Best beaches

“One of my favourite island beaches is Man O’ War Bay on Waiheke Island; it’s at the other end of the island from the ferry and Man O’ War Vineyard is right there!”

Sir John Kirwan

Ladies and Mens Bays, Rotoroa Island

Rotoroa Island is home to two beautiful golden beaches – Ladies Bay and Mens Bay. Both are a short walk from the wharf and have safe swimming – bring a picnic and a beach umbrella and you’re set for the day.

Top picks for Waiheke Island

Waiheke is home to a string of picture-perfect white-sand beaches, including Oneroa and Onetangi, both just a short bus or car ride away (Oneroa is about 20 minutes’ walk from the ferry). At the other end of the island, Man O’ War Bay is not only a looker, but Man O’ War Vineyard’s beach-front cellar is just steps away.

Medlands Beach, Great Barrier Island

Take time out at the very photogenic Medlands Beach on Great Barrier Island. The island’s most popular beach, Medlands is one of The Barrier’s best surf spots; you can also swim, walk, explore the dunes or fish off the rocks.

Kawau Island’s top two

Catch the ferry from Sandspit (or bring your own boat) to Kawau Island and relax at Mansion House Bay. Stop off at Vivian Bay, where pods of dolphins are often playing in the crystal clear waters. With boutique accommodation and a fine dining restaurant, it’s also perfect for a wedding or a special occasion.

Home Bay, Motutapu Island

Walk across the causeway from Rangitoto Island to Motutapu Island and relax at Home Bay. Come for the day for swimming and a picnic, or book in at the Department of Conservation campsite for a fun, cheap weekend getaway.

Play it safe in the water
Make sure you keep yourself and your family safe while you’re enjoying our beautiful beaches as water does present a potential hazard. There are steps you can take to keep safe while you’re in, on and under the water. See New Zealand’s Water Safety Code.

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