Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt


Bay of Plenty Top 5 beaches

  • 3 minutes

Award winning Mt Maunganui Main Beach with its well earned celebrity status, Waihi Beach festival vibe and summer fizz, Pilot Bay family friendly harbour water where container ships add a dash of contrast, Papamoa Beach space for everyone and the dog on a leash, Ohope Beach, surf or estuary with the nearby Ohope Scenic Reserve for a spectacular view of the surroundings.



Waihi Beach, New Zealand @Hayley Summer
Waihi Beach @Hayley Summer

Discover the northern gateway to the Bay of Plenty beach scene with a flourish at Waihi Beach. The resort feel to Waihi Beach is its filled calendar of summer festivals, beach shops, cafes and tour operators ensuring you have the right equipment to get out on an SUP, kayak or book yourself into a surf school. While the beach can appear crowded there are small car parks along the length of the beach with plenty of space for you to own a piece of summer heaven. Think about over 9 km of dazzling white sand and amazing surf. With the native bush headlands and coast threading the way through to Bowentown, ANZAC Bay and SHELLY BAY there is a place on the beach for everyone. For swimmers the Waihi Surf Lifesaving Club ensures it is safe to swim with flags cheerfully marking the spot.

  • Summer party season is usually in full swing at Waihi Beach
  • The beach cafe coffee is superb with views of the beach activity
  • Surf school, horse riding, attractions

Read more What’s so great about Waihi Beach – Best Bits.


Featured on the top 21 family friendly beaches in BEST BITS, Pilot Bay Beach is a gem hiding in plain sight of the rockstar status of Mt Manganui Main Beach.

Enjoy the calm sheltered harbour beach opposite Mount Maunganui main beach. This is a family favourite with its cafes, restaurants and safe swimming. The grassed foreshore has public BBQ’s, picnic tables and generous parking spaces. The contrast between the massive container ships gliding into the busy port and the kayaker enjoying the sunset is magic. Join the dots at the Mount with a walk around the base of Mount Maunganui for a touch of Main Beach glamour.


read more

Pilot Bay Beach, a view of Taurunga from the Summit of Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Pilot Bay Beach
Driftwood bench seat on sand dunes overlooking Mount Maunganui Beach, New Zealand
Driftwood bench seat on sand dunes overlooking Mount Maunganui Beach

Awarded rockstar status by Trip Advisor the beach is affectionately known as the Mount. The beach’s sandy shores stretch in a continuous line from the Mount to Papamoa finishing in a gentle curve at Mateku. The beach has the hill as a focal point with gaily fluttering lifeguard flags, enthusiastic surfers, beach goers lounging on the beach all enjoying the Pacific Ocean’s clear blue depths.  An artificial reef installed 250m offshore creates perfect waves for surfers, The excellent swimming conditions have fostered the counterpoint of cafes, shops and summer popup stalls across the road from the beach. The tradition of an ice cream at the beach is amply catered for by Copenhagen Cones.

Read more Mount Maunganui, activities, events, attractions – Best Bits.


Relish the wide sweeps of a white sandy beach, reaching16 km from the Mount to Kaituna River. Papamoa Beach is a quieter version of Mount Maunganui Main beach. The beautiful dunes and coastal grasses have numerous pathways to the shoreline setting the scene for a coastline where swells encourage surfers and walkers to enjoy watching a game of beach volleyball. Swimmers do not fret with the Papamoa Surf Club carefully marking out safe swimming spots with flags. The beach is enormous and you will never feel crowded. The beach is supported with restaurants and shops just up the road from the beach, making it a great family destination.

Papamoa Beach sunset, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Papamoa Beach sunset
Ohope Beach, Eastcoast New Zealand
Ohope Beach

Gorgeous, stunning Ohope with its 11 km of white sands and family friendly swimming options is another hot favourite in the Bay of Plenty. The unparalled views of Moutohora (Whale Island, and Whakaari (White Island) break the views of the Pacific Ocean offering a contrast between sea and land. The beach is lined with mature norfolk pines creating plenty of shady spots. Ohope Beach is a study in contrast with a short walk unveiling OTARAWAIRERE BAY, a sheltered lagoon area with rock pools to explore at low tide. From ocean beach to an estuary, Ohope has something to offer the most discerning beach goer.

Read more about attractions and things to do at Ohope Beach, What’s so great about Ohope.

Getting there

Find out more about Things to do in Bay of Plenty § Attractions, Activities & Places to Visit and check out Things to do in Tauranga, Mt Maunganui: Attractions, Activities & Places to Visit – Best Bits for holiday inspiration.



Related articles



If you have a query about content, travel deals or anything else, our team is happy to answer all your questions 🙂

    Your information is secure, no third party involved.
    100% Safe, secure, privacy guaranteed. Privacy Policy.