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New Zealand’s 8 Best Beaches


by Luella Vang



Welcome to the land of pristine beaches and breathtaking coastlines: New Zealand. With its stunning landscapes and diverse natural beauty, this picturesque country offers some of the world’s most remarkable beaches. From the North Island to the South Island, every corner of New Zealand is adorned with spectacular stretches of sand and crystal-clear waters.


Whether you’re a sun-worshipper, a water sports enthusiast, or simply seeking tranquility, New Zealand has a beach to suit every taste. The country’s unique geography and favorable climate create the perfect conditions for a variety of beach experiences. From long sandy stretches to secluded coves and rugged coastlines, the choices are endless.


As an SEO expert with deep New Zealand knowledge, I’m excited to present to you a comprehensive list of the best beaches in this magnificent country. Get ready to discover hidden gems, iconic landmarks, and the true essence of New Zealand’s coastal charm.


Immerse yourself in the beauty of Ninety Mile Beach. Stretching along the western coast of the Northland region, this stunning beach offers an expansive golden shoreline that seems to go on forever. Explore the impressive sand dunes, try your hand at surfing or sandboarding, or simply stroll along the beach taking in the breathtaking views.


Heading to the Coromandel Peninsula, Cathedral Cove is a must-visit destination. This idyllic beach is famous for its naturally formed archway, stunning rock formations, and crystal-clear waters. Take a kayak tour or hike through the native bush to witness the beauty of this iconic spot.


If you’re searching for a beach with a touch of ruggedness, Piha Beach is the perfect choice. Located on the west coast of Auckland, this black sand beach is framed by dramatic cliffs and offers excellent surf conditions. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the raw beauty of Mother Nature.


For a truly unique experience, head to Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. Dig your own hot pool in the sand and soak in the thermal waters. This natural phenomenon occurs during low tide and creates a memorable and relaxing experience.


The Abel Tasman National Park in the South Island is home to beautiful golden beaches nestled among lush forests. Take a scenic hike along the coastline, kayak in the calm waters, or simply unwind on one of the secluded beaches. This coastal paradise is a true gem of New Zealand.


In the Bay of Plenty region, Mount Maunganui Main Beach offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. Known for its stunning views of Mount Maunganui, this popular beach attracts surfers, swimmers, and beachgoers alike. Enjoy the bustling beach town vibe and soak up the sun.


Escape the crowds and discover the untouched beauty of Karekare Beach, located just west of Auckland. With its rugged cliffs, black sand, and stunning sunsets, this beach offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.


Lastly, explore the wild beauty of Wharariki Beach in the northwestern tip of the South Island. With its dramatic rock formations, rolling dunes, and resident seal colony, this beach is a photographer’s dream. Take a memorable walk along the windswept coastline and experience nature at its finest.


These are just a few of the incredible beaches that New Zealand has to offer. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a chance to reconnect with nature, the beaches of New Zealand will leave you in awe. So, pack your swimsuit, grab your towel, and get ready for an unforgettable beach experience in the land of the long white cloud.


Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach, located on the western coast of the Northland region, is a true treasure of New Zealand. Despite its name, this stunning beach actually stretches for approximately 55 miles (88 kilometers), offering visitors an expansive golden shoreline to explore.


What makes Ninety Mile Beach truly unique is its vastness and natural beauty. As you step onto the sandy shore, you’ll be greeted with an endless expanse of golden sand that seems to stretch out forever. The beach is framed by the striking Aupouri Forest, adding to its overall charm and sense of tranquility.


One of the highlights of Ninety Mile Beach is its impressive sand dunes, which provide endless opportunities for adventure. Take part in sandboarding, an exhilarating activity that involves sliding down the dunes on a specially designed board. It’s an adrenaline-pumping experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.


For those looking to test their surfing skills, Ninety Mile Beach offers excellent conditions. The rolling waves attract surfers from all around the world, eager to ride the swells and catch the perfect wave. Even if you’re not a surfer, watching the surfers in action is a sight to behold.


Aside from its stunning natural beauty, Ninety Mile Beach also holds cultural significance. It is part of the Te Oneroa-a-Tōhē, a sacred site for the Māori people. The beach is steeped in history and legends, with ancient stories woven into its sands.


While the beach itself is the main attraction, the surrounding area also offers plenty to explore. Take a guided tour to learn about the unique flora and fauna found in the Aupouri Forest and the diverse ecosystem that thrives in this region. Keep an eye out for native bird species and learn about the traditional uses of plants by the Māori people.


