The volcanic peak, Paku, and offshore views of Slipper, Shoe and the jagged Aldermen Islands are the natural focal points of the Tairua area.
Large areas south of Tairua River, between Pauanui and Wharekawa Harbour (Opoutere), are dominated by exotic forests.
North of Tairua is the rugged coastal area of Sailors Grave - an area for a fine half-day coastal walk.
Inland, the Tairua River runs to the sea from its source in the Coromandel Range, snaking through historical Broken Hills on its journey.
Charter and fishing boats operate from the Tairua Wharf.
The beaches here are perfect for safe swimming and surfing.
Mt Paku is a twin-coned volcanic peak that dominates the head of the Tairua Harbour. A Maori pa sculptures the hillside.
Once an island, Paku can be climbed from Paku Drive, in a steep 15-minute walk to the summit. The walk offers vantage points to the Tairua Harbour, Tairua and Pauanui beaches, and the islands of Castle Rock, Mercury Islands, Aldermen Islands and Slipper and Shoe Islands.
Much of Tairua's early settler history is told on story boards along the walk.
Tairua Beach, at the bottom of Mt Paku, is the site of the earliest evidence of Polynesian settlement in New Zealand. The beach is safe for swimming and surfing.