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Family fun

New Zealand beaches best places to go, best time to go, what to do nearby

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New Zealand where are the best beaches located?

New Zealand’s best beaches are found In the upper North Island, around Auckland and Bay of Plenty with kilometres of sandy beaches, shallow water and estuaries for kids to explore. Surfers are spoilt for choice with the west coast of both Islands offering tantalising swells.

Piha Beach, low tide evening light, West Auckland, New Zealand
Piha Beach

KEY BEACH LOCATIONS INCLUDE…

Check out Auckland’s Takapuna or Coromandel with Hot Water Beach. Then there is Mt Maunganui Main Beach or Bay of Islands coves and listen to bird song.  Find towering sand dunes in the Far North Te Paki or Hokianga Harbour. Discover into the glorious gold sandy beaches of Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson and dip your toes in crystal clear blue water.

Brisk winter days encourage you to explore your wild side with the wind and iron sands whipping the air into a fury as the sea and sky merge into a blue / grey light at Muriwai and other Auckland west coast beaches.

Ponder about your surfing credentials while watching lycra clad surfers in Raglan and Taranaki’s Surf Highway. Consider joining a surf school for surfing lessons.

TIPS FOR A HASSLE FREE DAY AT THE BEACH ARE

  • Toilets and changing rooms nearby
  • Playgrounds and outdoor showers
  • Cafes for parent’s coffee buzz
  • Ice cream vendors
  • Shady trees and an estuary and walk to explore
Aerial view of a Beautiful Bay with Sandy Beach near Nelson, New Zealand
Beautiful Bay with Sandy Beach near Nelson
Sandcastle joy at the beach

WHAT CAN YOU DO AT THE BEACH TO KEEP KIDS ENTERTAINED?

The classic thing to do at the beach to keep kids entertained is to build a sandcastle. Let’s start with an oldie but goodie, sandcastle building tips and tricks. Sandcastles are a great family selfie moment. Transitory and energetic and remember lots of sunscreen as you are exposed  … read more What to do at the beach … sandcastles.

WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR A GOOD DAY AT THE BEACH WITH THE KIDS?

Tips and tricks to summer beach activities for kids with ants in their pants is building a driftwood mansion. Sandcastles are for little kids with older children feeling the challenge of bigger things in life. Think driftwood and start looking. Driftwood building is very satisfying with the option of flying a flag (T-shirt) from the parapets.  The kids need amusing, that annoying brother / cousin is itching to do something. Beach sports is always a goodie and you can obviously recruit complete strangers who see the cricket stumps being set up and volunteer to field.

Driftwood shelter, Collingwood, South Island, New Zealand
Driftwood shelter, Collingwood
INTERESTING FACT

A few rules around driftwood magic…

Leave what you find at the beach. Driftwood is someone’s home, the habitat for marine life. Take down the beautiful fort and leave the beach as you found it.

Driftwood is wood washed ashore by the action of wind, tides and storms, do not use power tools to chop up the driftwood, use its natural found form. Do not disturb shorebirds, marine life while collecting driftwood. And definitely do not remove from the beach

Your structure is temporary, do not destroy the environment to build your driftwood fort.

Sand massage

TEENAGERS AND THE BEACH WHAT TO DO WITH BORED TEENAGERS?

Bored teenagers at the beach can be invited to an impromptu spa massage. It’s glorious, the gentle exfoliation and rhythmic relaxation of muscles as heated oils soften and soak into the skin. Try out your own DIY beach massage. The ingredients are simple, a day at the beach. The beach is the original wellness destination and the best bit, it’s free.

A list of beaches in New Zealand to visit totals over fifty and counting. Here are some of our amazing beaches to visit in New Zealand:

 

NORTHLAND BEACHES

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT NORTHLAND, NZ BEACHES?

The best time to visit Northland beaches is between mid-December to early April (summer).

TIP

Check Far North regional travel guide.

WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF NZ, NORTHLAND BEACHES

Beach highlights for Northland, NZ beaches are

  • Subtropical climate
  • Proxmity to outstanding Maori attractions including Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Bay of Islands bird sanctuaries with quiet small sandy coves to throw down a towel
  • Ninety Mile beach is often on visitor’s bucket list
Motuarohia Island, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand
Motuarohia Island, Bay of Islands

AUCKLAND BEACHES

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT NZ AUCKLAND BEACHES?