Ninety Mile Beach is also home to a variety of marine life. During certain times of the year, you might spot dolphins frolicking in the waves or even catch a glimpse of whales passing by on their migration routes. It’s a reminder of the rich biodiversity that exists in New Zealand’s coastal waters.


Whether you choose to take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, participate in thrilling activities like sandboarding, or simply relax and soak up the sun, Ninety Mile Beach offers something for everyone. It’s a place where you can disconnect from the busy world and embrace the beauty and serenity of nature.


So, if you find yourself in the Northland region of New Zealand, make sure to visit Ninety Mile Beach. With its awe-inspiring beauty and opportunities for adventure, this beach is a true gem that showcases the best of New Zealand’s coastal wonders.


Cathedral Cove

Located on the picturesque Coromandel Peninsula, Cathedral Cove is a beach that exudes natural splendor and captivates visitors with its unique rock formations and crystal-clear turquoise waters. This iconic New Zealand beach is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking beauty and tranquility.


The highlight of Cathedral Cove is its naturally formed rock archway, which serves as a gateway to the beach and gives the place its name. As you approach the cove, you’ll be greeted by the impressive sight of the archway, carved by centuries of wind and water erosion. It’s a mesmerizing sight that draws visitors from around the world.


To reach Cathedral Cove, visitors can take a scenic hike through lush native bush. The trail winds its way through stunning coastal terrain and offers breathtaking views along the way. The journey itself is part of the experience, as you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of New Zealand’s natural landscape.


Once you reach the beach, you’ll be enthralled by the pristine white sand and the crystal-clear waters that beckon you for a swim. The peaceful atmosphere and the gentle sound of the waves crashing against the shore create a sense of serenity and relaxation.


Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will be thrilled to explore the underwater world of Cathedral Cove. The calm waters provide excellent visibility, allowing you to discover vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. Keep an eye out for colorful fish, rays, and even the occasional octopus.


In addition to its stunning natural beauty, Cathedral Cove holds cultural significance for the local Māori people. The area is known as Te Whanganui-A-Hei, and it is steeped in rich history and legends. Take the time to learn about the Māori heritage and the stories that surround this sacred place.


For those seeking adventure, kayaking is a popular activity at Cathedral Cove. Paddle along the coastline, explore hidden coves, and venture into sea caves, all while being surrounded by the captivating beauty of nature. It’s an unforgettable way to experience the magic of this remarkable beach.


As you explore the area, take the opportunity to admire the stunning rock formations that line the coastline. From towering cliffs to unique rock stacks, the geology of Cathedral Cove adds to its overall grandeur. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery.


Visiting Cathedral Cove is like stepping into a postcard-perfect paradise. The combination of its natural beauty, cultural significance, and opportunities for adventure make it a truly special place. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, a chance to connect with nature, or simply want to add some awe-inspiring photos to your Instagram feed, Cathedral Cove will leave you in awe of New Zealand’s coastal wonders.


Piha Beach

If you’re looking for a beach with a touch of ruggedness and natural beauty, Piha Beach on the west coast of Auckland is the perfect choice. Known for its iconic black sand and dramatic cliffs, Piha Beach offers a unique and unforgettable beach experience.


As you step onto Piha Beach, you’ll immediately be struck by the contrast of the dark volcanic sand against the crashing waves. This black sand is not only visually striking but also provides a unique texture under your feet as you stroll along the shoreline. It’s a memorable experience that sets Piha Beach apart from other beaches in New Zealand.


One of the defining features of Piha Beach is Lion Rock, a prominent rock formation that divides the beach into two sections. Climb to the top of Lion Rock for panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and the wild Tasman Sea. It’s a photographer’s dream and a fantastic vantage point to appreciate the rugged beauty of the area.


Aside from its stunning natural scenery, Piha Beach is also a popular destination for surfers. The beach is known for its powerful waves and consistent surf breaks, making it a haven for experienced surfers who are looking for a challenge. If you’re new to surfing, there are surf schools available that offer lessons for all skill levels.


For those who prefer a more relaxed beach experience, Piha Beach also offers the opportunity to simply unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature. Spread out your towel on the sandy shore, listen to the sound of the waves crashing, and soak up the sun. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and embrace the calming rhythms of the sea.


While Piha Beach is a beautiful destination, it’s important to be aware of its strong currents and potential hazards. Make sure to swim between the flags and follow the instructions of the surf lifesavers on duty. Taking necessary precautions will ensure a safe and enjoyable beach visit.


