Heading south along Marine Parade, Tay Street is another popular surf break that also draws families. Just off shore is New Zealand’s first artificial surfing reef, constructed from geotextile bags anchored to the seabed.
Years in the planning and construction, the delta-wing shaped reef is somewhat controversially, still not complete. It can be spotted from the buoys anchored at either end. As with all the ocean beaches, watch for rips and holes that can develop with larger surf conditions in particular, and if in doubt – swim in the patrolled, flagged area.
Tay Street is one of Tauranga’s most popular kite surfing spots if the wind is blasting – and the grassy bank above the beach is a great place to watch the thrills and spills. This part of the beach lacks public facilities that are confined to ageing toilets and an outdoor shower.