Papamoa Beach is a suburb of Tauranga, located about 11 kilometres from the city centre. It is the largest residential suburb in Tauranga, having a population of 20,091 at the 2013 census. It is bordered to the west by Mount Maunganui (east of Sunrise Avenue and Hibiscus Avenue), the east by the Kaituna River (separating it from the Western Bay of Plenty District) and to the south by State Highway 2. Papamoa Beach has 16km of white sandy beach stretching from the boundary with Mount Maunganui in the west to the Kaituna River in the east. Widespread settlement of the area did not start until the early 1980s and prior to this Papamoa Beach had been largely a rural area. Once a small and tight knit community, many of Papamoa Beach's sweeping paddocks have been swallowed up by urban development. Papamoa Beach is currently one of the fastest growing suburbs of Tauranga, with many different subdivisions developing concurrently on different blocks of land on the fringes of the suburb.