"Whangamata Beach, our annual holiday spot." Whangamata by kiwi

Whangamata Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 50 photos

As well as surfing this is an excellent spot for beach sailing and other activities.

Likeable town


This is quite a large township, and is mostly for kiwis, not really a tourist town. I like the shops, varied and not full of junk. Interesting to browse and buy when on holiday.
Here is an account of my last visit to the town's cinema:

Our visitor, who has associations in the film industry in Los Angeles, was keen to see the third instalment of Lord of the Rings in New Zealand. Were we cheeky enough to suggest he saw it at the Whangamata Cinema??
The cost of the tickets was as much and maybe a dollar more than in the city, but the location compensated, we only had to walk up the road to get there. A quiet unassuming gent sold us our tickets. Minutes later he was selling us icecreams, and to our guest?s surprise the same gent took our tickets at the door. We stepped up about 4 steps only to then descend the angled seats to find a suitable position to view the spectacle. We sat, and realized as one of us leaned forward, that the seats were not attached to the floor. So we moved along to find some firmly stable seats. We commented that the theatre had acquired ?new? seats, and wondered if there was any improvement on comfort. Knowing, as well, these Lord of the Rings movies are not so short!
We settled in, eating our rich kiwi icecreams, and our visitor commented that he hoped the projectionist did something about the line down the middle of the screen. Of course the same gent is the projectionist but before he could deal to the line, he had to evict a patron found to be drinking beer in the theatre. Job done, line sorted, movie began. Not long after some young ones entered talking loudly and the young man began swearing at the girls, about how they made him late and he had missed the beginning of the movie.
Gent returns to the theatre lounge to warn them against using bad language for all to hear.
Seeing the magnificent mountains of Glenorchy as the backdrop for Tolkiens epic, kept our mind off the inadequacies of the cinema for a while, until gent returned to turn on the air conditioning. Well, now that it was dark, he could open the ceiling level windows with the long handles on each side of the theatre. Ah, comfort again as the hot air departed.
Movie rolling along, when suddenly, mid sentence the screen was diagonally emblazoned with ?Intermission?. This brought a loud comment and laughter from our visitor, who had earlier been mistaken for Vin Diesel on the beach. We heard mutterings of Vin Diesel in the crowd, and later heard he was definitely at the movies that night!! Guest mentioned it had been a while since he had experienced an intermission, but we explained the reels had to be changed and anyway selling more exhorbitantly priced icecreams was the only way the theatre remained here for us all.
We got to see the whole movie and walked the short distance home, having had a very special time at the Whangamata Cinema.


Top Surf Beach.


Whangamata is one of the top surfing beaches in the country. So a lot of surf culture survives here.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Surf, sun and fun!!
  • Cons:Overrun in summer by people.
  • In a nutshell:A great holiday spot by the sea.
  • Last visit to Whangamata: Jan 2013
  • Intro Updated Jan 26, 2013
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Reviews (18)

Comments (39)

  • penumbra's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Ice cream delivered to the beach. Now that's service!

  • Andrew_W_K's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2009 at 2:06 AM

    Maybe if I drive to Cornwall and squint I can be there in my imagination ;)

  • Herwig1961's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Gorgeous fotos here!!!What a beautiful place!Thank you for showing

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2008 at 1:35 PM

    Boy do I miss a good fish takeaway shop here! Thanks for a blast back to the "islands"

  • hivaoa1's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2007 at 3:20 AM

    i want to visit here definately!! we can ask G to come to the cinema with us, no pam? eheheh :P

  • allikat's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2007 at 3:23 PM

    I really think you should put some more work in on this page. Hmmmm, might be able to help you out with that but I should warn you now I only raid the neighbours herbs for very famous LA celebrities ;-)))))

  • frankcanfly's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2007 at 9:39 PM

    Have a great getaway this week!!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2006 at 3:09 PM

    Loved the photo of you on the private beach. What gorgeous photographs of this lovely Whangamata area. I found your tips enlightening and fascinating.

  • bike_packer's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2006 at 2:48 AM

    pam, the beaches in new zealand are beautiful. maybe, minus the cold weather, more water activities could have been much fun.

  • prikje's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2005 at 1:22 AM

    Hi Pam , you really have one of the funiest VT avatar pics and so fitting to your nick....LOL greetings from Belgium,hope you have many more nicetravelling experiences

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