Surrounding Piha Beach is the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, a vast and lush forest with numerous hiking trails. Take a break from the sand and embark on a hike to explore the natural wonders of the area. Discover hidden waterfalls, native birdlife, and breathtaking viewpoints that overlook the coastline. The combination of beach and forest creates a diverse and captivating outdoor experience.


Whether you’re a surfer seeking the thrill of challenging waves, a nature enthusiast looking to explore the surrounding forest, or someone who simply wants to relax on a unique black sand beach, Piha Beach has something for everyone. It’s a place where you can connect with the raw beauty of nature and experience the untamed allure of New Zealand’s west coast.


Hot Water Beach

If you’re looking for a truly unique beach experience, look no further than Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. This natural wonder allows you to dig your own hot pool in the sand and indulge in a relaxing thermal bath.


The magic of Hot Water Beach lies beneath its surface. Hot mineral water surfaces through the sand, forming hot pools that can reach temperatures as high as 64°C (147°F). Visitors can rent a shovel and, during low tide, dig their own hot pool right at the water’s edge. The sensation of warm water mixing with the cool seawater creates a perfect balance for a soothing soaking experience.


It’s important to note that the hot water is only accessible during a specific time frame, approximately two hours before and two hours after low tide. Checking the tide times is crucial to plan your visit and make the most of this unique phenomenon.


Hot Water Beach is not only a place for relaxation but also offers stunning surroundings. The beach itself is beautiful, with golden sand and clear blue waters. Take a refreshing swim in the ocean or simply relax on the beach while enjoying the picturesque views.


For those looking for a bit of adventure, bring along your surfboard and catch a few waves. Hot Water Beach is known for its surf breaks, and riding the waves is a popular activity among visitors. Just be cautious of the currents and check with the local surf safety guidelines.


When you’re ready for a break from the hot pools and the surf, take a leisurely stroll along the beach. Explore the rock formations and admire the stunning coastal scenery that surrounds Hot Water Beach. It’s a serene and picturesque setting that will leave you in awe.


If you’re not keen on digging your own hot pool, don’t worry; there are nearby thermal spas that offer a more controlled and luxurious bathing experience. Treat yourself to a visit to one of these spas and immerse yourself in the soothing hot mineral water in a comfortable and relaxing setting.


Hot Water Beach is not just about the beach itself; the surrounding area also offers opportunities for exploration. Take a short drive to Cathedral Cove, another stunning beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, and explore its natural beauty. You can also venture into the nearby Pinnacles hiking trail, which takes you through native forests and offers panoramic views of the peninsula.


Hot Water Beach is a destination unlike any other – where you can combine relaxation, adventure, and natural wonder. So grab your shovel, bring your swimsuit, and get ready for a one-of-a-kind beach experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and in awe of New Zealand’s geothermal treasures.


Abel Tasman National Park

Nestled along the northern coast of the South Island, Abel Tasman National Park is a coastal paradise known for its stunning golden beaches, clear turquoise waters, and lush native forests. It offers a beach experience like no other, showcasing the pristine beauty of New Zealand’s natural landscape.


The beaches of Abel Tasman National Park are picturesque and enchanting. With their golden sands and calm, inviting waters, they are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. One of the most popular beaches in the park is Anchorage Beach, with its tranquil bay and idyllic setting. Relax on the soft sand, soak up the sun, and let the gentle waves lull you into a state of pure bliss.


What sets Abel Tasman National Park apart is the opportunity to explore the coastline through various water activities. Kayaking is a popular way to immerse yourself in the beauty of the park, as you can paddle alongside the rugged cliffs and discover hidden coves and wildlife-rich areas. Snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding are also great options for getting up close and personal with the park’s diverse marine life.


One of the unique aspects of Abel Tasman National Park is the stunning coastal track that stretches for 60 kilometers (37 miles) along its shores. The Great Walk is a multi-day hiking trail that offers breathtaking views of the coastline, rainforests, and secluded beaches. It’s a chance to explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, encounter native plants and wildlife, and witness the beauty of the region at your own pace.


Within the national park, you’ll also find the popular beach destination of Torrent Bay. This bay is not only home to a stunning beach but also boasts a vibrant settlement of holiday homes and a campground. Spend a day at the beach, take a leisurely walk around the bay, or simply relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this coastal haven.


Abel Tasman National Park is more than just beaches, as it offers a rich tapestry of native biodiversity. Explore the dense forests and encounter unique wildlife, including fur seals, dolphins, and a multitude of bird species. You might even be lucky enough to spot the rare little blue penguin, which is known to frequent the waters of the park.


