30 Beaches in New Zealand For A Sun-Kissed Getaway 2021

New Zealand Beaches

Cathedral Cove, Ninety Mile Beach, Mission Bay, Medlands Beach, Awaroa Inlet, Sandfly Bay, Torrent Bay, Bark Bay, Onetangi Beach, Piha Beach, Hot Water Beach, Ngarunui Beach and many more.

There are countless amazing beaches in New Zealand along the 15000-kilometre coastline which is said to be the ninth longest in the world. The country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, making it an heavenly escapade for everyone. The island is itself known for its flabbergasting stretches of sand. From high-end resorts to several water sports and marine lives, the beaches in New Zealand are truly the wonders.

Among the long list of New Zealand beaches, you can explore Cathedral Cove, famous for its mysterious archways or Ninety Mile Beach for its pristine white beaches. However, if you love kayaking on the beaches, you can explore Mission Bay. There are other beaches too which you can visit to have the most soothing and calming time. So, get ready to have the most amazing experience of having a virtual tour of a country with us!

Here is the list of some best beaches in New Zealand:


Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove
One of the most famous beaches in New Zealand is the Cathedral Cove. This beach has become more popular due to the gloomy but mysterious archway, sitting in one corner of the coastline. A one hour walk from the northern part will lead you to a cliff, which sits right atop the cove.

This is the best site for photography enthusiasts. In fact, one can say that the cove is the main point of elegance and grandeur of this beach.

Location: Coromandel

Activities: Boating, Kayaking along the coastline to cover the entire shoreline of the Cathedral Cove; snorkelling and deep sea diving.

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach
Among various jaw-dropping New Zealand beaches, Ninety Mile beaches is among the top ones. This beach is known for its spectacular sunset and best left-hand surf breaks worldwide. The beautifully narrow and long beach contains several high dunes surrounded by the dense green Aupouri Forest which looks absolutely delightful.

The view of sea thrashing on the sands and gently swaying away dune grasses will make you forget all the chaos of your work life.

Location: 5 kilometers south of the Cape Maria Van Diemen, stretching between Ahipara to Scott Point

Activities: Left hand surfing, fishing, sand boarding, and sight seeing

Mission Bay

Mission Bay
Mission Bay is one of the main tourist spots in Auckland and that's why you cannot rule this out from your list. Here, you will see New Zealand's one of the most popular harbors with large containers and ships in stand still. In another section of Mission Bay, you will see many people engrossed in Kayaking, which is one of the famous activities here on the beach.

Strolling along the shoreline is another wonderful experience you can have, especially with the soft breeze blowing across the land. You can also visit the Bastion Point- a wonderful garden while being at Mission Bay.

Location: Auckland

Activities: Kayaking, sun bathing, dips in the water

Medlands Beach

Medlands Beach
Medlands is one of the idealistic beaches in New Zealand for those who wish to relax and embark on an adventurous journey at the same time. This beach is accessible through the famous Abel Tasman National Park, which will offer you some excellent meetings with New Zealand's wildlife.

The golden sandy beach is bordered by the fern trees all along its length, thereby offering you a spectacular view of the same. ON the way to the beach, you will come across the Falls River which you have to cross via a swing bridge.

Location: Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Activities: Visit the Cleopatra's pool, sunbathing, sea diving

Awaroa Inlet

Awaroa Inlet
One of the most tranquil New Zealand beaches is located within the forest cover of the Abel Tasman National Park, and goes by the name of the Awaroa Beach. It has an excellent shape, which closely resembles an atoll-shaped estuary.

The entire beach runs up to a length of eight hundred meters, forming a meander-shaped coastline facing the vast expanse of the ocean. The best thing about this beach is you will be able to travel here either on foot or by a boat. It's also a safe home to several coastal birds, native to New Zealand.

Location: Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Activities: Exploring the low tides, taking a deep in the water

Sandfly Bay

Sandfly Bay
The Sandfly bay is a wildlife conservation site, stretching between the Gull Rocks and the Seal Point on the Otago Peninsula. There are large sand dunes spread across the bay, due to which sandy win often blows across the land.

Here, you will find two different yellow-eyed penguin colonies, usually in the evening. Apart from this, you will also find the NZ sea lions sunbathing on the shore during the day time. Sea birds are also often spotted in this beach, making it one of the wonderful beaches in New Zealand.

