10 of Auckland's Best Beaches
It goes without saying that New Zealanders love the beach (the country consists of three main islands after all) and one of the best Auckland attractions is its stunning coastline. Whether it's the white sandy beaches of the calm East Coast or the rugged black sands of the West Coast surf beaches, this pacific playground dazzles visitors and locals alike. Highly contested indeed, here's our round-up of Auckland's best beaches.
A favourite weekend destination for Aucklanders, set yourself up for a day of sun 60-minutes north of the city. Nestled on a peninsula, this regional park attracts surfers and campers to hikers. If the pristine white sands don’t do it for you, stroll down to the rock pools for a fossick and a paddle.Pack a picnic and unwind in this idyllic location.
PAKIRI (Beware rips and often strong currents)
A beautiful secluded escape from the city, Pakiri beach is the perfect spot for some downtime. A car will be needed to reach this slice of paradise. Turn a relaxing 90-minute drive from Auckland into a weekend getaway by staying overnight at the local holiday park cabins. Enjoy a guided horse trek along 14 kilometres of pristine white sand.
An easy 35-minute drive from downtown Auckland, this is a perfect day out. This large 3-kilometre beach is very flat and a favourite with young families. Park up near the surf life saving club for safe swimming, a great kid's playground and potentially water-sports to rent. Head across the road into Orewa town for a hand-rolled ice cream or some Kiwi-style fish and chips.
Offering panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf, this little gem is a less populated version of neighbouring Takapuna Beach.
Hop on the ferry from downtown Auckland to Devonport and take an easy 25 minute stroll around to this coastal beauty. Immerse yourself in the Kiwi village vibe, with the local dairy and fish and chip shop easily in reach.
This bustling village on the North Shore is a quick 15-minute drive over the Harbour Bridge from downtown Auckland. Takapuna is renowned for its cafe scene and shopping, so if you want a break from the beach, there is definitely enough to keep you busy for the day. The changing winds make this stretch of coastline popular for young local sailors.
PIHA BEACH (only swim when patrolled and swim between the flags)
On the remarkable west coast, sits one of Auckland’s most well-known beaches.
This beach is not for the faint-hearted. Strong currents and wind attracts surfers with its massive waves. The black-sand beach is split in two by the famous Lion Rock perched in all its magnificence. It's no surprise stunning Piha is popular with photographers motivated to snap that “instagram worthy picture”.
KAREKARE BEACH (only swim when patrolled and between the flags)
Calling all fans of the Oscar-winning movie “The Piano”. The breath-taking scenery that engulfs this stretch of coastline is so good, they filmed the movie here. Don't worry if you don’t feel like braving the rugged water as the scenery and potential photo opportunities make this isolated beach worth the 45-minute drive from the city. Added bonus: the stunning Karekare waterfalls are a short walk inland.
MISSION BAY BEACH
Can't decide between cafe hopping or the beach? Mission Bay offers a perfect combination of city living and sea. With prominent views of Rangitoto Island, this picturesque eastern seaside suburb is a favourite of families wanting an easy day out and a safe swimming beach.
With vistas of the Auckland skyline, Devonport and the beautiful Hauraki Gulf, this bay arguably provides the best views out of all the Central Auckland beaches. To keep the kids entertained, there are a variety of options from a basketball court to a playground with a flying fox! Hire a paddle board or kayak from nearby Ferg's Kayaks and glide across the harbour.
A hit with the locals, this inner city favourite has a relaxed neighbourly vibe with its calm safe waters and kid-friendly playground. Best visited at high tide.
When you've had your fill of sand and salty surf, explore the inner-city on our small-group Hello Auckland walking tour. We share the best places to eat, shop and go including Auckland's best restaurants. and rooftop bars.
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