Great Beaches Of New Zealand


new zealand beaches

There are many things to love about New Zealand, but one of the most endearing is its stunning coastline. From rugged cliffs to sandy beaches, the country has something for everyone when it comes to coastal scenery. Here are some of the best beaches in New Zealand, listed from north to south.

90 Mile Beach

A boat is docked next to a body of water

One of the most iconic beaches in New Zealand, 90 Mile Beach is located on the country’s North Island. The beach gets its name from its length – a whopping 90 miles (145 kilometers)! As it’s so long, there are plenty of different activities to enjoy here, including swimming, surfing, fishing, and sandboarding. Just be sure to keep an eye out for the tides as they can change quickly.

Cathedral Cove

A close up of a rock next to a body of water

If you’re looking for a truly breathtaking beach experience, look no further than Cathedral Cove. Located on the Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island, this cove can only be accessed by boat or by foot (via a 45-minute walk). Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by white sandy beaches, towering cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. It’s no wonder this beach was used as a filming location for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Tauranga Bay

Another stunning North Island beach is Tauranga Bay, located just outside of the city of Gisborne. This secluded spot is popular for its dramatic cliffs, turquoise waters, and surfing conditions. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a whale or two breaching in the distance.

Muriwai Beach

Just a short drive from Auckland city lies Muriwai Beach – a wild and rugged coastline that’s perfect for nature lovers. The highlight of the beach is its huge gannet colony, which is home to around 1300 pairs of birds. You can watch them nesting and raising their young from April to August.

Papamoa Beach

If you’re after a laid-back beach day, head to Papamoa Beach on the Bay of Plenty. This long stretch of golden sand is popular for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. It’s also a great spot for fishing, with many anglers heading here in search of snapper.

Piha Beach

Piha Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Auckland’s West Coast, and it’s easy to see why. With its black sand, rolling waves, and dramatic cliffs, the beach has a wild and rugged beauty. It’s also a great spot for surfing, with conditions that are suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers.

Te Paki Stream

If you’re looking for an otherworldly beach experience, head to Te Paki Stream on New Zealand’s North Island. Here, you’ll find giant dunes that you can toboggan down or hike to the top of for stunning views. When you’re done exploring the dunes, cool off with a dip in the stream itself – it’s fed by mountain springs, so the water is refreshingly icy.

Farewell Spit

Farewell Spit is located at the very top of the South Island and is one of the most unique beaches in New Zealand. The beach is a long, narrow sandbar that extends for over 20 kilometers. It’s a popular spot for birdwatching, as it’s home to many rare and endangered species. It’s also worth noting that the tides here can be extremely strong, so be sure to check the conditions before swimming.

Kaiteriteri Beach

If you’re visiting the Abel Tasman National Park, make sure to stop by Kaiteriteri Beach. This golden sand beach is one of the most popular in the park and is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and kayaking. There are also several walks that you can take from the beach, including a short hike to Split Apple Rock – a large boulder that’s split down the middle.

Te Paki Stream

If you’re looking for an otherworldly beach experience, head to Te Paki Stream on New Zealand’s North Island. Here, you’ll find giant dunes that you can toboggan down or hike to the top of for stunning views. When you’re done exploring the dunes, cool off with a dip in the stream itself, it’s fed by mountain springs, so the water is refreshingly icy.

Farewell Spit

Farewell Spit is located at the very top of the South Island and is one of the most unique beaches in New Zealand. The beach is a long, narrow sandbar that extends for over 20 kilometers. It’s a popular spot for birdwatching, as it’s home to many rare and endangered species. It’s also worth noting that the tides here can be extremely strong, so be sure to check the conditions before swimming.

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