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Pāpāmoa huanui

Pāpāmoa Shared Pathway

A new shared pathway along the Pāpāmoa Coastal Reserve to make walking and cycling safer is ready to be enjoyed by all.

Key features of the shared pathway

The 3km asphalt pathway will make walking and cycling safer next to Pāpāmoa Beach Road and further enhances this reserve space.

During consultation, the community requested a sealed path to better meet the needs of a wide range of people, including children with scooters, people using wheelchairs, and people with roller blades. Asphalt is a commonly used material for sealed footpaths and is smooth service for people on wheels. It is highly durable and there are no health risks to the public, or to the environment, due to the material used. Other materials such as concrete and boardwalk have been used in rest areas and access ways.

The pathway provides ample width, with the 3.5m wide pathway designed to fit two people going each way. There will be rest areas along the way with seats which align with side streets where people are likely to park. We have also been installing picnic tables at the two larger reserve areas to support picnics, and food trucks near Parton Road.

The pathway will feature signage that shares the stories and history of mana whenua giving people the opportunity to reconnect and engage with this area of cultural significance. Bringing this reserve space to life will support the ecological balance of the dunes while also connecting the community. The project will happen over two stages and outlined below are the details of each stage.

You might have noticed that the path looks like it comes to an end at the ‘pinch point’ on Pāpāmoa Beach Road, near Alexander Place. We want to reassure you that this is just temporary! Council is investigating an alternative route which will require a resource consent. We estimate that this process might take about six months which is why we have created a temporary section near the ‘pinch point’, to connect the path back to the road.

Stage one features:

  • Pathway between Pāpāmoa Domain and Parton Road Beach access.
  • New public toilets in the open space area (Activity Hub) opposite Parton Road as well as a drinking fountain and seating.
  • Pedestrian crossing points on Pāpāmoa Beach Road, located near Douglas Place, Alexander Place and Grant Place to facilitate safer walking and cycling.
  • Signage that tells some of the history of the area.
  • Some additional features as guided by community feedback (limited due to budget).

Stage two features: (subject to funding)

  • Pathway from Parton Road to Taylor Reserve
  • Lookout areas
  • Further upgrades to the facilities and amenities along the full pathway (as guided by community feedback)

Looking to the future

The Pāpāmoa Shared Pathway masterplan provides a vision for the reserve and considers key access areas and opportunities to link up to a network of shared paths and cycleways in the area and wider region.

Funding has been secured for Stage one, while all other proposals in the masterplan will be conditional to funding in Stage two. Community feedback will also guide the direction of this masterplan and future investment decisions.

Protecting our dunes

While investing in the coastal reserve, we also want to support our dune restoration work, alongside Coast Care.

As part of the pathway’s construction, ground planting with native dune species will be included to support the restoration of the dunes. This will not only support the ecology of the dunes, but also encourage the public to use existing formal paths through the dunes and discourage the creation of new paths.

The dunes are a significant ecological area, and in addition to hosting some rare plant species, they also protect our Pāpāmoa community as the climate changes and sea levels rise.

The dunes hold significant importance to Ngā Pōtiki and Waitaha iwi, who have collected food, played, and battled over these dunes for the last 700 years.

Papamoa shared pathway

Papamoa shared pathway

Papamoa shared pathway picnic table

Papamoa shared pathway toilet block


Subject to contractor and material availability, construction will begin in May 2023 and is anticipated to be completed by spring, 2023.

The new shared pathway will provide a route to the formalised beach access points, and we will regenerate vegetation that has been damaged by people accessing the informal beach access points. We encourage beach users to use the designated accessways to help protect our dune plants.

The project came about following requests from Pāpāmoa residents for a shared path along the coast. This was supported by a number of benefits Council considered for safety and the environment.

It's hoped that the development of a shared pathway and the creation of rest areas along the way will encourage the use of the formalised beach access ways (rather than the informal ones) that are in place and reduce damage to the dune system.

By planting in the areas between the dune vegetation and the new shared path, we will also be able to manage the intrusion of weeds along the back dune much better.

Over the past two decades, Tauranga City Council and its partners have been encouraging people to stick to the formal paths through the Pāpāmoa dunes.

The dunes are identified as a Significant Ecological Area because there are several rare and significant plant and invertebrate species that live there.

The dunes also help to enhance the resilience of the Pāpāmoa community and protect Pāpāmoa from the changing climate and sea level rise.

Unfortunately, the sensitive dune plants are damaged where people walk, which creates areas where the plants are unable to establish, and the dune system is weakened. Foot traffic also brings in weeds which can take over areas from the more vulnerable native plant species.

There will be plenty of space for parking on the grass along the full length of the path, as the flat areas of grass will be retained for parking.

We will make some minor changes to these areas, which include:

  • Gravelling parking areas to improve maintenance.
  • Adding planting in the swales (low boggy areas) and the high points of the dunes to clarify where it is safe to park.
  • Building low fences at the rest areas of the shared path to manage parking.

The shared pathway will be constructed out of asphalt and will have a generous width of 3.5m.

Key information

Project type
Parks and recreation


Papamoa / Papamoa East

Key dates

  • Community engagement

    2 - 27 November 2022
  • Design finalised

    April 2023
  • Stage one - construction begins (subject to contractor and material availability)

    May 2023
  • Estimated completion of stage one

    Spring 2023
  • Stage two

    Estimated to be completed in 2025

Who's listening

Spaces and Places
Tauranga City Council

Phone: 07 577 7000

Other ways to get involved

Tauranga is your city. We’re working to make it even better.

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