Location: 15 kms east to the central Dunedin, New Zealand

Activities: Witnessing the penguins during evening, watching the sunset and the coastal birds

Torrent Bay

Torrent Bay
Right across the Abel Tasman National Park is the Torrent Bay which has become one of the most famous New Zealand beaches for adventures. The national park itself is a perfect spot for thrill and then comes the bay. There is a small track which you can use to reach the bay from Marahau.

It's a very small bay indeed which is bordered by the Torrent River and the Tregidga Creek. But, nevertheless, it's quite beautiful, thanks to the long stretch of sun-kissed white sand and the trail of greenery running along the track.

Location: Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Activities: Camping, kayaking in the lagoon, exploring the small village

Bark Bay

Bark Bay
The beach got its name from the tree harvesting which was once a popular activity in this area. However, now, it has become one of the most thrilling beaches in New Zealand, thanks to the campsites and lagoon waters surrounding the beach.

It isn't very large like a traditional beach you will find in the country. But, the tidal estuary present behind the bay will blow your mind. The beach-front camping ground, and the large lagoon area have made it quite popular. It has wonderful weather since the sun shines throughout the year over this beach land.

Location: Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Activities: Beachfront camping, lagoon water kayaking, exploring the sea birds

Onetangi Beach

Onetangi Beach
Unlike the other New Zealand beaches, the Onetangi beach is a part of an island, the Waiheke Island to be exact. From the shoreline, you will be able to see the Great Barrier Island clearly. Even though it is one of the less trotted beaches, we cannot ignore the beauty of the shoreline which is covered with a 1.87 kilometer stretch of golden sand.

The water here is perhaps the cleanest in the entire Auckland region, which is why the ocean looks spectacular.

Location: Northern coastal side of the Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Activities: Participate in the Onetangi beach races

Piha Beach

Piha Beach
Piha is one of the most renowned beaches in New Zealand, thanks to the unique black sand that covers the entire coastal line. Located west to the famous city of Auckland, the beach offers some spectacular activities for those who are looking forward to getting engaged in adventurous activities.

The beach is bordered by several cliffs and small hills which are covered with thick vegetation. It's quite famous for the native kiwis which are usually harvested during the summer season.

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Activities: Surfing, abseiling, hiking on the mountain trail, family picnic on the beach

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach
Image Credit : Fotos593
The Hot Water beach is one of the best relaxing beaches in New Zealand. It is bordered by the vast Pacific Ocean, and the blue water washes the shoreline in a silent manner. Here, you can dig up the sand to create your own hot water pool and take a dip in it to have a relaxed mind.

The source of the hot water is believed to be the high temperature underneath which causes the mineral laden liquid to rise up to the surface.

Location: one hour from the Coromandel town, New Zealand

Activities: Surfing, relaxing in the hot water pool, sunbathing

Ngarunui Beach

Ngarunui Beach
The Ngarunui Beach is the only place in the entire New Zealand where you will have lifeguards, and hence the water sport activities are perfectly safe. This is a black sand beach, which offers a spectacular view to the ocean water washing off the coastline.

You can engage yourself in several water sports which is why this beach is so popular in the country.

Location: Raglan, New Zealand

Activities: Horse riding on the shoreline, wind or kite surfing, shellfish gathering on the inner part of the coast, kayaking in the deep ocean water, and canoeing in the small straits created by the ocean water

Waimarama Beach

Waimarama Beach
The Waimarama beach is one of the most popular surfing New Zealand beaches where you will find surfers of all levels and experiences. The shoreline has both sandy and rocky points, which make the beach perfect for adventures.

The Bare Island is located a little far away from the coastline where you can go for fishing and deep sea diving. Enjoying the New Zealand native cuisine in the cafes and restaurants is definitely something you wouldn't miss.

Location: Hastings District, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Activities: Right and left hand surfing, sunbathing, sea diving and fishing in the Bare Island

Matai Bay

Matai Bay
Another amazing sea beach that you will find in New Zealand is the Matai Bay in the Karikari Peninsula. It has a wonderful crescent shape bordered by the clean blue water of the ocean. The coast is covered with white sand which always remains sun-kissed and warm. Strolling barefoot along the shoreline is one of the favorite activities of most tourists.

Even though the beach is not that long, it does offer a wonderful view, thanks to the surrounding flattened hills covered with grasses and small bushes.

Location: Karikari Peninsula, New Zealand

Activities: Strolling barefoot on the white sand, taking a dip in the cool blue water

Okiwi Bay

Okiwi Bay
Okiwi Bay is actually a seaside village which offers one of the most silent beaches in New Zealand. The bay got its name from the Maori civilization which used to thrive in this area in the pre-colonial times. You will still find the Maori civilians living in the village.

