Best Beaches in Auckland New Zealand

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Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city is blessed with beautiful beaches and they’re all so different, from idyllic white-sand beaches to wild black-sand beaches.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxed family day out, breath-taking views, white sandy beaches, crystal waters, walks and hikes there is plenty to discover at the best beaches in Auckland.

Tips: 

  • Before heading to one of Auckland’s favourite beaches for a swim check Safeswim for live information on water quality and swimming conditions. Safeswim lets you know where it’s safe to swim.
  • Always swim between the red and yellow patrol flags, which identify the safest swimming areas.
  • Wear a life jacket while rock-fishing and never swim alone.
  • Watch out for rip currents.

Also Read: Best things to pack for the beach

Here’s a list of the best beaches in Auckland.


North Beaches

Auckland’s North Shore has that sunshine feeling to lift your mood and the sound of waves to relax the mind. From Cheltenham to Takapuna Beach, Auckland’s North Shore has perfect beaches for sunbathing, walking and taking a dip in the sea.

1. Orewa

On the northern coast of Auckland, a mere 45 minutes from Auckland CBD, you will find the beautiful stretch of beach known as Orewa. Here you will find surfers, kite-surfers and those who enjoy a bit of exercise. This could easily become your new family favourite beach to visit where it offers something for everyone, from the local playground, retails stores, restaurants and café’s you won’t be left wondering what to do not to mention taking a dip in the ocean. Orewa Beach has holiday accommodation and dining options.

Activities:

WindsurfingCanoeing
Paddle BoardingKayaking
KitesurfingDog Walking
Sand SportsExercise
ShoppingEat & Drink

Facilities: 

Car ParkLarge Reserve AreaPublic Toilets

2. Long Bay Beach

Long Bay is the last of the famous Bays on the North Shore 35 minutes from central Auckland. With the stunning sea view and numerous picnic spots why not make your way down to this amazing beach. With free BBQ facilities on hand this could be one of the best spots to host your next family gathering or birthday party. If you wish to secure a spot for a special occasion you can simply contact the Auckland Council and book a BBQ area which means you don’t have to fret about whether or not you are able to have everyone together, this does come with a price tag. For those just wanting to soak up the sun this is the perfect place with its white sandy shores. You’ll never feel like it’s crowded at the beautiful beach. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the peak summer months. Long Bay is one of the best beaches in Auckland.

Activities:

BBQ AreaKayakingSightseeing
WalkingDivingBoating
SurfingExerciseSwimming

Facilities:

Water SupplyPicnic AreaToilets
PlaygroundMobility AccessShowers
Ranger OfficeSecurity Cameras Pram Access
Mobile Phone CoverageMobility parkingMobility Access

3. Cheltenham Beach

Cheltenham beach with its lovely long sandy beach with easy access from CBD via the ferry. Beach has a very gentle slope so you have a large expanse of water you can wade in although it almost completely dries up at low tide. You need high tide for swimming but please bear in mind there are no lifeguards on the beach so practice water safety once the beach is covered with water. Surrounding Cheltenham are local dairies and fish and chips shops.

Activities:

WalkingSightseeingSwimming

Facilities:

Dinghy rampPicnicsWeddings (with permit)
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4. Takapuna Beach

Takapuna beach is situated on the Hauraki Gulf coastline well known for its shopping, café scene and incredible coastline and only a 20-minute drive from Auckland CBD.  Why not enjoy a walk along the historic ‘lava’ trail or paddle board or kayak at the beach or just choose to relax by Lake Pupuke, Auckland’s only freshwater lake.  There are little pockets along the beach which means you can easily find a quiet spot if you wish to read a book while enjoying the sun.

Activities: 

BoatingWalkingKayaking
SwimmingPlaygroundDog Walking

Facilities:

ParkingToiletsChanging Room
Mobility ParkingBeach ShowerDrinking Fountain
Picnic TablesOutdoor ShowerBoat ramp

5. Anchor Bay

Anchor Bay is tucked away in the tranquil Tawharanui Regional Park an hour and half’s drive from Auckland CBD where you find the white sands of Anchor bay. Not only does the white-sand beach provide the best spot for swimmers, surfers, and sight seekers. Even though it might seem to be a far way to drive, trust me when I say this will be totally worth it.  This is where you find the perfect wave for those surfing enthusiasts and for those who enjoy a hike while taking in the breath-taking views. A Perfect place to meet up with some friends and family and enjoy a summer BBQ.  You will need to provide your own BBQ equipment at anchor bay Auckland and make your way down from the carpark to the grass area but totally worth it.

Beautiful Anchor Bay is a day trip spent perfectly in one of our region’s golden treasures.The water is safe for kids and you can often get a paddle board out or with low tide explore the caves.

