With around 15,000 kilometres of coastline and more than 25 marine reserves, ocean-scented scenery is entwined with New Zealand’s outdoorsy way of life.

New Zealand knows all the moods of the sea. On the east coast the Pacific Ocean plays along bays and beaches where white sand, surf and calm harbours provide enormous scope for fun. On the west coast the Tasman Sea, notoriously wild, breaks against rugged cliffs, weathered rocks and long, soulful stretches of black sand.

If you’re an ocean-loving person, there are road journeys that will keep you in touch with the sea every step of the way. Northland has the Twin Coast Discovery Highway, a touring route that includes both the east and west coasts. In the far south, the trip along the Catlins coast is famously photogenic. Taranaki’s Surf Highway 45 is a west coast experience for people who want to find some of the best surf breaks in the country.

Pack your sandals, shorts and sunblock, and always be prepared for spontaneous picnics. Wherever you are in New Zealand, you’re never far from a day at the beach.

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