunks – these are all on display for our new ... More ►

Pataua Beach

Pataua Beach is a beautiful golden sand beach but you will need to take care when there is a wave running. Even when there is no surf there are still strong currents around the harbour mouth. The harbour mouth is intricate and much time can be spent just checking the area out. Fortunately the inner harbour provides a safe haven from the dangerous surf and currents. There is no Lifeguarding Service at Pataua Beach.

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Family friendly

This beach has limited facilities but there is a camping ground near the beach. Not patrolled by Surf Lifeguards.


Pataua Beach is not the most ideal swimming location. The access to the beach leads patrons right next to the harbour mouth and this is a very dangerous area of the beach with a powerful rip and strong currents. The beach is very hazardous with powerful waves, a shore dump, strong rips and large holes all being common features. There is no Lifeguarding Service and swimmers should stay out if in doubt. Further inland Pataua Harbour provides a safe location where the dangers of the beach can be avoided.


Surfing at Pataua Beach is a popular activity and there are often good powerful waves. The beach break is best surfed around low tide unless swells are large and then high tide is the go. There is a right hand bar that is formed off the harbour mouth and this is best surfed on an incoming high tide. The beach is offshore in a westerly wind.


Pataua Beach and the Pataua Harbour are great fishing locations that are very popular. You can basically fish anywhere around here and you should be able to catch something. Snapper is very common in the area and there are kahawai’s and king fish here from time to time also. Boats can be launched into the Pataua Harbour and from there into the open ocean. The bar crossing should only be attempted in small to no swell around the high tide.

Activities and facilities



  • Car parking
  • Food and beverage kiosk
  • Public toilets


The beach is our favourite playground, but it can also be a dangerous place. Learn about the hazards at Pataua Beach and be prepared so you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer.



Unpatrolled Beach
Unpatrolled beach.
Never swim or surf alone.

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Mainly fine with possible showers
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Good. 7/10
Poor. 2/10



Safety at Pataua Beach

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Pataua Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand Beaches. More ►

Unpatrolled Beach

Unpatrolled Beach
Unpatrolled beach.
Never swim or surf alone.


Click a safety symbol for more information on the risk

4 simple rules to keep you safe

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Pataua Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand beaches and looking out for each other. More ►

The Water Safety Code:

  • Be prepared
  • Watch out for yourself and others
  • Be aware of the dangers
  • Know your limits
DIAL 111 in the event of an emergency


Pataua Beach is located 28 kilometres east of Whangarei and is accessed via a narrow metal road, Pataua North Road. Beach access leads partons to the residential base of Pataua at the southern end, right next to Pataua Harbour mouth and Pataua Island. The beach is headed at the northern end by Taheke River mouth, which is 4500 metres away. There are rocks and reefs dotted around the northern end of the beach. Pataua Beach is exposed to swell and will usually have a wave of some kind.

Public Transport

Sorry, we have no public transport information available for this beach.


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Beach Water Quality

Many councils provide the results of their weekly monitoring. This lets people know what the most recent bacteria levels were. Remember, even sites with low risk can be unsuitable to swim at from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.

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