The Most Beautiful Beaches in Auckland, New Zealand

Piha Beach's Lion Rock makes it a photographer's favourite
Piha Beach's Lion Rock makes it a photographer's favourite | © Douglas Lander / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Thalita Alves
18 July 2021

Auckland is blessed with a beautiful coastline. An equal helping of bustling beaches like Point Chevalier and serene hidden harbours like Anchor Bay means everyone will be able to find their own sandy sanctuary. To get you inspired, here are some of the most stunning coastal gems you’ll encounter during your stay in New Zealand‘s largest city.

Orewa

Natural Feature
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Scenic view of Orewa Beach north of Auckland
© paul kennedy / Alamy Stock Photo

A large, 3km (1.9mi) coastline is what makes this stunning northern beach a hit with the locals. Orewa Beach is comprised of a very flat surface, and is a favourite among kite-surfers, joggers, families and the surf crowds. It’s located right at the heart of Orewa town, too – ideal if you feel like immersing yourself in local life.

Cheltenham Beach

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Cheltenham Beach and Rangitoto Island, Devonport, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
© David Wall / Alamy Stock Photo

Take the ferry from downtown to Devonport to spend your days at this coastal darling. Cheltenham Beach offers panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf, and a wondrous perspective of Auckland’s Rangitoto Island. Its calm waters are ideal for swimmers and kayakers, and there are plenty of picnic places if you want to chill out by the ocean.

Piha

Natural Feature
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Piha beach and Lion Rock at dusk. Piha, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
© Paul Kingsley / Alamy Stock Photo

Piha is part of the remarkable west coast, and is probably one of Auckland’s most renowned beaches. Strong currents attract adventurous surfers to its rugged, black-sand plains. The Lion Rock, which splits Piha Beach into two distinct sections, is also quite popular among landscape photographers.

Bethells Beach

Natural Feature
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Bethells beach and bays at Karekare and Piha from Tasman lookout track North island New Zealand
© QEDimages / Alamy Stock Photo

Another west coast gem, Bethells Beach brings just right amount of wilderness to its coastlines. Marvel at the area’s incredible caves, sand dunes, plentiful waves and signature black sands. Because of its rough, nippy waters, this is more of a surfer’s beach than a swimming one – but if you’re confident enough in the water, feel free to dive on in.

Oneroa

Natural Feature
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Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand, with a view across to Mount Rangitoto.
© travellinglight / Alamy Stock Photo

Head over to the idyllic Waiheke Island to encounter the stunning Oneroa Beach. Tourists flock into Waiheke to get a taste of its rich wine culture, but the beaches are a must-see for all travellers, too. With an array of cafes and restaurants nearby, Oneroa Beach is a brilliant stopover for anyone wanting to relax under the sun.

Karekare

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Karekare Beach, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
© Joana Kruse / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’ve ever seen The Piano, you’ll recognise Karekare right away – this is where all of the movie’s coastal scenes were shot. You’ll find this isolated beach a few kilometres south of Piha. If you don’t want to brave its characteristically choppy waters, you can always appreciate the scenery – as a bonus, the Karekare waterfalls are a short walking distance inland.

Mission Bay

Natural Feature
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Mission Bay Auckland New Zealand
© dan pan / Alamy Stock Photo

You don’t have to venture too far from the city centre to enjoy Auckland’s beautiful beaches: Mission Bay is a bustling spot because of its reasonably centralised location. Golden sands, prominent views of Rangitoto, and a dynamic cafe and restaurant scene are among the various features of this picturesque suburb. If you feel like taking a bit of a short stroll, you can also venture along to the neighbouring Kohimarama and Saint Heliers beaches.

Wenderholm Regional Park

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Wenderholm Regional Park Auckland New Zealand
© one-image photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Wenderholm Regional Park beach is positioned just past Orewa, between the Puhoi and Waiwera Rivers. Because of its neighbouring park, this serene beach is lined with native pohutukawa trees and grassy picnic spots. On the sandy shores, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the pristine Hauraki Gulf vistas.

Takapuna

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Takapuna
© Steve Keall / Alamy Stock Photo

Takapuna is a compact North Shore town that is renowned for its shopping, cafe scene and – of course – its beautiful coastline. The beach is always lively and busy, attracting paddle boarders, kayakers, joggers and swimmers. The postcard-worthy harbour views all around Takapuna serve as an added bonus.

Point Chevalier Beach

Natural Feature
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Dusk at Point Chevalier Beach
© anupamhatui / Getty Images

This lovely inner-city beach is perfect for a summertime stroll. Point Chevalier is a hit with families, who can sit by the coast and watch the kids have fun at the nearby playground, as well as Aucklanders who are keen for some quiet downtime along the harbour. At high tide, the beach’s half-moon shape provides a unique backdrop to Auckland’s remarkable scenery.

These recommendations were updated on July 18, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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