For those who want to explore beyond the coastline, the park offers numerous inland tracks that wind through the native bush. These trails lead to stunning viewpoints that overlook the scenic landscape, providing a different perspective of Abel Tasman National Park’s beauty.


A visit to Abel Tasman National Park is an opportunity to connect with nature, embrace adventure, and indulge in the tranquility of this coastal paradise. Whether you choose to explore its beaches by kayak, hike along the coastal track, or simply relax on the soft sand, you will be mesmerized by the captivating beauty that greets you at every turn. Experience a slice of paradise in Abel Tasman National Park, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Mount Maunganui Main Beach

Located in the Bay of Plenty region on the North Island, Mount Maunganui Main Beach offers a vibrant and energetic beach experience. With its stunning views of Mount Maunganui and a lively beach town atmosphere, this beach is a favorite destination for both locals and visitors alike.


As you arrive at Mount Maunganui Main Beach, your attention will immediately be drawn to the magnificent sight of the iconic Mount Maunganui. This dormant volcanic cone provides a stunning backdrop to the beach and offers panoramic views of the surrounding coastline. A hike to the summit of the Mount is a must-do activity, rewarding you with breathtaking vistas and a sense of achievement.


Mount Maunganui Main Beach itself features a long stretch of white sand and clear turquoise waters. The beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles. With its gentle waves and lifeguard patrols, it’s a safe and family-friendly environment for everyone to enjoy.


The beach is also a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. Surfing is a favorite activity here, with consistent breaks that attract surfers of all skill levels. If you’re new to surfing, there are surf schools available that can give you a lesson and help you catch your first wave. Stand-up paddleboarding and kiteboarding are also prevalent in the area, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the beach.


One of the unique features of Mount Maunganui Main Beach is the natural hot saltwater pools located next to the beach. These pools, known as “The Mount Hot Pools,” are filled with geothermal water and offer a relaxing and therapeutic experience. Soak in the warm waters while enjoying the stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding area.


When you need a break from the sun and the sand, wander into the vibrant beach town of Mount Maunganui. Here, you’ll find an array of stylish cafes, trendy boutiques, and bustling restaurants. Indulge in delicious local cuisine, sip on a refreshing drink, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the beachside promenade. The town’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere adds to the overall charm of the beach experience.


For those seeking a bit of adventure, venture to the base of the Mount to explore the Mauao Base Track. This scenic walking track takes you around the base of the volcanic cone, offering stunning views of the beach, the harbor, and the surrounding landscape. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in nature and experience the beauty of Mount Maunganui from a different perspective.


Mount Maunganui Main Beach is not just a beach; it’s a destination that offers a vibrant and diverse experience. Whether you’re looking to relax on the soft sand, catch a wave, explore the town’s vibrant atmosphere, or embark on an adventure, Mount Maunganui Main Beach has it all. Immerse yourself in the lively beach culture, soak up the sun, and create lasting memories in this stunning coastal paradise.


Karekare Beach

Escape the crowds and discover the untouched beauty of Karekare Beach, a hidden gem located just west of Auckland. With its rugged cliffs, black sand, and stunning sunsets, this beach offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.


As you approach Karekare Beach, you’ll immediately be captivated by its untamed beauty. The beach is known for its dramatic scenery, with impressive cliffs framing the black sand shoreline. The contrast between the dark sand and the crashing waves creates a striking and wild backdrop.


Karekare Beach is part of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, a lush forested area that adds to the natural charm of the beach. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach, explore the surrounding coastline, and soak up the serenity of this secluded paradise.


The beach is also popular among surfers, as it offers excellent surf conditions. The powerful waves attract experienced surfers who are looking for a challenge. Even if you’re not a surfer, watching the surfers in action as they ride the waves is a thrilling sight.


One of the unique features of Karekare Beach is the presence of the Karekare Falls. A short hike from the beach leads you to a picturesque waterfall nestled in the native bush. It’s a refreshing sight and offers the perfect spot for a picnic or a swim in the cool freshwater pools.


Karekare Beach has a rich history and cultural significance. It was featured in the movie “The Piano,” adding to its fame and allure. The area is also known for its Māori heritage, and the beach holds spiritual significance for the local Māori people. Take the time to appreciate the cultural heritage and respect the beach as a sacred place.


