Beaches

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If you like beaches and the lifestyle that goes with them, then you're going to love New Zealand. Check out some of our most popular beach spots.

West Auckland beaches

Auckland's West Coast beaches are renowned for their black sand, superb surf and spectacular sunsets. The ruggedly beautiful Piha beach is one of the best surf beaches in the country. The surf can be big here so always swim between the flags. You can also explore the rainforest behind the where you’ll find lush native bush and secret waterfalls. The windswept Muriwai Beach is another hot spot with great surf and huge gannet colonies. Another beautiful black sand beach, Bethells Beach - or Te Henga - in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, 45 minutes from Auckland CBD is also well worth a visit. 

Auckland
Bethells Beach , Auckland

By Auckland Tourism

It may be one of the smaller West Coast beaches, but Bethells (Te Henga) has impressed even international superstars with its beauty.

Tawharanui, Auckland

Located in the middle of a regional park an hours’ drive north of Auckland, Tawharanui is the perfect day trip if you’re staying in the city. Two small, secluded bays make up the beach, each with small rocky headlands that are perfect for exploring. If there’s an easterly swell the surf can be good here too.

Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty 

Less than two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Auckland lies the buzzing surf town of Mount Maunganui, where a white sand beach stretches as far as the eye can see. Enjoy the swimming, surfing and cafes here.

Bay of Islands, Northland

Home to 144 islands and hundreds of untouched white-sand beaches, Northland's Bay of Islands – a three-hour drive north of Auckland - is a must-see for those that love the sand and sea. Take a boat cruise to see the best islands. Not short of spectacular beaches, Whangarei Heads in Northland is another must-visit. Divers will love Poor Knights Island, one of the best dive spots in the world.

Raglan, Hamilton-Waikato

Perched on the edge of a beautifully scenic stretch of rugged coastline is Raglan, a beach famous for its left-hand surf break and quirky, creative town.  Raglan is a one-and-a-half hours’ drive south of Auckland on the West Coast.

 

Hamilton - Waikato
Raglan, Hamilton - Waikato

By Chris McLennan

You don't have to be a surfer to love Raglan, but it helps. A spectacular beach located about 50km west of Hamilton.

The Coromandel beaches

Where do local kiwis go for their fix of stunning white-sand beaches? The Coromandel Peninsula, that’s where.  A two-hour drive south of Auckland, The Coromandel is home to everything from awesome surf to secluded coves and hot water beaches. Bliss.

 

Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson

Perched at the far north of the South Island, Abel Tasman National Park glitters with perfect beaches. There’s spectacular hiking and kayaking on offer here – look out for dolphins and fur seals frolicking just off the coast.

Nelson
Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson

By Nelson Tasman Tourism

Abel Tasman National Park is popular for its sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and endless water activities.

Saint Clair, Dunedin

Dunedin has many beautiful beaches scattered along its ocean coastline and around the Otago Harbour. Among its popular beaches is Saint Clair, located in the city, and renowned for its surf. 

Dunedin
Saint Clair Beach, Dunedin

By Dunedin Inc

A Dunedin icon, Saint Clair is very popular with surfers.

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