The white sandy beach is guarded by several vegetation covers running along the coastline. Here, you can easily relax for a couple of hours without having to deal with the scorching heat of the sun. It has both the sandy and rocky parts, the latter are often covered with seaweeds.

Location: Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Activities: Left and right hand surfing

Bathing Beach

Bathing Beach
If you want to swim in the crystal blue water of the ocean, Bathing beach is one of the best New Zealand beaches for the same. From the name itself, you can understand that taking a swim here is one of the popular activities of both the locals and tourists.

It has a curved shoreline which becomes fully visible during the low tides. However, if there is a high tide, the shoreline will get divided into half along the rocky headland. You can visit the Mill Creek estuary at the time of low tides.

Location: Hamilton Bay, Stewart Island, New Zealand

Activities: Swimming

Ohope Beach

Ohope Beach
The Ohiwa harbor and the Ohope beach are located adjacent to each other, with the only dividing factor being the huge sandpit which houses the Ohope town. This is indeed quite a famous spot, both as a beach and also as a perfect site for bird watching.

The beach always remains sun kissed due to which you can take a stroll around barefoot, enjoying the soft white sand underneath your feet. The best time to visit this beach is the spring season since during this time, you can see several migratory birds crowding the beach area.

Location: Hamilton Bay, Stewart Island, New Zealand

Activities: Swimming, surfing, bird sighting

Moeraki Beach

Moeraki Beach
Moeraki is one of the famous seaside villages in New Zealand which has become famous for its unique geographical attraction. Throughout the beach adjacent to the village, you will find several boulders being placed naturally, both on land and in the shallow water.

These boulders vary in shapes and sizes but nonetheless contribute to the rugged look of the Moeraki beach. You can enjoy the beach, watch the beautiful sunset, and reveal the beach foods in the restaurants near the village.

Location: Thirty five minutes from Oamaru, New Zealand

Activities: Sea dipping in the shallow waters, surfing off the coast of the beach, and fishing

Wharariki Beach

Wharariki Beach
This is one of the best beaches in New Zealand that you can't rule out from your list. When you visit this beach, you will have to cover the paddocks and several fields which is itself quite thrilling. Once you will reach the beach, you will be surrounded with a tranquil environment as the waves wash off the white sand almost silently without a sound.

There are large archways and caves, both on the land and the shallow water which offers a spectacular view to the tourists.

Location: 1 hour from Takaka and 2 and a half hour from Nelson, New Zealand

Activities: Seal sighting, horse riding, surfing

Mt Maunganui Beach

Mt Maunganui Beach
The beach gets its name from the overlooking cliff of Mount Maunganui. If you stand at the edge of this cliff, you will be able to see the white sandy stretch of the beach till an endless point. The teal green water of the ocean looks quite contrasting to the white color of the beach, and that's why it's considered to be one of the spectacular beaches in the entire New Zealand.

It's a wonderful place to have a picnic with your family since the beach receives a fair amount of comfort from the weather.

Location: 10 minutes from Tauranga, New Zealand 

Picnic, swimming, surfing

Wainui Beach

Wainui Beach
Wainui beach has an extended collection of beautiful beach resorts where you can certainly spend a couple of days, far away from the boring lifestyle. You can easily access the beach, thanks to the Wainui cycle track which is quite an exciting trail.

The beach will offer you an exquisite view to the vast ocean and the golden sandy beach. Since the beach is fully open with no cliffs or mountains bordering the edge, you will be able to enjoy the breeze that always blows over the land. This is why it's considered to be one of the best beaches in New Zealand.

Location: 10 minutes from Gisborne, New Zealand

Activities: Picnic, swimming, strolling, cycling

New Chums Beach

New Chums Beach
The New Chum Beach is one of the less visited beaches in New Zealand, and hence most times, the area remains silent and tranquil. On one side, the golden sandy beach is bordered by the native New Zealand's forest while on the other hand, the deep blue waters of the ocean washes the beach.

The area had been deserted for a long time before people started venturing further and explored this land. Since then, people have been coming over to experience the cacophonous silence of the beach and marvel at the wide open ocean.

Location: Wainuiototo, New Zealand

Activities: Picnic, swimming, strolling, cycling

The Catlins

The Catlins
One of the best New Zealand beaches is the Catlins, which is located in the extreme southeast corner of the country. This beach is said to be a hidden gem, and with the vast reserves of green landscape ending right before the white sandy beach, the area looks heavenly and quite captivating.

