Unspoiled nature, sandy beaches, and warm thermal water, breathtaking cliffs, longboarding waves for surfers… Are you ready to discover the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand?
Island of natural wonders, New Zealand is a country not to be missed. Between beaches, cliffs, and forests, nature is the watchword.
Whether you’re visiting the North Island or the South Island, in New Zealand the water will always be your travel companion, that’s for sure. I still remember the thrill of turning left and right and finding it always there, almost as if it were my North Star.
New Zealand, in Maori Aotearoa, enjoys a cultural richness as well as a natural treasure. From the forests and birdsong of the native birds to the caves and glaciers of the South Island, we are spoilt for choice.
Today we’re talking about the North Island and New Zealand’s top 5 beaches:
1. Muriwai Beach
Let’s start from the State of Auckland at ‘Muriwai Beach’.
Considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the west coast, it is located just 40 minutes far from the city of Auckland. Its charm is given not only by the great waves that break on the rocks but especially by the black sand that gives a unique touch to the setting.
This characteristic is typical of the maritime areas to the west of the country and is given by the high presence of magnetite that makes the sand magnetic and dark-looking.
The longboarding waves of ‘Muriwai Beach’ are just perfect for surfers!
If you would rather observe the ocean from above, paragliding is the perfect opportunity to do so. Once you have landed, you can explore the area overland by taking the ‘Muriwai Beach Loop Track‘. This route takes about an hour and a half and is a fantastic chance to learn about the Muriwai Gannet colonies.
You should know that this bird species migrate from the territories of Australia every year to come here in the months of July-October. ‘Muriwai Gannets’ are tropical seabirds easily recognized by their black and white plumage and golden head.
Although the area is home to many other birds, the colonies of ‘Muriwai Gannet’ are the most numerous and rich.
2. Cathedral Cove Beach
An hour and a half outside the city of Auckland, here we are on the Coromandel Peninsula, which hosts some of the most stunning beaches in New Zealand.
From the parking lot, we’re walking to ‘Cathedral Cove Beach’, on the southern edge of Mercury Bay. This beach is in fact accessible only by sea or by taking a route of about 45 minutes through the surrounding forest.
Walking through the rich green vegetation, like explorers looking for Neverland is amazing. And we finally land on the shore of the beach, as if we were the first to touch these waters.
When you arrive at ‘Cathedral Cove Beach’, you can relax on the shore, walk along the promenade and try out various activities including kayaking, diving, and snorkeling.
3. Hot Water Beach
Not far from ‘Cathedral Cove Beach’, we are visiting a truly one-of-a-kind beach.
You won’t believe it, but the name ‘Hot Water Beach‘ holds its secret: the presence of hot water. When I went there it was winter, and I was by the sea immersed in a warm and pleasant natural pool that I had dug. Let me explain.
An underground river of hot water is flowing from the depths of the Earth to the surface in the Pacific Ocean area, more specifically in the ‘Hot Water Beach’ spot.
Every day, at low tide, you can dig and find this water source. Creating your own warm water pool and relaxing while looking at the horizon of the Pacific Ocean is priceless.
4. Whangamata Beach
Considered one of the most gorgeous sights in New Zealand, ‘Whangamata Beach’ offers plenty of opportunities for sports enthusiasts and seekers of leisure.
This site is perfect for surfers, kayakers, and SUP lovers. One of the truly unique activities available is definitely the kayaking experience exploring Whenuakura Island.
This island, more commonly known as ‘Donut Island‘, has long been kept secret. Even today, despite becoming one of the tourist favorite areas, it remains a priority of the local people who encourage visitors to help preserve it.
By participating in the guided tour, you will leave from ‘Whangamata Beach’ and kayak safely across the ocean to the island. Upon arrival, a 12-meter high cave will accompany you to its small lagoon, the heart of ‘Donut Island’.
Among the rocks of the island, here are the ‘pohutukawa trees‘, recognizable by their bright red flowers.
I have to say, this is my favorite beach. Looking at the horizon I could feel the vastness of the Ocean. Beyond the horizon, only infinity.
5. Mount Maunganui Beach
A little further south, the ‘Mount Maunganui Beach’ whose name comes from the homonymous mountain that stands out in the landscape.
Ascending Mount Maunganui, 232 meters above sea level, will offer an opportunity to admire the Bay of Plenty it overlooks. This now extinct volcano has a wide variety of easy trails at both the base and summit.
Once on the beach, you can surf, swim with dolphins or simply relax while exploring the shore and its islets.
The Mount Maunganui area is also very nice in the evening, with the ‘Gourmet Night Market‘ full of fresh and local products.
These are just 5 of the beaches New Zealand can boast of. Fresh, lush, and of unparalleled beauty.
New Zealand is a unique destination precisely because it balances local nature conservation and tourism.
And you, do you know any other beautiful beaches in New Zealand?