With its remote location and lack of commercial development, Karekare Beach allows you to escape into a serene and untouched environment. It’s an ideal spot to disconnect from the digital world, breathe in the fresh sea air, and reconnect with nature.


As the day comes to a close, make sure to stay for the incredible sunsets that Karekare Beach is known for. The combination of the setting sun, the rugged cliffs, and the black sand creates a dramatic and awe-inspiring scene. It’s a moment of tranquility and natural beauty that you won’t want to miss.


So, if you’re seeking a slice of untouched paradise and a chance to experience the raw beauty of New Zealand’s coastline, make sure to visit Karekare Beach. Embrace the peacefulness, immerse yourself in the dramatic scenery, and create lasting memories in this hidden gem of a beach.


Wharariki Beach

Prepare to be awestruck by the wild and breathtaking beauty of Wharariki Beach, located in the northwestern tip of the South Island. This hidden gem offers a truly unforgettable beach experience, with its dramatic rock formations, rolling dunes, and resident seal colony.


As you approach Wharariki Beach, you’ll be greeted by the sight of massive rock formations rising from the golden sand. These imposing rock formations create a unique and captivating backdrop for the beach. Take a walk along the shore and marvel at the intricate patterns and textures carved by the forces of nature over thousands of years.


One of the highlights of Wharariki Beach is the resident seal colony that inhabits the area. Witnessing these playful and inquisitive creatures in their natural habitat is a truly remarkable experience. Keep a safe distance and observe them as they sunbathe, swim, and interact with one another.


Wharariki Beach is not just about its dramatic rock formations and seal colony; it also boasts immense rolling sand dunes. Climb to the top of these dunes, and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the beach and the surrounding coastline. It’s a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.


The beach itself offers ample space to explore and wander. Walk along the shoreline, feel the sand between your toes, and let the wind blow through your hair. Take in the vastness and tranquility of the beach, immersing yourself in the raw beauty of this remote coastal paradise.


Wharariki Beach is also well-known for its stunning sunsets. As the golden hour approaches, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors, setting the stage for a truly magical experience. Find a comfortable spot on the beach, sit back, and watch as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a warm glow across the landscape.


While Wharariki Beach may be off the beaten path, it’s definitely worth the journey. The remote location and untouched beauty of this beach offer a chance to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature. As you explore the rugged coastline and witness the wonders that Wharariki Beach has to offer, you’ll be left with memories that will last a lifetime.


Keep in mind that Wharariki Beach is a natural environment, so it’s important to respect the flora and fauna that call this place home. Stay on designated paths, follow any signage or guidelines, and be mindful of the dunes and wildlife.


If you’re seeking a beach experience that is as unique as it is awe-inspiring, make sure to visit Wharariki Beach. It’s a hidden gem of New Zealand’s coastline that showcases the power and beauty of nature in its purest form. So, pack your camera, put on your hiking shoes, and embark on an adventure to Wharariki Beach.



New Zealand is a country blessed with an abundance of stunning beaches that cater to all preferences and desires. From the long sandy stretches of Ninety Mile Beach, the iconic archway of Cathedral Cove, and the rugged beauty of Piha Beach, to the unique hot pools of Hot Water Beach, the pristine coastline of Abel Tasman National Park, and the lively atmosphere of Mount Maunganui Main Beach, there is a beach for everyone to enjoy.


But it doesn’t end there. The hidden gems of Karekare Beach, with its rugged cliffs and peaceful ambiance, and the awe-inspiring beauty of Wharariki Beach, with its dramatic rock formations and resident seal colony, add a touch of magic and tranquility to the New Zealand beach experience.


These beaches not only offer breathtaking views and diverse landscapes but also provide opportunities for various activities such as swimming, surfing, kayaking, hiking, and even relaxation in the natural hot pools. Each beach has its own unique charm and character, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and create lasting memories.


Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for adventure or someone seeking solitude and serenity, New Zealand’s beaches have it all. The country’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty and promoting sustainability ensures that these breathtaking coastal destinations will be enjoyed by generations to come.


As an SEO expert with deep New Zealand knowledge, I hope this comprehensive guide has sparked your interest in visiting these remarkable beaches. From the black sands and rugged cliffs to the golden shores and turquoise waters, New Zealand’s beaches are waiting to be explored and admired.


So pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sense of adventure, and embark on a journey to experience the wonders of New Zealand’s coastal treasures. Whether you’re a local seeking new discoveries or an international traveler exploring this enchanting country for the first time, the beaches of New Zealand are sure to leave you breathless, rejuvenated, and longing for more.