Whangamata is a really pleasant little coastal resort town, with a great selection of shops and cafes, and a beautiful big beach. It is a popular holiday destination for Kiwis, so you get a real taste of New Zealand here during the summer months.
The beach is popular with swimmers, and is quite safe, but you need to be aware there is sometimes a sideways pull! It's a good idea to walk up the beach, get in to swim, and then when you get out you will kind of end up where you wanted to be!
The town can be quiet out of the holiday season, and becomes very bustling during summer. Plenty of cafes mean you can sit out in the sun with a good coffee or a cold beer.