22 January 2019 | Written by Phoebe Joiner

New Zealand’s Best Beaches: Our Top 10 Picks

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To celebrate Summer, we’ve put together our Top 10 most-loved beaches around New Zealand.

From popular holiday spots to secluded paradises, these 10 beaches are bound to inspire your next beachside getaway. 


10. Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti Coast

Sunset at Paraparaumu Beach

Sunset at Paraparaumu Beach

What seems like a never-ending beach, Paraparaumu Beach has plenty of golden sand perfect for building sandcastles, and water ideal for swimming and fishing. Having Kapiti Island just offshore brings plenty of birdlife too, with terns, gulls and oystercatchers to watch over an evening picnic. The charm and convenience of the nearby town makes it a holiday favourite, especially for Wellington locals. For more information about the Kapiti Coast, view our insider’s guide to the area here.

View Paraparaumu Beach holiday homes here.


9. Ocean Beach, Hawkes Bay

Ocean Beach is both a scenic and entertainment delight. The well-loved beach is positioned against a backdrop of mountains with a large crescent of golden sand and good surfing opportunities. Surf life savers patrol the beach in the summer, making it a safe option for families and swimmers as well. For more information on what to do in the Hawkes Bay area, read our insider’s guide to the area here.

View Hawkes Bay holiday homes here.

 

Watch: Surfing Ocean Beach

Credit: Seb Pishief (YouTube)

8. Omaha Beach, Matakana

Being just over an hour’s drive from Auckland, Omaha is a favourite weekend getaway spot for those looking to escape the city. In summer it’s filled with swimmers, surfers, families and pets, a classic scene for any Kiwi summer holiday. Surf life savers operate throughout summer, and with the right conditions it’s an excellent spot for ocean swimming. For more information about what to do in the Matakana region, check out our insider’s guide here.

View holiday homes in Omaha here.


7. Ohope Beach, Whakatane

Abundant sunshine, warm waters and safe swimming make Ōhope Beach the perfect summer holiday destination. Maybe that’s why it was voted NZ’s Most Loved Beach—with 11 km of the easily walkable white sand beach from the Ōhiwa Harbour entrance all the way to West End. The beach is extremely family friendly as well and boosts great waves, perfect for a thrash on the boogie board. This beach is a must visit for those looking for a truly Kiwi beach experience!

View holiday homes in Ohope Beach here.


6 . Tahunanui Beach, Nelson

Tahunanui Beach, Nelson

Credit: @valehuet

With some of the highest sunshine hours in the country, it’s no surprise that Tahunanui Beach in Nelson makes our top 10 list. Here you’ll find flat golden sand that stretches for miles, making it an ideal setting for any beach activity from windsurfing and ocean swimming to sunbathing. This is a great option for families with small kids; playgrounds, toilets and a cafe all within a close proximity to the beach! For more information about what to do in Nelson, view our insider’s guide here.

View all Nelson holiday homes here.


5. Piha Beach, Auckland

Piha Beach, Auckland

A favourite day trip spot for both Auckland locals and visitors, Piha is filled with opportunities for adventure. In the right condition,s the surf can be massive, and there’s a fair number of walks and tracks around the beach. Piha’s black sand and dramatic scenery makes for heaps of instagram-worthy spots as well – especially from the top of Lion Rock!

View our Auckland stays here.

 

Check out these views!

Credit: Daniel J (YouTube)

4. Kaiteriteri Beach, Abel Tasman

Credit: @gemmarosetong

Kaiteriteri Beach is a beautiful crescent of golden sand that lies at a convenient access point to the Abel Tasman National Park. It’s a popular summer holiday destination, where visitors flock from all over to enjoy time in the sun and surf. Popular activities among these beach-goers include kayaking, swimming, boating and walks. To learn more about the Golden Bay area, check out our insider’s guide here.

View holiday homes near Kaiteriteri Beach here.


3. Mt. Maunganui Beach

With perfect waves for learning to swim and a large stretch of sand, Mt. Maunganui Beach is another summer hot spot. It draws people from all over the North Island with its panoramic views from the mountain summit, spacious beach and top quality cafes in the nearby town. Learn more about the area with our Insider’s guide here.

View holiday homes in Mt. Maunganui here.


2. Ngarunui Beach, Raglan

Ngarunui Beach, Raglan

Credit: @jessica_elystan

Ngarunui Beach (also known as Ocean Beach) is world renowned for its quality surf, while remaining classically Kiwi with its black sand and scenery. A popular place to visit year round, it earns its place as number two in our 10 best beaches because of the undisturbed beauty of the beach itself as well as the friendliness of the locals and laid back vibe of the town. One doesn’t have to try hard to get into beach mode here!

View holiday homes in Raglan here.


1. Cathedral Cove, Coromandel

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove has a well-deserved place as our favourite beach in New Zealand. It has found a place on many bucket lists around the country, and is often seen as a dream destination. What makes Cathedral Cove so distinct and popular is its unique rock formations, beautiful sand, calm surf and its secluded setting.

See for yourself!


Over to you…

Don’t see your favourite beach in this list? Have a secret gem you’re willing to share? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear about it!

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Comments (17)

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  1. ereni clark

    Ripiro Beach Northland Westcoast near Dargaville .It is the longest driveable beach in NZ. Has the most beautiful view of the coastline from Maunganui Bluff looking south as far as the eye can see.

    Reply
  2. Jane

    Little Bay in Coromandel is beautiful

    Reply
  3. Terry

    Shouldn’t it be titled ‘Top 10 Beaches in the North Island’. Plenty of South Island beaches that could trump that collection.

    Reply
  4. Carl

    Whale Bay,Matapouri,Sandy Bay,40min East of Whangarei.3 beaches within 10min drive of each other,all stunning.

    Reply
  5. Pen

    Nothing south of Nelson? I swam in clear green water with swarms of fish at Broad Bay Dunedin this morning, and this evening in the tepid clear estuary with a sea lion at stunning Allan’s Beach.

    Reply
    • Phoebe Joiner

      What a way to start and end your day!

      Reply
  6. Phil

    Check out Wharariki Beach near Farewell Spit, Golden Bay. Magic.

    Reply
  7. Jan

    Umm what about Tongaporutu and the beautiful Three Sisters…. amazing

    Reply
  8. Jan

    You missed castlepoint in the wairarapa

    Reply
  9. Kim

    There is better beaches than some of these most dangerous beaches you have mentioned

    Reply
    • Phoebe Joiner

      New Zealand is full of amazing beaches, it’s hard to choose favourites! Where’s your top beach?

      Reply
  10. Mike

    Definitely Taputoputo.

    Reply
  11. jacqui

    Matapouri Bay by far!

    Reply
  12. Sent Visser

    Pakiri all the way to the Mangawhai Heads.

    Reply
  13. Peter Woodfield

    Mt. Maunganui Beach is my favorite Beach in New Zealand. I have done more first’s there than any other place in New Zealand one that always comes to mind is the First Open Water race I ever done was at the Mount

    Reply
  14. Jackson

    I’m halfway through ticking them all off my list! All neat spots!!

    Reply
  15. Tony

    Waihi Beach.Awesome safe Beach.

    Reply
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