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Beaches for Kids

Mission bay

This is an easy one. If all you need to keep your kids happy is a stretch of sand and sea, you’ll never run out of beaches.

Remember, you’re in the southern hemisphere - the north is warm, and the further south you go, the colder it will get. And the seasons are opposite - prime beach weather is summer, from November-ish to March-ish, depending on where you are in the country.

Lots of Kiwi families head to the beach and holiday houses during summer school holidays in December and January.

There are superb beaches north of Auckland, especially on the east coast, all the way up to the top of the country. Similarly, the Coromandel Peninsula’s east coast has popular beach towns such as Whitianga, Whangamata and Waihi. Mt Maunganui claims to be “NZ’s best beach”, while Gisborne boasts Wainui Beach.

If you’re in Auckland, all you’ll need to do is go along Tamaki Drive to Mission Bay, Kohimarama or St Heliers beaches. Or head over to the North Shore. If you’re after a more adventurous beach experience, take bigger kids out to the west coast beaches - but keep an eye on them and make sure they swim between the flags.

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Auckland for Kids - Best Beaches

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

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by Hamish