Best beaches

“The cliffs out at Muriwai Beach have to be one of Auckland’s most unique landscapes and the views out into the Tasman Sea are incredible – they just seem to go on forever.”

Sir John Kirwan

Piha Beach

Piha is one of Auckland’s top surfing beaches, watched over by the mighty Lion Rock. Take a surf lesson, refuel at the great beach café (try the woodfired pizza), or just soak up the scenery on one of the local walks.

Karekare Beach

Karekare’s remote, dramatic landscapes have inspired filmmakers, writers and photographers, most notably in Jane Campion’s The Piano. The beautiful Karekare Falls is just a short walk from the main beach.

Muriwai Beach

Muriwai’s clifftop platforms overlook the gannet colonies, where around 1200 pairs of gannets nest from August to March. As you’d expect, the views out to the Tasman Sea are pretty amazing. Blow out the cobwebs with a walk by the shore or join a guided horse trek along the black sands.

Te Henga (Bethells Beach)

More sheltered than some of the other west coast beaches, Te Henga (Bethells Beach) is a great swimming spot. About 15 minutes’ walk from the water, climb the huge sand dunes at Lake Wainamu.

Anawhata Beach

If you’re after beauty and solitude, check out Anawhata; it's more remote and lesser known than its neighbour Piha – you might even get it to yourself. Take the turn off before Piha and walk from the car park down to the beach – there’s a beautiful lookout point before you reach the beach; stop for the views, breathe in that fresh sea air and press reset.

Whatipu Beach

Rugged and remote, Whatipu is a good place to escape the crowds, and starts with amazing views on the drive through Huia. Near Whatipu Beach are sea caves with a surprising history, once used as a ballroom by locals – bring a torch and explore.

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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