Tauranga beaches attracting Chinese

Zhao Yen photographing sunrise at Shark Alley.

Click the image above to watch the video

The Mount, Omanu and Papamoa beaches are becoming a popular early morning destination for visitors from China and Taiwan.

Over the last 18 months to two years, I’ve noticed more and more people arriving on local beaches before dawn to take selfies or photograph the sunrise, or both. During December 2017, one group of four flew in to Auckland Airport from Taiwan, then immediately travelled to Tauranga in order to arrive by 5.30am.

They were waiting on the beach in Shark Alley as the sun rose over the water, and took numerous photos. I asked them if they were planning to climb the Mount afterwards.

They looked puzzled, so I pointed out Mauao behind them. They seemed disinterested but told me they were heading off to the Historic Village in 17th Ave, before leaving for Rotorua. They asked me to take a photo of them, so I took it with Mauao as the backdrop.

Ren Wei Li photographing sunrise at Shark Alley.

Yesterday morning Zhao Yen and Ren Wei Li were already set up with cameras on tripods when I walked down on the access mat. From Beijing, they are in New Zealand for 56 days, travelling both North and South Islands in a campervan. Today was Day Three of their visit and they’d flown in to Auckland, then travelled to Tauranga with the intention of capturing our sunrise.

It’s not surprising really, as the level of pollution in some of the cities in China can make it impossible to see the sun for many days, as I found when I was there in 2015.

Zhao Yen told me that over the last two years, this has improved in Beijing.  However a sunrise like we have here in NZ is a rare thing, and a major drawcard for tourists travelling from China.

Zhao Yen and Ren Wei Li had been told about the local beach and sunrise by their travel agent in Beijing.

They planned to leave for Rotorua after the morning’s photography.

Whilst we may take our sunrises and sunsets for granted, increasingly they seem to be attracting attention making our local Mount beach a ‘must see’ place to visit.

Nearby, Papamoa beach attracted a Chinese poker star couple this week.  

On Tuesday Pokerstars Team Pro Online member Randy Lew announced on Twitter that he had proposed to his girlfriend China’s poker queen Celina Lin on Papamoa Beach. The bride-to-be found herself embarking on a treasure hunt to find her engagement ring.

Pokerstars Team Pro Online member Randy Lew proposed to girlfriend China’s poker queen Celina Lin on Papamoa Beach.

The couple did not miss the opportunity to share their emotional moment with their fans.

Firstly, Lin found a card of riddles. On solving the riddles, she followed the instructions, and found the ring locked in a box and buried in the sand.  The two have been dating since November 2016, but first met in 2010, when Lin interviewed Lew during the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour Macau.

Caption: China’s poker queen Celina Lin on Papamoa Beach.


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Posted on 09-03-2018 20:30 | By rogue

As an early morning beach goer myself I would suggest having a closer look at what they are doing down the coast. Has anyone noticed the lack of paddle crabs this summer compared with previous summers? The pigs head in a crab pot is doing a lot of damage to the life along the Mt / Pap coastline. I assume there is a limit on the number & size of crabs they are allowed to take?