The best time to visit Auckland beaches is mid December to mid April, in the summer.

Mansion House, Kawau Island, Hauraki Gulf, North Island New Zealand
Mansion House, Kawau Island, Hauraki Gulf

WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF NZ, AUCKLAND BEACHES?

The top things to do at Auckland beaches are:

  • Pop across the road to a plethora of cafes and restaurants in Takapuna or Mission Bay
  • Indulge in winter wild magic on the West Coast surf beaches with tumultuous surf and driftwood galore
  • Explore Hauraki Gulf islands and beaches on a ferry day trip from Auckland CDB

COROMANDEL BEACHES

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT COROMANDEL BEACHES?

The best time to visit beaches in the Coromandel, NZ is mid-December to early April.

WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF CORMANDEL BEACHES?

  • Quirky Hot Water Beach with its welling geothermal warm springs
  • Beaches fringed with pohututukawa trees in spring bloom
  • Beaches with nearby camping grounds and art galleries to linger in
Hot Water Beach tourist hot spot, New Zealand
Hot Water Beach

14 Best Coromandel Beaches: Find Your Perfect Shoreline

Getting around and what to do nearby. Coromandel and beaches are synonyms for each other. Here is a list of fourteen firm favorites where beaches dot the hills and locals travel from all parts of New Zealand for the summer rite of a beach holiday.

learn more Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove incoming tide sunset Cathedral Cove

A guide to 16 Coromandel Beaches, hidden gems, location and what to see

Fish n chips on the beach, picnics, reading a book, water sports or exploring nearby tracks Coromandel Peninsula is the ideal summer holiday destination. At all times be water safe, take insect repellent and water.

learn more Opito Bay @Aziz TN
Opito Bay, New Zealand @Aziz TN Opito Bay @Aziz TN

NORTH ISLAND, NZ BEACHES WORTH EXPLORING

35 Things to Do in Raglan

Raglan is a small beachside town located 48 kilometres west of Hamilton, New Zealand. West Coast beaches, black iron sands, and pounding surf are spectacular drawcards for Raglan. Raglan is New Zealand’s original surf town.

learn more Raglan estuary
Raglan estuary, kayaking, jumping off jetty, New Zealand Raglan estuary

Bay of Plenty Beaches, places to go

Unearth a new favourite, go diving, surfing, windsurfing or cruise the bay. From safe swimming beaches to driftwood piles inviting you to build a fort.

learn more Bowentown domain @Waihi Beach
Bowentown domain @Waihi Beach Bowentown domain @Waihi Beach

Beaches Hawke’s Bay places to go

A top surfing beach, Mahia is a contrast to the calm paddling water at Ahuriri estuary. Discover a place to surf cast at Waipatiki beach or explore the Te Angiangi Marine Reserve.

learn more Mangakuri Beach @Bookabach
Mangakuri Beach, New Zealand @Bookabach Mangakuri Beach @Bookabach

THE ULTIMATE SURFING HOLIDAY IN NZ BUCKET LIST IS

Surf Highway 45: Taranaki things to do

Are you ready for fun? Gravel roads lead to quiet beaches where the pounding surf is a place of joy.

learn more Ahu Ahu beach surfing @Jeff Sutton
Ahu Ahu beach surfing, New Zealand @Jeff Sutton Ahu Ahu beach surfing @Jeff Sutton

WHAT IS THE BEST PLACE TO GO IN NZ FOR BEACH HOLIDAYS?

The outstanding rockstar for beautiful beaches, an exquisite native forest jewell (Abel Tasman) and cafes, art galleries and beach culture is Nelson, South Island.

Nelson top 5 beaches and beyond in Abel Tasman

Finding a beach in Nelson is ridiculously easy. You can hardly move from the regional airport and one of New Zealand’s top family beaches, Tahunanui is within your sights.

learn more Wharariki Beach and Archway Islands @Pseudopanax
Wharariki Beach and Archway Islands, Nelson, New Zealand @Pseudopanax Wharariki Beach and Archway Islands @Pseudopanax

SOUTH ISLAND BEACH HOLIDAYS

DUNEDIN & OTAGO PENINSULA BEACHES WORTH EXPLORING

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