Activities:

SwimmingDivingKayaking
SurfSnorkelWalking

Facilities:

Car ParkPublic ToiletsPicnics

West Beaches: 

A trip to Auckland’s West Coast beaches is an absolute must! The beaches in west Auckland are different to beaches on the east coast, with their black sand strong waves for surfing enthusiasts and panoramic views.

1. Piha Beach

Piha beach is one of Auckland’s best beaches, known for its black sand this incredible west coast beach could be undoubtedly be described as one of Auckland’s best beaches with a 1 hours’ drive from central Auckland. Piha Beach is so big that no matter how many people are on the beach, you’ll never feel like its crowded.

Piha Beach is one for all you surfers out there with strong currents so if you are an adventurous surfer this beach is for you, however it does mean for those who are not confident swimmers please make sure you practice some caution when venturing into the sea water. If you wish to do something romantic for that special person why not go make your way down there for an extraordinary sunset, surely this will win you some brownie points. Phia Beach is safe swimming, always swim between the flags, and wear a life jacket when you’re fishing. 

Activities:

SwimmingSurfingWeddings (with a permit)
FishingHorse RidingVolunteering

Facilities:

ParkingToiletsGate Access

Read next: Baby Swimming Lessons

2. Bethells Beach

Bethells Beach is another west coast gem, 1 hour from Auckland CBD you will find Bethells Beach with its caves and sand dunes not to mention its black sands is simply magnificent. However, these waters are not for faint hearted as the current can be pretty strong, I strongly recommend only for those who are confident swimmers to venture out into the sea. Not only can you enjoy the views, Bethells Beach is one of the best places that offer hiking trails that will cater for everyone from those who are beginners to the more adventurous hiker.     

Activities:

SurfingWalkingSightseeing
ExerciseRock Fishing8 Different Tracks

Facilities:

ParkingToiletsDrinking Fountain

3. Karekare Beach

New Zealand has its fair share of Black Sand Beaches and the West Coast near Auckland is no exception. Make a stop and visit Karekare as it’s famous for being the filming location for the film “The Piano”. Due to the Black Sand, most people opt for other beaches so if you’re after a bit of peace and quiet then Karekare is the beach for you. The cliffs surrounding Karekare are truly magnificent and make for a visual viewing of landscapes.

Not only was this beach used for the filming of The Piano but if you were a Xena Warrior Princess fan, you’ll be pleased to know Karekare beach was used for the opening scene!

Activities:

SwimmingFishingHorse Riding
SurfingVolunteeringPicnics

Facilities:

ToiletsParkingRanger Phone
Picnic SitesGate Access12 Walking Tracks

4. Point Chevalier Beach

This lovely inner-city beach is perfect for a summertime stroll and when we say inner-city it is exactly that, within 10 minutes you can find yourself at this lovely beach. This is a popular swimming beach at high tide, but can be quite muddy and slippery during low tide.

Excellent area for getting in some exercise and to stretch the legs on its beautiful white sand Not only does the white-sand beach provide the best spot for swimmers. Offering tables and shade all summer round which is awesome for those weekend lunches along the beach. It’s a lively little beach often sheltered from the wind. Point Chev Beach offers swimming and water borne activities with a boat launch available for those boating enthusiasts. Point Chevalier is a hit with families, who can sit by the coast.

Activities:

WalkingSwimmingPlayground
Picnic AreaSand SportsWater Sports

Facilities:

Public ToiletsDrinking FountainPlayground

5. Narrow Neck Beach

This beach has many recreational opportunities and is only 30 minutes north from Auckland CBD and home to the Wakatere Boating Club and Squash Club which is located along the Hauraki Gulf coastline. With lovely golden sands with wonderful views of Rangitoto Island.  This beach offers a playground, toilets and changing rooms, large car park, BBQ area with seating and picnic tables. You can bring your pet friendly dog to this area but they must be on leash at all times unless otherwise stated in the dog walking section.

Activities:

WalkingLarge Car ParkPlaygrounds

Facicilites:

BBQBeach ShowerChanging Rooms
Bike RampDinghy rampToilets

South Beaches:

South Auckland beaches are quieter and less crowded compared to the West Coast on the North Shore. Whether it is a relaxing stroll along the soft sands, a picnic stop or surfing the waves. There is something for everyone at these South Auckland beaches.

1. Oneroa

If you are looking to head further, why not make your way by ferry to the famous Waiheke Island where you can wander off to Oneroa Beach. Large, centrally located beach beside a sheltered bay offering swimming & boating options and if you are planning on staying over on this beautiful island maybe get a wine tasting in while you are there. With easy access to public transport you will find it easy to make your way around this lovely island.

