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Abel Tasman National Park

An island nation with beaches all around its coastline, you’ll never be short of a beach at which to swim or take a sandy stroll in Aotearoa.

It’s the southern hemisphere – so warmer in the north than in the south, and summer beach time generally lasts from November through to March. Summer school holidays in December & January will see families and kids flocking to beaches. Many Aucklanders have beach houses, known as baches, north of Auckland and on the Coromandel Peninsula’s east coast.

Lifeguards patrol the country’s most popular beaches and you’ll be encouraged to swim between the flags. While the water may look super-inviting, be aware of rips and undertows that give the country alarmingly high drowning statistics.

Visitors are often surprised how few people they see on wide expanses of New Zealand sand - one of the advantages of being in a country larger than the UK, but with a population of only 5 million.

Bay of Islands

Beaches for Kids

Abel Tasman National Park

6okm or dayhike & kayak this coastal track


Short ferry trip from Downtown

Hot Water Beach

Dig your own sand jacuzzi

Mangawhai Heads

Hard to beat this east coast beach

Mt Maunganui

NZ's best beach?!

Orewa Beach

3km of sand & surf

Tahunanui Beach

Fun in the sun in Nelson

Tamaki Drive

Waterfront drive, cycle path, aquarium & beaches

Waiheke Island Beaches

Sun-soaked sand everywhere

West Coast Beaches

Black-sand beaches & surf

Whangaparoa Peninsula

Beaches galore 25km north of Auckland

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by Andrea Schaffer