It’s probably no big surprise that the island nation of New Zealand has some great beaches. What might be a surprise is the sheer number of options that are completely unique and unlike anything you can find anywhere else in the world.
Whether you’re a surfer, sun worshipper, or something in between you may be interested in a South Island Road trip or a North Island tour. Whatever preference you have, New Zealand has the beach for you.
1. Hot Water Beach, Coromandel
Most people have heard of hot springs. Most people have not heard of hot springs that bubble up from the beach. This amazing hotspot allows you to while away the day by digging your own hot tub in the sand. That’s pretty unique and it’s exactly what you will find at Hot Water Beach!
2. Karekare, West Auckland
Karekare has two main claims to fame. It has an unmistakable black sand expanse and it was one of the stars of the Oscar winning movie “The Piano.” In spite of this, it’s not a tourist trap. If you love wild unspoiled beaches that aren’t too crowded it’s a great choice.
3. Whale Bay, Raglan
If you’re an experienced surfer and looking for a surfer friendly beach that’s not too crowded, then Whale Bay is a great choice. The small community, also, offers plenty to do out of the water but it’s the great swells and perfect waves that draws most visitors here.
4. Mission Bay
Mission Bay is only a short distance from the hustle and bustle of downtown Auckland but with the golden sand and laid back vibe it feels like it’s the perfect beach getaway. If you’re here you may feel miles from any thought of work, cities, or traffic. Mission Bay is perfect if you like to combine shopping and nightlife with days spent with sand between your toes.
5. New Chums, Coromandel
Another great beach in the Coromandel Peninsula is New Chums. It is remote, unspoiled, and a little tricky to reach. (The latter ensures the former!)
For those who are brave and agile enough to take the forty-minute hike and short wade through a warm lagoon; there’s a perfect swathe of golden sand and pristine azure water waiting at the end of the trip. The paradise of New Chums is the perfect reward for the exertion it takes to reach it.
6. Ocean Beach, Mount Maganui
Most of the beaches on this list are sort of wild, a little bit out of the way, and not too close to city living. Ocean Beach in Mount Maganui is the opposite. It’s an unashamedly urban beach right in the city where there are cafes, bars, and boutiques just steps from the sand and surf.
7. Ninety Mile Beach
Okay, so it’s only 55 miles. But it feels like ninety when you look at the sweeping expanse of perfect sand and the white capped waves on turquoise water. Think majestic sand dunes with a real forest lining the sand and you have some idea of the sheer natural beauty that is Ninety Mile Beach. It’s not so hard to imagine why it’s so popular with locals and visitors alike.
Even if none of these beaches sound like the exact right fit for you, you’re sure to find one that is the stuff of your beach dreams. In fact, even though this is a tiny island country, it still boasts one of the world’s tenth longest coastlines. So, there are plenty of coves, lagoons, and beaches to explore!