Top New Zealand Beaches

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The Best Kiwi Beaches...

  • 31. Kaiteriteri Beach // Abel Tasman

    Kaiteriteri Beach
    Jonathan Reid

    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 »

  • 32. Buffalo Beach // Coromandel Peninsula

    Buffalo Beach

    Buffalo Beach can be found forming the coastline to the town of Whitianga in Mercury Bay. This V-shaped inlet lies on the eastern side of the famed Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand's North Island.

    Intimately connected with the first European explorations of the country, it was here that Captain Cook took his measurements of the transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the sun in 1769, leading to… read more »

  • 33. Cheltenham Beach // North Island

    Cheltenham Beach
    © Michal Klajban / CC BY

    Cheltenham Beach is the most popular in the Devonport suburb of Auckland. It is a good-sized sandy beach bordered by the North Head Historic Reserve to the south. Just offshore is the striking form of Rangitoto Island, a 260 m (850 ft) high volcanic cone which only formed around 600 years ago.

    It is well worth a visit to the North Head Historic Reserve, if only for the view back… read more »

  • 34. Devonport Beach // North Island

    Devonport Beach

    Devonport beach sits on the southern tip of Auckland's North Shore with uninterrupted views across the Bay to the city. It is backed by a small park known as Windsor Reserve. Here you will find a children's play area and plenty of open lawn ideal for picnicking.

    Devonport Beach is conveniently located next to the Devonport ferry terminal and Victoria Road making it one of the easiest beaches around to… read more »

  • 35. Karioitahi Beach // North Island

    Karioitahi Beach
    Andrew Lynch

    A black sand beach within the Auckland region, Karioitahi Beach maintains much of its wild nature whilst being something of an adventure playground. On the more sedate side, Karioitahi Beach is known as a good sea fishing spot. In addition, it has become a favourite coastal destination for surfing, horse riding and off-road driving among other activities. A permit is required from the local authorities to drive on Karioitahi Beach… read more »

  • 36. Kuaotunu Beach // Coromandel Peninsula

    Kuaotunu Beach
    Simon Morris

    Kuaotunu is a wide sandy beach backed by grassy dunes and mottled woodland 18 kilometres north of Whitianga on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. One of the most northerly beaches on the Coromandel, it has a shallow entrance into turquoise waters, while offering a naturalistic experience. The endangered dotterel nests just off the beach, and dolphins are often observed in the shallows.

    The high number of permanent residents living… read more »

  • 37. Maraetai Beach // North Island

    Maraetai Beach
    Simon Morris

    Maraetai Beach is located on the Pohutukawa Coast within the Auckland Region. Facing north towards Waiheke Island, it's a popular family beach destination that becomes particularly crowded with holidaymakers from Auckland in the summer months.

    It is popular for a number of reasons. For one thing, its clean sands have a shallow entry into waters that are suitable for the whole family to swim in. But there are also grassy… read more »

  • 38. Muriwai Beach // North Island

    Muriwai Beach
    © JShook / CC BY

    Muriwai Beach is located on the rugged and relatively undeveloped west coast of the region around Auckland. Atmospherically if not physically far from the sights and sounds of New Zealand's biggest city 42 kilometres north west, it offers visitors a wide, flat expanse of volcanic black sand. Part of a chain of continuous beaches running for around 50 kilometres, its name is said to mean ‘water's end'.

    Prevailing offshore breezes attract… read more »

  • 39. Murrays Bay // North Island

    Murrays Bay
    © Holgi

    Murrays Bay is a suburb of New Zealand's largest city, Auckland. The beach at Murrays Bay is home to a wharf (see photos) that is a popular spot for fishing and also jumping from during the Spring/Summer months.

    From Murrays Bay it is easy to walk around to neighbouring Rothesay Bay and Mairangi Bay via a walkway.

    The beach also has its own sailing club that sails from the… read more »

  • 40. Opoutere Beach // Coromandel Peninsula

    Opoutere Beach
    © Glenn Howell / CC BY

    Situated on the eastern coast of the Coromandel Peninsula facing out into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, Opoutere comes from the Maori for "place of floating posts" and boasts five kilometres of white sand.

    At its southern end visitors will discover the picturesque harbour of Wharekawa, protected by a curving natural sand spit. It forms a lagoon-like appearance and is an important breeding site for many native and endangered New… read more »

  • 41. Scotts Beach // South Island

    Scotts Beach
    © Pseudopanax

    Scotts beach is a wonderful, wild beach on the West coast of the South Island. The nearest town is Karamea and the beach is one of the highlights of the Heaphy Track, a popular hiking trail along this rugged stretch of coast.

    The beach here is a beautiful sandy cove backed by steep, tall cliffs covered in dense subtropical rainforest of nikau palms, karaka and rata. Given its relatively remote… read more »

  • 42. Totaranui Beach // Abel Tasman

    Totaranui Beach
    © Krzysztof Golik / CC BY

    Located at the northern end of Abel Tasman National Park, Totaranui Beach seems to appear out of nowhere, its recess of rich golden sand set among sea (or more correctly, ocean) blues and dense native foliage. Indeed, the name Totaranui translates as "many trees".

    An ideal destination for hiking, kayaking, fishing, and swimming, this one kilometre stretch of paradise boasts a series of footpaths that wind their way through the best… read more »

  • 43. Tunnel Beach // South Island

    Tunnel Beach
    Jakub Šimáček

    Less than eight kilometres southwest of the centre of Dunedin, close to St Clair on New Zealand's South Island, Tunnel Beach is hidden from view by rugged sandstone cliffs rising 150 metres above the waves. Shaped by the might of the Pacific Ocean over millennia, the beach is studded with naturally-formed rock arches, caves, and a hand-hewn sloping tunnel that gives the beach both its name and its access… read more »

  • 44. Whangapoua Beach // North Island

    Whangapoua Beach

    Whangapoua Beach is located in the northeast of Great Barrier Island off Auckland.

    read more »
  • 45. Bark Bay // Abel Tasman

    Bark Bay
    Akos Kokai

    Sitting on the border of Tonga Beach Marine Reserve within Abel Tasman National Park, Bark Bay (also called Wairima) is known for the reliability of its weather, offering sunshine pretty much all year round.

    While that may be enough to lure sunseekers to this first-rate stretch of sand, others will be tempted by the large lagoon that offers the opportunity for safe swimming, or the chance to catch a glimpse… read more »