Auckland’s iconic black sand surf beach. 50 minutes from the CBD it’s worth the drive. The surf can be pretty big so swim between the flags.
2. Takapuna Beach.
The best swimming beach in the city. Shopping bars and cafes as well.
3. Mission Bay.
The best swimming beach South of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Great restaurants and a nice park.
5. Long Bay.
Perfect for family picnics, safe swimming and a marine reserve.
East coast surf beach with intermittent surf and white sand. Plenty of bars and restaurants and a great park.
7. Bethells Beach.
Another great west coast surf beach. Black sand and less people than Piha.
8. Muriwai Beach.
Drive your car for miles along this black sand beach. Just don’t get stuck below the high tide line. Great fun. Perfect for a 4 wheel drive or quad bike. Great fishing and surfing around the point at Maori Bay. Gannet colony is popular with photographers.
9. Goat Island.
At the Northern end of the Auckland Region is Goat Island. NZ’s oldest Marine Reserve. Great for snorkelling or take a trip on the glass bottom boat. there’s plenty of fish.
10. Shakespear Beach.
On the tip of Whangaparaoa Peninsula. White sand, native birds and stunning views. Great for picnics and swimming.
3 Secret Beaches in Auckland
1. Whites Beach
Whites Beach is often completely empty even in the the middle of summer. And it’s an absolute stunner. Cool, clean water with big surf. There’s no life guards so it’s only recommended for strong swimmers. The hike in is part of the fun. Drive to the northernmost parking lot at North Piha, walk to the end of the beach then look for the secret track up the cliffs. (don’t worry there is actually a sign.) There’s an amazing view from the headland so be sure and take the detour to the lookout. The track down to the beach has two options. Choose the steep path with the Jesus cable. You’ll be holding the cable and calling to Jesus as you make your way down the steep cliff. Then you time your run along the rocks between waves to reach the beach. Watch for penguins in the evening, and the occasional nudist in the day time. (It’s not a nude beach – but there’s often no one there so for some the temptation is too much to resist.)
2. Karaka Bay
This is on every best Beach list so it’s not really a secret but it feels like it is when you get there. There is no road access. You have to walk down a steep path which keeps away most of the public. It’s lined with pohutukawa trees and has stunning views towards browns Island. You feel like you’re miles from the city without needing to drive for an hour. The most peaceful beach in the city by a mile.
3. Pohutukawa Bay
This is a little gem of a beach. Not far from Long Bay but way less people. And way less clothing. You could say clothing is optional at Pohutukawa Bay. It’s a fairly well established Nudist Beach.