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Vehicles and horses on beaches

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and horses are allowed on our beaches, but only in certain areas.


Vehicles are generally not permitted to drive on the beach, however there are some exceptions:

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) that display a council permit may be driven on the beach for recreational fishing purposes only. The beach access point is located between 105 and 107 Karewa Parade, Papamoa. An ATV can only be driven east of the access point towards/from the Kaituna River. The ATV must be registered and display a current licence label, as well as be in a safe and road worthy condition.

ATVs do not have priority on the beach – they must be driven in a careful manner with consideration to all beach users. They must not be driven on the dunes. The speed limit is 20km/h.

A police, fire, ambulance, government service, surf life saving or council vehicle may be driven on the beach. They have priority of use for authorised, justifiable or operational matters.

All other vehicles are not permitted to drive on the beach, including outside of the permitted boat ramp access areas of the beach.

Speed Limit Bylaw 2009 (970kb pdf) Conditions of use for Papamoa Beach (91kb pdf)

Apply for an ATV permit (169kb pdf)

Take your completed application form, NZTA licence label and payment to our customer service centre for processing.


As a general rule you can ride your horse on the beach.  However there are some places where you cannot ride, drive or lead a horse on the beach:

  • any beach at Mauao (the mountain)
  • the main Mt Maunganui beach from Moturiki Island (Leisure Island) to, and including, the base of Mauao
  • any beach at Moturiki Island (Leisure Island)
  • Pilot Bay beach from the base of Mauao to Salisbury Wharf 
  • any beach within 100 metres directly in front of and adjoining any land at mean high water springs classified as Marae Community Zone (as identified in the Tauranga District Plan and shown on the maps in Schedule 2), unless the horse is at a walking pace

Council may, by resolution, define further beaches where horses are prohibited.

Access by horses and their riders to those coastal beaches where horses are permitted, must be via a Council-controlled vehicle access or any other access designated for that purpose.

You must remove any horse manure and dispose of it in a hygienic manner.

For a map of the areas where you can ride a horse on the beach please see the map in Schedule one of the Beaches Bylaw.

Beaches Bylaw 2018 (1.8mb pdf)

Last Reviewed: 30/11/2018

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