Activities:

SwimmingBoatingPicnic

Facilities:

Drinking FountainPicnic TablesToilets
Boat RampBBQPlaygrounds

2. Brooks Beach

Brooks Beach is another beach on Manukau Harbour’s western shore. The beach has white sand and has peaceful waters. You can stroll along the beach or the grass path, offering beautiful views of the Manukau Harbour and Kauritūtahi Island.You can enjoy the safe, sandy beaches, sheltered picnic spots and nice barbecue areas. 

Activities:

SwimmingBird WatchingWalks

Facilities:

Car ParkPicnic AreaPublic Toilets

3. Karioitahi Beach

Karioitahi Beach on the wild west coast of this windy reserve has long stretches of black sand, windswept cliffs, large dunes and sometimes dangerous seas. Fantastic for surfing and watching the beautiful sunsets. Karioitahi beach is a popular place for family picnics, horse riding, dog walking and strolling along whilst getting some sand between your toes. There are lifeguards available in the summer season.

Activities:

WalkingSwimmingHorse Riding
SurfingSand SportsPicnics

Facilities:

Lifeguards (Summer)ToiletsChanging Rooms

East Beaches:

Some of the best white sand beaches in Auckland are in the Eastern suburbs. Whether it’s a swim, picnic, fish or walk you will have a fun filled day out at the beautiful beaches in East Auckland.

1. Wenderholm Regional Park

Wenderholm Regional Park situated between the estuaries of the Puhoi River and the Waiwera River and 50 minutes from Auckland CBD on the east coast this park features the homestead known as Couldrey House, and a carved pouwhenua. Regional Park also is a working farm. The farm animals is a great viewing point. Wenderholm beach is known for its long, sandy, tranquil beach and shady pohutukawa trees along the foreshore seems to be a big attraction for visitors to this park. Wenderholm is a great place for a picnic and it is easy to find a picturesque spot of your own.

Activities:

Farm Animals ViewingMountain bikingBird watching
BoatingDivingKayaking
FishingWalkingSightseeing
SwimmingVolunteeringDog Walking

Facilities:

Jetty & Boat RampCar ParkRanger office
Ranger PhoneBus & Coach ParkingBoat Trailer & Car Parking
Mobility ParkingBBQsWalking Tracks

2. Buckland Beach

Buckland Beach is popular for being the ideal beach for a nice walk to clear your mind, strolling along the beautiful beach offers fantastic views to Rangitoto Island, the Waitematā Harbour and Maungarei / Mt Wellington.

From the marina, the path takes you along the boardwalk to Little Bucklands Beach where you can stroll the sandy beach, the grass areas, or walk along a paved footpath. The Kids will enjoy playing in the sand and spotting boats in the estuary.

Activities:

WalksSwimmingFishing

Facilities:

Public ToiletsPram FriendlyFree Parking

Central Beaches:

Auckland City Central Beaches have two vibrant beach fronts suburbs – Mission Bay and St Helier’s that are filled with tasty eateries and shops. Whether you want to take a dip in the sea, hire a kayak, or experience paddle boarding on the calm waters.

1. Mission Bay Beach

Mission Bay beach is a bustling spot with some amazing restaurants and cafés to choose from and only meters away from the beach or grass area to have a perfect summer picnic. Mission Bay is a beautiful beach with white sands and is only a 15-minute drive from Auckland CBD perfect if you wish to plan an impromptu evening after work on a hot summer’s night whether you relax on the sandy beach or to enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in the area.  With views of Rangitoto this can be the perfect spot to enjoy with loved ones.  With a playground for the young one’s ideal place to relax and unwind while the kids are burning some energy on the playground. Mission Bay is the perfect beach to make some amazing memories.

Activities:

SwimmingPicnickingSunbathing
Water SportsBeach SportsEateries Nearby

Facilities:

ParkingToiletsPicnic Area

2. St Heliers

St Heliers with its walkway along the perimeter that goes from the one end of the beach to the cliff face.

Quite a large area to swim or just sit and relax on the beach. The Cliff end also has a few rocks that go out to the sea. With a playground for the children so there is something for everyone. Not to mention the shops being in close proximity to the beach so everything is within walking distance. There are a good range of eateries suiting different tastes and budget.

An incredible, unique beach. At low tide you can walk right out into the ocean and it will still only be ankle deep. You can walk all the way to Narrowneck beach or up to the nearby hill where the old WW2 bunkers are located.

Activites:

Beach SportsSwimmingPlayground

Facilities:

Drinking FountainPlaygroundParking
Public ToiletsLocal CafesLibrary

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