Even though the beach is remote, you will still feel the hustle-bustle around, especially during the day. Here, you will be able to watch various marine mammals, like the fur seals native to New Zealand, and the sea lions of the Hookers.

Location: between Balclutha and the Invercargill, New Zealand

Activities: Hiking, strolling, animal watching, surfing

Rarawa Beach

Rarawa Beach
If you want to revel in the beauty of a crystal white silica sand beach, Rarawa is one of the ideal New Zealand beaches. This place is usually silent except for the times when the waves gently wash the sand and the birds in the nearby trees make their presence known with soft sweaks.

Since the beach is isolated and disconnected from the main cities and urban settlements, it is great to spend some relaxing moments. You can also marvel at the several coastal birds flying around the area throughout the day.

Location: Northland, New Zealand

Activities: Swimming in the shallow water, fishing with the help of a boat, and kayaking in the deep sea

Gillespies Beach

Gillespies Beach
It is one of the off-routed beaches in New Zealand with black sandy cover along the entire coastal part. The shoreline of this beach stretches up to twenty kilometres in the western direction of the Fox Glacier. To the west of the beach is the Tasman Sea that offers some of the most exquisite views, starting with the endless horizon and the beautiful sunset view.

It is believed that in the early days, people found gold from this beach which is why it became so popular in the country.

Location: Fox Glacier, West Coast, New Zealand

Activities: Swimming in the shallow water, fishing with the help of a boat, and kayaking in the deep sea

Karekare Beach

Karekare Beach
Located to the southern part of the famous Piha beach in Auckland, the Karekare beach is one of the most captivating beaches in New Zealand. It is a beautiful beach where you can reach through a steep valley. The beach is surrounded by beautiful high ridges, steep trees along with mesmerizing lagoons and creeks cutting the beach in half.

These surroundings give the people a vibe of an exciting and natural beach environment. However, if you want to spend your day swimming and surfing, you will be required to maintain caution as it is a high energy dangerous beach. This black iron sand beach is worth visiting, so make sure to add it to your bucket list.

Fox Glacier, West Coast, New Zealand 

Strolling along the sandy beach, beach sports like volleyball, and kayaking

Kaiteriteri Beach

Kaiteriteri Beach
This is one of the most relaxing New Zealand beaches where you can enjoy to your heart's content. Since the beach is closely located to the Abel Tasman National Park, you can easily embark the hiking trail to this park where you will come across several native wildlife.

The entire shoreline stretches for about thirteen kilometers, with its starting point at Motueka. Here, you will be able to arrange camping, facing the huge ocean view. The major hiking points in this area are the Kaka Pah Point and the Withells Walk which you should go on.

One hour from Nelson, New Zealand

Visiting the Abel Tasman national park, paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, sunbathing

Whale Bay

Whale Bay
Even though the name suggests whales, unfortunately you won't be able to witness these large mammals near the bay region. However, the marvelous beauty of the beach is really commendable. Along the entire coastal region, you will find white sand covering the land.

The turquoise blue water of the ocean softly crashes against the shoreline, bringing a pleasant breeze along with it. The inland area is covered with a huge forest cover, with trees forming arches and giving a sneak peak of the silent beach. For these reasons, it has become one of the best New Zealand beaches that you should visit.

Location: Tutukaka coast, New Zealand

Activities: Strolling, exploring the forest covers, kayaking, swimming, sunbathing

Hokitika Beach

Hokitika Beach
Hokitika Beach is also famous for the title of Cool little town. There are plenty of lovely old buildings that you can enjoy while strolling over the historic town. You will also find astounding galleries filled with pounamu jewellery and art works.

On the north side you will find Arahura River, it is a traditional source of green stone or pounamu. However, make sure you plan your trip to this in summer to catch the famous Wildfoods festival which is Hokitika’s icon event.

Location: Beach street, Hokitika, New Zealand

Activities: Scenic waterways, river rafting, explore museum, visit centre and treetop walk & cafe

Koekohe Beach

Koekohe Beach
It is a long sandy beach located at Koekohe and is famous for its Moeraki Boulders. These boulders are large and spherical in size and are technically called as septarian concretions. You will find some rocks measuring to around 3 meters with cracks on its surface resembling the structure of dinosaur eggs.

Apart from bizarre boulders you will also find interesting wildlife to explore. It includes a seal colony, yellow-eyed penguin, Hector dolphin and many more.

