Best New Zealand Beaches

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The Best Kiwi Beaches...

  • 16. Oke Bay // Bay of Islands

    Oke Bay
    © YHA-New-Zealand / CC BY

    Oke Bay is located near the village of Rawhiti in the Bay of Islands in the very North of New Zealand. This subtropical region consists of nearly 150 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula and is a water-lover's paradise. Known as a destination for whale and dolphin spotting, sailing and fishing the Bay of Islands area is home to any number of wonderful beaches, of which Oke Bay… read more »

  • 17. Onetangi Beach // North Island

    Onetangi Beach
    © trakesht / CC BY

    At nearly 2 km (1.2 miles) long, the north-facing Onetangi Beach is the longest on Waiheke Island. The local have taken full advantage of this fact and the beach has been home to the Onetangi Beach Horse Races for many years.

    Other activities the beach is well known for include the annual sandcastle-building contests; the soft sand, which is free from shells, is particularly suitable for the creation of some… read more »

  • 18. Karekare Beach // North Island

    Karekare Beach
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    The secluded black sands of Karekare Beach lie surrounded by dramatic cliffs just 35 kilometres from the centre of Auckland on North Island. Immortalised in rock group Crowded House's Together Alone album which was largely recorded nearby, and the Oscar-winning film The Piano in the same year, Karekare beach has been named one of the top 25 beaches in the world.

    Part of Karekare Regional Park, surfers regularly frequent the… read more »

  • 19. Matai Bay // North Island

    Matai Bay
    itravelNZ® (Natalia Volna)
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Matai Bay is a remote northern beach well worth the journey, boasting soft white sand and stunning clear waters. Lying on a large circular inlet of the Pacific on New Zealand's east coast, it offers some protection from the might of the ocean, making swimming, diving, fishing and boating all popular pastime activities for those who visit.

    Those who step beyond the native Pohutukawa trees that line the beach will find… read more »

  • 20. Tairua Beach // Coromandel Peninsula

    Tairua Beach
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Surfing
    • Kitesurfing

    Located on State Highway 25a on the opposite side of the bay from Pauanui, Tairua Beach is one of the most centrally-located beaches found on the North Island's epic Coromandel Peninsula, making it a great base for exploring the region as well as a beach destination of some standing in its own right.

    Tairua Beach sits at the base of the twin peaked Mount Paku, in an area of picturesque grandeur… read more »

  • 21. Onetahuti // Abel Tasman

    Andrea Schaffer

    Onetahuti Beach is a long, thin ribbon of white sand separating protected crystalline waters from thick woodland. Facing the stunning Tonga Island, Onetahuti Beach lies within its marine reserve, ensuring a plethora of life beneath the waves.

    There's no vehicular access to the beach, giving it an even more tranquil setting, but meaning visitors intent on reaching Onetahuti must do so either on foot or via boat. At the northern end… read more »

  • 22. Anchor Bay // North Island

    Anchor Bay
    Nick Allen
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    North facing Anchor Bay lies approximately 1.5 hours north of Auckland in Tawharanui Regional Park. Found on a peninsula of land of the same name, it sits between Kawau Bay to the south and Omaha Beach to the north.

    One of Auckland's east coast beaches, grassy dunes shaded by pohutukawa trees slip down onto a wide expanse of pale sand which can be reached by a short set of well-tended… read more »

  • 23. New Chum Beach // Coromandel Peninsula

    New Chum Beach
    © Pseudopanax / CC BY

    The 1 km long pristine white-sand of New Chum beach sits in a secluded spot on the northeastern coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. Although not far from the nearest settlement this beach retains a very unspoilt feel.

    At the northern end of the beach is the 171 m tall wooded hill of Pukenui whilst the southern end is overlooked by the rocky Motuto Point which separates the beach from Whangapoua.

    read more »
  • 24. Oneroa Beach // North Island

    Oneroa Beach
    © J.E. Mcgowan / CC BY

    This long crescent of sand is considered the main beach on Waiheke Island. Set in a wide sheltered bay on the northern side of the islands biggest village, Oneroa, it has plenty of facilities such as a free BBQ area, public toilets and a playground for children.

    read more »
  • 25. Hahei Beach // Coromandel Peninsula

    Hahei Beach
    © Luke Harries / CC BY

    Set on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula, Hahei is often overlooked in favour of its better known neighbour, Cathedral Cove. Famed for its limestone rock arch, Cathedral Cove has been used a location in a number of films including the Chronicles of Narnia movies.

    But Hahei beach itself is well worth a visit. It has the same limestone cliffs and pale, golden sand fringed with pohutukawa trees; it is lapped… read more »

  • 26. Little Oneroa Beach // North Island

    Little Oneroa Beach
    © CC BY

    Little Oneroa beach is situated on Waiheke Island, around an hour's travel from Auckland. It forms the southern end of the sweeping white sands of Oneroa Bay, which is also the location of the island's main village.

    The beach here is separated from the villages main beach (Big Oneroa) by a small finger of rock which can easily be climbed over, or walked around at low tide. Although by no… read more »

  • 27. Tautuku Beach // South Island

    Tautuku Beach
    © Pseudopanax
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Set on the Catlins coast in the southeastern corner of the South Island is Tautuku Beach. This rugged, remote area is a haven for wildlife known for its fur seals, sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins. If you are lucky you may even spot whales, which is no surprise as Tautuku was once home to a whaling station.

    Tautuku Bay itself is a generous sweep of golden sand and widely regarded… read more »

  • 28. Whareroa Beach // North Island

    Whareroa Beach
    © Pseudopanax

    Whareroa Beach is located within the Queen Elizabeth Park on the North Island's Kapiti Coast. Situated between Paekakariki and Raumati South the beach looks out over Kapiti Island, a nature reserve 5km off the coast.

    There are a number of wide, open lawned areas near Whareroa Beach which provide visitors with plenty of space for picnics and recreational activities. Public toilets are also provided at the car parks at the… read more »

  • 29. Waimarama Beach // North Island

    Waimarama Beach
    Brian Taylor
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Part of Hawke's Bay on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, the sands of Waimarama Beach are backed by grassy dunes and attractive beach dwellings. One over from Ocean Beach, Waimarama is best known as a surfing destination thanks to left and right hand beach and reef breaks. The best of the waves are generally to be had around mid-tide when they are returning, with the southern hemisphere… read more »

  • 30. Kaiteriteri Beach // Abel Tasman

    Kaiteriteri Beach
    Jonathan Reid
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    One of South Island's best beaches, Kaiteriteri Beach stuns even hardened travellers with its combination of orange-yellow sand, curving crescent shape, and surrounding tree-clad promontories.

    Just 15 minutes from Motueka, its usually extremely calm waters act as a gateway to Abel Tasman National Park, with boats, water taxis and even sea kayaking outfits all providing the means for visitors to explore this national treasure for themselves.

    As a result, Kaiteriteri has accommodation… read more »