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Auckland is lucky enough to be surrounded by three very distinct harbours. There’s a myriad of beautiful beaches just waiting to be discovered in and around New Zealand’s largest city — if you’re up for a longer expedition, here are five amazing locations to set your sights on.
Located just an hour’s drive from downtown Auckland, Anawhata Beach is a hidden treasure that is much quieter than its neighbours on the Waitakere Ranges. The beach is slightly off-grid and can only be accessed by foot. The route leading to Piha will take you to the winding gravel surfaces of Anawhata Road — from there, you just need to follow the tracks down to your sandy sanctuary.
Take a ferry to Great Barrier Island to spend a day exploring its most popular beach. Medlands is one of the prime surfing destinations around Auckland, and the beach is also quite a nice place for kayaking, fishing and swimming. The sublime scenery and awe-inspiring sand dunes are an added bonus.
This great day trip destination is only a ferry ride away. The soft white sands, serene waters and lush forests that shelter Oneroa Beach are incredibly attractive for those visiting Waiheke Island. If you need to get your bearings, Oneroa Beach is just 3 kilometres (1.86 miles) from the ferry terminal. While you’re exploring the coastlines, make sure to take a short stroll to Little Oneroa, a not-so-hidden local secret that’s usually less crowded than its counterpart.
Part of the Matakana Coast, just north of Auckland, the Tawharanui Peninsula is loved for its white-sand beaches, cool surf spots and safe swimming waters. Omaha is the place to head to if you want to catch some waves, Anchor Bay is the ideal spot for those wanting to take a dip in the ocean and the Whangateau Harbour is a great location for a family camping trip.
A scenic drive out east will lead to the shores of Pohutukawa Coast. There, you’ll find a number of regional parks and family friendly beaches, including the north-facing Maraetai. This beach in particular is known for providing spectacular views (stretching from Auckland city right to the Coromandel Ranges), safe swimming conditions and grassed verges that are perfect for a coastal picnic.