If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, nothing beats a bit of beach time. There’s something so soothing and calming about the glittering, pristine waters, the miles of white sand, and the rhythmic pounding of the waves on the shore. For those who have been bitten by the “beach bug”, there’s one destination that should definitely be on your bucket-list: The Land Of The Long White Cloud.
New Zealand is known for having miles of stunning coastline – white sandy beaches, tropical waters, beautiful lagoons, great surf, and amazing wildlife. The gorgeous beaches of NZ have something to offer everyone, whether you are in the mood for an adrenaline-filled afternoon filled surfing, spotting the majestic the giants of the sea or simply lazing around on the sand while sipping an ice-cold cocktail – the Kiwi Islands will not disappoint!
Of all the beaches in New Zealand, those found on the North Island definitely place among the best in terms of natural beauty and water-related activities. Here are our top picks for amazing beaches on the North Island for you to explore during your holiday.
Paihia Beach is a beautiful beach that’s perfect for families who want to spend some quality time together. Paihia is a great place for swimming and sunbathing, and it is close to plenty of shops and accommodation. For those who are looking for comfort AND convenience, Paihia is a must-see destination.
If you’re feeling adventurous, walk around the rocks of the beach to a “secret spot” that’s loved by the locals: Sullivan’s Beach. Sullivan’s Beach is a beautiful, quiet, and secluded area that’s great for those who want to get away from the buzz of the popular Paihia Town area. Bonus time: It’s also a great place to discover hidden coves!
White sands, ideal surfing conditions, and a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains, Taupo Bay is a beach that’s perfect for both families and adventure lovers. About an hour north of Whangaroa, Taupo Bay also offers a great launching area for trailer boats if you want to do some fishing or spend some more time out on the water.
Taupo Bay also boasts one of the longest and widest shore lines in the North Islands. The shore gently curves into the sea, so you won’t get any sudden drops into deeper water. The beach is ideal for more relaxed water activities such as swimming, kayaking, and fishing, while further out, the water conditions are more ideal for surfers and divers.
When the locals and tourists in the town of Russell feel the need for some surf and sand, they simply head on over to Long Beach, which is a short 20-minute walk from the town. After a pleasant walk, you will find a stunning coastline of golden sand, as well as a stunning view of nearby Roberton Island.
If you love bird-watching, then grab your binoculars and head on over to Long Beach. Numerous native birds tends to roost and rest in the beach and lagoon area, such as herons, spoonbills, seals, and even blue penguins!
Oke Bay is a picturesque beach found on the Cape Bett Peninsula. Make sure to visit the beach during low tide, because it’s the perfect time to go swimming and sunbathing. You might even get a glimpse of the dolphins are who regular visitors of Oke Bay!
If you’re spending your beach holiday with that special someone, a walk down Oke Bay during sunset will definitely set the mood for a night of romance.
For those who want a quick weekend getaway that feels like you’re a hundred miles from city life, Rarawa beach is the perfect choice. Rarawa is a great place to surf and fish, so make sure that you’ve got a cooler full of drinks and your best fishing gear! For those who want to relax, the soft sandy beach and the melodious sounds of the waves make for a deliciously peaceful mini-vacation.
Affectionately called The “million dollar view road” by the locals, one single glance will definitely tell you why! The beautiful skies, crystal-clear waters, and white sands look like something that should be on display at a museum. Admire outstanding white sandy beaches and the clearest of all waters at Mautauri Bay where you can also spot the Cavalli Islands.
Mautauri Bay is also a great spot for those who love quick, overnight camping trips, so if you’ve got a free weekend with your buddies, this is an excellent choice for a weekend getaway trip.
Manu Bay – Raglan
Raglan is known as a surfer’s paradise because of the ideal surfing conditions and the gorgeous weather. Every year, thousands of surfers from all over the world make the trip to Raglan to experience the world-famous waves. With the crashing waves and the miles of black sand on the coast line, Raglan looks like something out a movie!
There’s no better place on North Island to hit the waves then Manu Bay. A rugged coastline, also known as “The Point”, is a world-famous surf beach. If you more in the mood for a gentle swim in the ocean, you can visit Ocean Beach instead.
Wainui Beach – Gisborne
Wainui Beach is named as one of the 101 Must-Do places by New Zealand’s Automobile Association, and for good reason: even locals fall in love with this place over and over again!
Wainui Beach is an iconic place to watch the sunrise before a beautiful day. Surrounded by the hills of avid emerald, you can make the most of the short walking tracks around the beach as well as the dune-top hike running the length of the coastline. After a bit of adventure, you can relax at one of the many picnic spots and enjoy the fresh air and the view of the surfers in the water.
Cathedral Cove – Coromandel
The beautiful scenery of New Chums Beach is only accessible by foot or boat which gives the beach the secluded feel of a secret hideaway. An ideal place if you are looking for turquoise waters, white sand, and the perfect kiwi sun for a relaxing day to take-in all the surroundings.
Cathedral Cove boasts numerous caves and rock formations which you can explore, such as Sphinx Rock in Mare’s Leg Cove and Te Hoho Rock. It has also been named as New Zealand’s sixth marine reserve, so expect to see a flurry of amazing marine life as you swim and snorkel in this natural paradise.
Image Credit: Legend Photography