Overview: Tairua has two boat ramps. The original one is located near the Tairua-Pauanui Sport Fishing Club’s facilities on Tui Crescent; the other, featured in this month’s review, is next to the new marina complex at the bottom of Paku Hill. This hard-sand ramp is closest to the bar, with a 15-metre-wide side channel taking you to the main channel, after which it is a short trip to the bar itself. The ramp is accessible at all tides, but a four-wheel-drive tow vehicle is recommended for larger trailer craft.
Parking: There is no dedicated parking, but you should find a spot on the nearby grassed area on all but the busiest days.
Facilities: The marina complex offers a ‘one stop shop’ for your boating needs. Dutchy’s caters for most fishing, diving, spear-fishing and boating needs, including bait and ice. During summer they are open every day from 6:30am; in winter, Friday till Monday from 7am. The Tairua Marina Bar & Grill is open for lunch and dinner, and The old Mill Café offers breakfast and lunch. There is 24/7 fuel available – 95 octane petrol and diesel – and credit and debit cards are accepted. A toilet block with two outdoor showers is approximately 20m to the right of the ramp, with more showers and toilets a further 100m away. Marina berths can be rented through the dive shop. Powerloading is prohibited at this ramp.
Warning: The Tairua bar can be a dangerous one, especially in easterly conditions. For more information on crossing the Tairua bar, click here. Coastguard operates on VHF Channel 63 for trip and barcrossing reports.