1. Mission Bay, Auckland
Located a short drive away from Auckland city is a popular seaside promenade known as Mission Bay. Home to white sandy beaches and a range of international restaurants, Mission Bay is the perfect place to spend a weekend in. With relatively calm waters throughout the year, Mission Bay is the perfect place to bring your children swimming as you work on your glorious tan. For lovers of the water, try sea kayaking or windsurfing instead. In the evening, wind down with a glass of wine by or check out the iconic Berkeley Cinema for a classic cinema experience.
A peaceful beach town with an idyllic beach at Mission Bay. Photo credit: Yortw / Flickr
2. Coopers Beach
Adjacent to an old fishing village in Mangonui, a 4 hours drive from Auckland, Coopers Beach is one of the lesser known summer destinations around New Zealand. Set in a beautiful sea town, Coopers Beach offers expansive views of the ocean and pristine white beaches for those who are looking for a quiet break away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Serenity abounds on the pristine white beaches of Coopers Beach. Photo credit: Panoramio
3. Ninety Mile Beach
Ninety Mile Beach offers a seemingly endless stretch of sand located on the western coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Contrary to the name of the place, the actual beach is only 88 kilometers (approximately 55 miles). That being said, Ninety Mile Beach is the perfect place to indulge in some lazy driving to a chill-out tunes playlist. With so much space available, you can be sure to find a spot where you’ll have the entire beach to yourself. The northern dunes in this area, which resembles a desert landscape, are a popular spot for body-boarding. Access this beach either by car (5 hours from Auckland), or taking a 45-minute flight to Kaitaia airport from Auckland.
Find your personal slice of paradise at Ninety Mile Beach. Photo credit: Heike Quosdorf / Flickr
4. Piha Beach
One of the most famous surf beaches in New Zealand is Piha Beach, situated just 40km away from the city center of Auckland. Known for her black sandy beaches and powerful waves, Piha Beach is an impressive sight to behold. If you’re not a seasoned surfer, it’s best to enjoy the spectacle of the crashing waves from a distance. This picture-perfect landscape is the place to be humbled by the forces of nature.
Marvel at the power of nature at famed surf spot, Piha Beach. Photo credit: MickiTakesPictures / Flickr
5. Whale Bay
Whale Bay is arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand, and is located approximately 2 hours south of Auckland. Offering sheltered waters and a beautiful lush native bush, Whale Bay is a splendid spot for swimming or for enjoying a picnic. Direct road access is not possible, so you’ll have to park on top before taking a slow trek down (approximately 30 minutes). If it’s your lucky day, you might just spot a couple of dolphins jumping out of the water!
You might just spot a dolphin or two! Photo credit: Florian Bugiel / Flickr
6. Ocean Beach, Mount Maunganui
Sometimes known as Surf City, Mount Maunganui is home to one of the best surfing beaches in New Zealand – Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach is popular amongst holiday goers who wish to give bodysurfing or surfing a try. The city also enjoys great sunshine and weather all year round as well as a laidback cafe scene which the locals call “The Mount”. If you are looking for an idyllic beach town to spend your days in, this is it! This beach is just 2 and a half aways from Auckland by car.
Surf’s up at Ocean Beach, an idyllic beach town. Photo credit: brianscantlebury.com / Flickr
For more tips on visiting New Zealand, go to www.newzealand.com