New Zealand Beaches

The New Zealand beaches are many, and the good news for beach lovers is that you are never more than 80 miles from the coast wherever you might find yourself in this beautiful country. A quick glance at the map of New Zealand shows that both the North and South Islands are surrounded by water, meaning there are thousands of miles of New Zealand coastline. The New Zealand coastline is wrought with natural harbors and a variety of bays, that help to make it even longer still. From black sand beaches, to quiet, soft and sandy stretches, the beaches in New Zealand have it all. You can book New Zealand vacation packages that feature visits to some of the best beaches in New Zealand, or you can choose to visit a few of them on your own. Just remember that since New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere, the New Zealand summer occurs during the Northern Hemisphere's winter. In other words, the warmest months in New Zealand are December, January, and February.

Recommending the best beaches in New Zealand can be tricky, because it all comes down to personal preference, really. On both the North Island and the South Island, the best New Zealand beaches for swimming are generally found on the east coast. There are some nice spots to take a dip on the west coast, but it tends to be more rocky and rugged. Surfers might prefer the west coast to the east for the rougher waters. If you want to experience a black sand beach, the North Island's west coast is home to a few that are the result of volcanic eruptions. For those who want to try surfing, there are beaches on both islands that feature some good breaks, and you can book a New Zealand vacation package that features surfing if you want the best waves. The small beachtown of Raglan is most often hailed as the best surfing spot in New Zealand. It's found just west of the city of Hamilton, which is just an hour's drive south from Auckland.

Beaches in New Zealand
Beaches in New Zealand

Auckland is full of great attractions, such as the Auckland Zoo, and it is also a great destination for those looking to enjoy some nice New Zealand beaches. There are some 100 beaches that are within an hour's drive of Auckland, and those found near the city are referred to by their location. You have the East, West, and North Auckland beaches, with the closest ones to the city being found along Tamaki Drive. Coincidentally, Kelly Tarltons Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World is also found on Tamaki Drive, should you be interested in a side visit near the Auckland city beaches. In Auckland, you can take a ferry to Waiheke Island to enjoy one of the best beaches in New Zealand. Here at Onetangi Bay, you can see miles out to see, and if it's clear, you can make out Little Barrier Island and Great Barrier Island. North of Auckland, you'll find some of the best beaches in New Zealand at the Bay of Islands, and should you head further north, you'll be rewarded with great beach after great beach.

In the Far North region of New Zealand's North Island, the Karikari Peninsula has some of the most uncrowded New Zealand beaches, and the soft, white sand and clear, blue waters make for a most agreeable setting. At spots like Tokerau Beach and Matai Bay, you can pretty much have a fair strip of beach to yourself. Sunbathing and seashell hunting are among the favorite things to do in this relaxing paradise. Also found in the northern Northland region is Coopers Beach, which is known for the pohutukawa trees that shade part of the beach. Coopers Beach is close enough to Matai Bay to include both in your New Zealand vacation, and the great beaches in New Zealand that are found on the aforementioned Karikari Peninsula are close enough to at least visit here and there. Should you venture to the northernmost tip of New Zealand, Cape Reinga will likely be your destination. Here, the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, resulting in some pretty interesting tidal activity. As is true at any beach, be it in Hawaii, Jamaica, or New Zealand, you'll want to take care when swimming, especially if you are not familiar with the conditions at hand. When visiting Cape Reinga, you'll certainly want to check out Ninety Mile Beach, which is one of the most unique beaches in New Zealand. The large dunes here present a very different landscape, and they are often used for bodyboarding. Those interested in quirky and fun New Zealand tours might book a 90 Mile Beach bus tour, where you actually drive on the beach.

If you had to name a frontrunner among the best beaches in New Zealand, you would have to consider the sandy stretches at Abel Tasman National Park. The smallest of New Zealand's national parks, Abel Tasman offers soft, gold sand beaches, scenic bays and clear waters. It is located on the northern top of the South Island, and you can only get here by water-related forms of transportation. Kayaking and trekking are popular activities to be enjoyed at these unspoiled beaches, or you can simply relax and do nothing while you enjoy the sun and sand. Abel Tasman National Park is just west of Nelson, a popular New Zealand vacation spot that boasts its own great beaches. You'll find accommodations options of all kinds near or at the best beaches in New Zealand, including some great choices for New Zealand lodges and resorts. Adding great New Zealand tours to your beach vacations is always an option. Cruises, kayaking excursions, and visits to historical sites are just some of the tour options you're bound to encounter at some of the more popular New Zealand beaches.

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