More info He pārongo atu anōVisit website
Enjoy a refreshing dip in the sparkling sea, skim the coastline in a kayak or greet friendly fish living their best lives at Ōkura Marine Reserve. A grassy lawn stretches the length of the beach, leaving plenty of room for beachside games, kite-flying or family BBQs. No need to rely on your beach umbrella – shady trees offer cool sanctuary.
Keen for an adventure? Explore the parkland that sprawls a further two kilometres past the main beach. There are several coastal tracks which will lead you through wetlands, native forest and sandstone clifftops. For a quick excursion, hike up the hill over to Granny’s Bay. The views of Hauraki Gulf are worth it.
Wildlife lovers, keep your eyes peeled – you might just spot dolphins in the distance. This rich marine ecosystem is a favourite hang-out spot for oystercatchers, black-fronted terns and even endangered New Zealand dotterels, which nest at the sandspits near Ōkura Walkway. At low tide, peep into the rock pools to spy on anemones, starfish, crabs and little fish.
This land is rich in cultural heritage with evidence of land use and activities stretching as far back as 300 years ago. In 1862 the Vaughan family bought 600 hectares to farm sheep, later adding a campground. Visit the family’s restored wooden homestead near Vaughan Stream or check out the gun emplacement from a World War II defence network, now located on the Coastal Walk.
After all that sun and sand, pop into the Long Bay Surf Club for lunch. Is there anything better than a post-beach burger? Long Bay is one of the newest suburbs to emerge in the wider Auckland region, with modern terraced houses, lifestyle sections and a master-planned community just south of the regional park.
Location Te wāhi
Long BayPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Long Bay is a 30-minute drive from downtown Auckland and is accessible by bus.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Long Bay Regional Park is visited by an estimated 1.3 million people annually, so it pays to be the early bird to snag a parking spot in peak summer months.