Best beaches in South Island

  • Allans Beach, New Zealand Tomas Sobek / CC BY

    Allans Beach

    Allans Beach is set among the lush rolling hills of the on the Otago Peninsula, on New Zealand's South Island. It consists of a kilometre long spit of fine white sand which separates the shallow waters of Hoopers Inlet from the Pacific Ocean.

    The beach here is something of a haven for wildlife; at the northern end there is a small sea lion... read more »

  • Moeraki beach boulders, New Zealand

    Koekohe Beach

    The long sandy beach at Koekohe is famous for one thing - the Moeraki Boulders. These particularly large spherical boulders are technically known as septarian concretions. Some of the rocks measure nearly 3 metres across and most have a cracks in their surfaces making them appear like some sort of giant dinosaur eggs. The fact that they are hollow... read more »

  • Beach at Abel Tasman National Park Martin Maun

    Abel Tasman National Park

    Set in the far north of the South Island, Abel Tasman is the smallest national park in New Zealand. But small is beautiful and this certainly holds true for this beach-lover's paradise. Abel Tasman is not a single beach but a number of beautiful bays, all of which feature pristine, golden sand and forest backdrops. Now I could have probably picked... read more »

  • Sandfly Beach - New Zealand Andrea Schaffer / CC BY

    Sandfly Beach

    Sandfly Bay lies on the Otago Peninsula on New Zealand's South Island, not far from the city of Dunedin. This beautiful, wild beach is backed by high dunes.

    At the northern end of the beach is a bird watching hide constructed to watch the yellow-eyed penguins that are found in this area. The beach is also a good spot to see sea lions and fur... read more »

  • Torrent Bay / Rākauroa, New Zealand

    Torrent Bay

    Set within the Abel Tasman National Park, Rākauroa / Torrent Bay consists of not one, but two sandy beaches. The main beach is a curving spit of sand which goes some way to separating a large lagoon from the sea. However, there is also a beach on the lagoon side of Torrent Bay.

    Torrent Bay is a lovely spot, backed by the lush, forested... read more »

  • Wharariki beach Pseudopanax

    Wharariki Beach

  • Tautuku beach Pseudopanax

    Tautuku Beach

    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... read more »

  • Ward Beach Steve Attwood / CC BY

    Ward Beach

  • Scotts Beach Pseudopanax

    Scotts Beach

    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... read more »

  • Dead Man Beach - New Zealand Kristina D.C. Hoeppner / CC BY

    Dead Man Beach