With summer nearly upon us, we thought it was time to delve into the big question on everyone’s lips. Just where is New Zealand’s best beach? With so many to choose from, it’s difficult to nail down just one best beach in New Zealand. After all, it depends on what you’re looking for in a beach.

For some, the best thing about going to the beach is the surf. For others, it’s safe, calm swimming waters. For us, we love the soft white sand between our toes whereas others prefer a nice firm beach for some good old beach cricket.

We decided to try and cover all the bases with our latest top 10 beaches in New Zealand and hope you enjoy our final selection to get ready for this Summer.

1. Ninety Mile Beach, Northland

Perhaps the most iconic beach in New Zealand has to be Ninety Mile Beach. The beach is just as epic as it sounds with its picturesque and seemingly endless coast. Interestingly, the beach is technically 88 km long and has plenty to offer. This includes swimming, surfing, kite surfing, fishing and more. One of the most popular things to do, especially for the kids, is to bodyboard down the impressive sand dunes. Great fun!

 

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2. Matapouri Bay, Northland

Head north from Paihia and the Bay of Islands and you will come to the stunningly beautiful Matapouri Bay. This stretch of white sand is one of our favourites and is popular with families thanks to the safe swimming and opportunities to explore. The Mermaid Pools are a great place for a family adventure at low tide and there is a great walkway to Whale Bay which offers some sumptuous views.

 

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3. Muriwai Beach, Auckland

Some of the most stunning beaches in New Zealand are the ones found on the West Coast of the North Island not far from Auckland. The likes of Piha, Bethells Beach, Anawhata etc are known for their rich black sands and untamed natural qualities. The one we’ve selected for our list, however, is Muriwai in part because it boasts something else unique altogether – a Gannet Colony. They’ve built some great viewing platforms to see these amazing seabirds and if you happen to go at sunset you’ll find it a completely magical experience.

 

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4. Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula

One of the most unique beach experiences you can have in New Zealand is the one at Hot Water Beach on the Eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. Hot Water Beach is known throughout New Zealand for its piping hot waters that can be accessed at low tide with a bucket and/or spade. The waters come from an underground geothermal river and can reach temperatures of 64°C. It’s not often you get to go to a free hot pool when you go to the beach but here you can!

 

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5. Oriental Bay Beach, Wellington

One of our cities that enjoy a beautiful beach in the heart of the city is Wellington. Oriental Bay beach is a great place for swimming, a picnic, walking or cycling and is Wellington’s most popular beach. With the city skyline in the backdrop, this is a great place to head for the day if you want to get out of the city but don’t want to go too far. Described as one of the jewels of Wellington, there are plenty of nearby cafes to wander too after you beach adventures to enjoy a great coffee or an ice cream treat!

 

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6. Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson/Tasman

A list of top 10 beaches in New Zealand wouldn’t be right without an entry for the Nelson/Tasman region. With so many to choose from, we decided to go for Kaiteriteri Beach just south of the Abel Tasman National Park. This golden sandy beach is a great place to spend the day and the kids will love the crystal clear water that’s extremely safe for swimming. Hire a kayak and get out and explore the water or simply sit back and enjoy the beautiful views.

 

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7. St Clair Beach, Otago

Yet another city with a great beach on its doorstep is Dunedin. St Clair beach is the most popular beach in the area and is another one that is popular with families. There is surf here which is great fun for the kids as well as an awesome new playground. Whilst you’re out swimming in the refreshing waters, consider this; there’s nothing else between you and the Antarctic!

 

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8. Caroline Bay, Timaru

One of the most popular beaches in the South Island of New Zealand is Caroline Bay, in the South Island city of Timaru. The beach itself is sheltered by the harbour from the breakwater, offering itself as a calm place to go for a swim and take the family. The Bay sits in one of the best parks in the Timaru District and is a great place to head for a day out. Be sure to pack a picnic!

 

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9. Sumner, Christchurch

This hugely popular beach in Christchurch is like honey to the bees in the summer months. With a beautiful stretch of sand, calm waters and a lovely promenade, Sumner as all the makings of a classic, family-friendly beach. During the summer weekends, this beach does get pretty busy with locals and tourists but you can always find a pocket of sand to call your own.

 

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10. Rabbit Island, Nelson

Last but not least, another entry for Nelson! Located a short 15-minute drive from Richmond at the head of Tasman Bay, you will find 8 kms of safe sandy beach to explore here. There are also a number of tracks to walk on the ‘island’ and it has the area’s largest picnic spot. You will also find some good mountain biking trails if you’re a bit of cycling enthusiast too.

 

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Our Top 10 Beaches in NZ that can’t be missed!

So there you have it. Our picks for the best 10 beaches in NZ that can’t be missed this summer. It was a very tough list to put together and we had to omit some incredible spots but all-in-all, we’re pretty happy with our selection.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the read yourselves and hope to see you here and on our shores soon!

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