Opoutere will come as a nice surprise after Pauanui. The settlement all fits snugly into a single road comprising a few houses, hostel and a campsite. Opoutere's Beach is 4km of white sands, heaps of birds and plentiful shellfish. Sitting neatly in front of a reserve, the beach is fortunately also protected from development. Don't let the beauty mislead you, the underwater currents both on the beach and in the estuary can be deadly.
Just down the road from the hostel, you can choose between 2 tracks which will take you to Ocean Beach. You'll come to a fork. The left-hand fork is a short cut (800m/10min/one way) which takes you through mingimingi, lupin, pines and finally on to the beach. The right hand fork (1.25m/15min/one way) takes you into the pine forest, by the estuary and onto a sandspit. You should be able to see some native kiwi birds here as the sandspit is a bird sanctuary for oystercatchers, tern and dotterels (you'll find the area cordoned off during the breeding season from November to March. Then cross the spit and you'll find yourself on Ocean Beach with its impressive rolling white waves.