Top 10 beaches in New Zealand you must visit

Updated on Jan 25, 2024 | New Zealand eTA

A coastline of 15,000kms from the North to South of New Zealand ensures that every Kiwi has their idea of the perfect beach in their country. One is spoiled for choice here by the sheer variety and diversity offered by the coastal beaches. You may fall short of words to describe the beaches in New Zealand but the beauty and the serenity offered by the beaches never end.

Piha Beach

Location – Auckland, North Island

Remarked as the most popular and dangerous beach in New Zealand, surfers identify this beach to be their go-to beach to tide among the waves. The iconic black sand beach is also popular among tourists and locals during summertime for watching the waves and picnicking on the beach. The mammoth lion rock which is located on the beach along with the Maori carvings surrounding it is a popularly visited site on the beach. The region around the beach is set at a backdrop of hills is frequented by hikers as the walks give you incredible views of the beach and the sea from the peaks.

Piha Beach

Location- Waikato, North Island

Tip – Pack shovels and get here two hours before low tide, so you can create your hot spring and relax in this beach.

The beach is one of the most famous sites swarmed by tourists as it is the only accessible hot water beach in New Zealand. The waters of the beach come from an underground geothermal river that reaches up to a temperature of 64c and is filled with minerals like Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium.

Ninety Mile Beach

Location – Northland, North Island

Spoiler alert: The name of the beach is a misnomer it is only 55 miles in length in reality.

The dunes of this famous beach form a mirage in one’s head as if taking on a desert safari. The beach stretches on up to the northernmost tip of New Zealand – Cape Reinga. It is the biggest beach in New Zealand and the Aupouri forest surrounding the beach makes the nearby landscape look magical. You can get in your car and drive along the coast at this beach as well as it is a registered highway! This beach is popularly frequented for all varieties of water-sports as well. A fun and adventurous sand activity is taken on here is bodyboarding which is a must-try especially for children.

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Awaroa Beach

Location – Awaroa, South Island

The beach is nicknamed Golden bay for its sandy coast.

The golden sand and the turquoise waters of this beach stretch far across the Abel Tasman National Park in the Southern Islands. The surrounding green bushes and forests make this beach pretty as a picture and the definition of a perfect beach. The Department of Conversation protects this beach and it’s marine and land wildlife. There is a campground half an hour away from this beach if you are looking to stay close by and enjoy the beach life. There is a famous Awaroa inlet close to the beach which is accessible by a water-taxi, do not miss out on this experience.

Cathedral Cove

Location – Coromandel, North Island

Cathedral Cove This beach features in the Chronicles of Narnia

This beach can be accessed by paddling through waters, so for water lovers, the adventure begins from getting to the cove. You can reach this beach by a kayak, boat, or walk to the cove. There is a stunning and magnificent naturally formed archway on this beach which is one of the most clicked locations in New Zealand. You can choose to picnic in the Golden sand of this Cove while enjoying the sea breeze and watch the waves.

You may also be interested famous New Zealand Road trips.

Rarawa Beach

Location – Far North, North Island

One of the northernmost beaches in New Zealand is not frequented by tourists and is protected by the Department of Conservation. The white sand of this beach is almost fluorescent and the feel of the dunes of the beach on your feet is great. The dunes are also home to nesting birds here and it is cautioned to watch out for them. The northernmost pub in New Zealand is very close to this beach.

Koekohe Beach

Location – Waitaki, South Island

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of the place is the boulders. They are mysterious and huge spherical stones formed due to erosion of mudstone and the turbulent waves of the sea. While tourists marvel in the spectacle of these boulders, geologists are also avidly interested in these stones which are hollow, perfectly round, and three meters in diameter. This led to the beach’s becoming of a protected scientific reserve. The scenic beauty of this location of the beach peaks when the sun meets the horizon while you enjoy the waves and the sea-breeze amidst the boulders.

Abel Tasman National Park

Location –Northern end, South Island

Golden Bay

This National park while being the smallest in New Zealand is a small haven for beaches. Many lovely and beautiful beaches in all of New Zealand can be found on this one beach. Already mentioned in this list is the Awaroa beach which is found in the Park. The other famous beaches are the Medlands beach known for the golden sand and picturesque green landscape which is swarmed by tourists to enjoy Kayaking, Sandfly Beach which is remotely located and not visited much but water taxis operate to this isolated and unspoiled beach where a quiet picnic on the beach can be enjoyed, Torrent Bay is a long stretching beach which is loved by people for surfing and swimming, Kaiteriteri beach which is seen as the gateway to the National Park is considered the best in the south island is a stone’s throw from Nelson and is home to whales, dolphins, and penguins and Bark Bay is a beach where you can camp and stay at the beach and the sunrise viewed from this beach is as beautiful as it gets.

Read more about Abel Tasman National Park.

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