Location: Oamaru, New Zealand

Activities: Explore Katiki point lighthouse, swimming and grab a bite
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People Also Ask About New Zealand

  1. Which are the best beaches in New Zealand?

    1. Cathedral Cove: one of the best beaches in New Zealand is the Cathedral Cove. It is situated in the Coromandel and offers a lifetime experience to all the tourists. Towards the north side of the beach, you will find a small hill. You need to climb the hill since the cove archway is present down the slope on the other side which still covers a huge part of the coastal land.

    2. Bark Bay: This is a small beach and yet offers some of the most exciting experiences. Bark Bay beach is a beautiful beach to explore in New Zealand with a tidal estuary snaking in the backside. People come here to admire the glorious year-round sun, large lagoon playsite, tranquil beach-front, and the thriving line-up of birdlife.

    3. Piha Beach: Piha is the most famous beach of New Zealand where people come to explore the wild and untamed black sand. It has a seperate photographic spot named Lion Rock and a popular waterfall in the Waitakere Ranges which is worth visiting.

    4. Anchor Bay: The place is also known by the name Auckland’s best-kept secret is most jaw-dropping beach of New Zealand. If you visit here you will be rewarded by mesmerizing white sand,  awe-inspiring array of wildlife, rock pools and walking tracks to explore. You can also carry your tent to spend the night in the beautiful background.
  2. Which are the best water sports to do in New Zealand beaches?

    1. Kayaking: In almost all the beaches, you can choose the kayaks and go for a water ride deep into the ocean, travel around the rocks and stone archways and revel in the beauty of marine life.

    2. Swimming:  Most of New Zealand's beach offers you the option of going swimming as long as you are in the shallow water. The temperature of the water remains cold during the summer, which is indeed a relief.

    3. Snorkeling: If you want an adrenaline fueled experience then you must try snorkelling in the beaches in New Zealand. You can also consider shark cave diving for taking your experience to a next level. There are five diving destinations where you will be able to swim alongside whales and dolphins.

    4. Deep sea diving: Great Barrier island beaches and some other urban beaches will offer you the chance to enjoy the sea bed and marine life with deep sea diving. You will get the life guards and other safety equipment easily at a minimal cost.  You will get proper assistance from life guards and other safety equipment easily at a minimal cost.
  3. What are the best beach resorts in New Zealand?

    1. The Reef resort: This is one of the amazing resorts near the New Zealand beaches. You can book the deluxe rooms or the suites to make your stay more comfortable. The resort has excellent infrastructure with an indoor swimming pool, gym, and restaurant. A thermal spa is also present here where you can get some relaxation steam or massage therapy.

    2. Copthorne hotel and resort: Another amazing resort where you can stay during your tour in New Zealand is the Copthorne hotel and resort located in the Bay of Islands. This resort faces the Paihia beach and provides entertainment options like horse riding and canoeing. Here, the indoor restaurant offers excellent cuisine which can be relished on its beachside dining area.

    3. Paihia beach resort and spa: The interior of the hotel has a perfect beach style design which will immediately put your heart at peace. Here, you will find an outdoor pool with a plunge pool in addition. There is a restaurant with a bar present here where you can enjoy tasty dishes and drinks.

    4. Grand Mercure Wellington: It is a very famous resort in New Zealand and is perfect for a weekend getaway. The resort has a prime location from where you can access the tourist sports conveniently. It has ample space, indoor pool, gym facility and sauna for your relaxation. It has the most efficient service and is well suited for your every need.
  4. Which are the best beaches in Hamilton, New Zealand?

    1. Whaingaroa beach: This is one of the best New Zealand beaches in the Hamilton region where you can enjoy the wonderful sight of the ocean and the far-off highland areas. It’s a black sand beach which attracts the most visitors, tourists also visit this beach in flocks to enjoy the sun and the warm weather of the area. You can even go on a hiking trail since the beach is surrounded by several hills with thick vegetation cover.

    2. Kapua domain: This is the perfect beach for families and kids. The shore is covered with white sand which seems amazing against a thick forest background and turquoise blue sea water. Several water and beach sports are arranged here, both the kids and the adults.

    3. Port Waikato beach: With a half crescent shape, this is an exquisite beach with a table land in the backdrop. The coast is rugged with stones and rocks distributed here and there. People usually visit this place for surfing, kayaking, and other such activities. Watching the sunset is one of the best experiences you can have here.

    4. Mokau Beach: It is an amazing beach tucked away in the scenic beauty of Mokau. The beach is located very far away from the city thus is very peaceful and soothing. People come here to enjoy the tranquil surrounding and the beautiful steep cliffs with a touch of picturesque landscape.

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