Top 25+ South Island Beaches

  • Torrent Bay // Abel Tasman

    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 landscape… read more »

  • Koekohe Beach

    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

    The traditional M?ori explanation for… read more »

  • Allans Beach

    Allans Beach
    © Tomas Sobek / CC BY

    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 colony, whilst… read more »

  • 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… read more »

  • Sandfly Beach

    Sandfly Beach
    © Andrea Schaffer / CC BY

    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 »

  • Awaroa Inlet // Abel Tasman

    Awaroa Inlet
    John M

    Located within the protected confines of the South Island's Abel Tasman National Park, Awaroa Beach curves magnificently around the mesmerising shallows of an atoll-like estuary. Meandering its way for 800 metres in length, it has been nicknamed "The People's Beach" since it was purchased by New Zealanders from a private owner after a crowdfunding campaign that received the support of some 40,000 people.

    A journey here… read more »

  • 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… read more »

  • Tautuku Beach

    Tautuku Beach
    © Pseudopanax

    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… read more »

  • 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… read more »

  • Bathing Beach // Stewart Island

    Bathing Beach
    © Kristina D.C. Hoeppner / CC BY
    read more »
  • Boulder Beach

    Boulder Beach
    © Stug.stug / CC BY
    read more »
  • Bushy Beach

    Bushy Beach
    © Enrique Fernández / CC BY
    read more »
  • Butterfield Beach // Stewart Island

    Butterfield Beach
    © Kristina D.C. Hoeppner / CC BY
    read more »
  • Dead Man Beach // Stewart Island

    Dead Man Beach
    © Kristina D.C. Hoeppner / CC BY
    read more »
  • Gillespie Beach

    Gillespie Beach
    © Chalky Lives / CC BY
    read more »