Best Beaches in New Zealand

Looking for the best beaches in New Zealand?

If you are looking for a place where you can enjoy a perfect beach holiday, you should consider going to the newest country on earth – New Zealand.

This amazing country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world that lie below a picturesque mountainous topography that features glorious, untouched indigenous forests, breathtaking waterfalls and stunning lakes.

Beaches NZ attract millions of tourists from across the globe every year, and you will simply love to be counted among this lucky group. The only problem you will have is choosing specific beaches in New Zealand where you can enjoy your holiday. This is because the country has so many remarkable beaches stretching from north to south.

Fortunately, I’ve made this job easier for you, and here are the five New Zealand beaches that are considered to be among the best, not just in New Zealand, but in the rest of the world.

Best beaches in New Zealand

1. Cathedral Cove, Coromandel 

This exotic-looking beach in New Zealand’s North Island can only be accessed by boat, sea kayak or foot from the town of Hahei. However, you do not have to worry about getting tired since it is just half-an-hour walk distance from this Coromandel town. The Cathedral Cove New Zealand beach is considered one of the best places where you can go diving and snorkeling, especially at the Stingray and Gemstone bays. It is also surrounded by a national marine reserve, which you can take time to explore and discover the wonderful, diverse New Zealand marine life.

Check out these Cathedral Cove activities.

Best beaches in New Zealand
Cathedral Cove in New Zealand

2. Raglan, Waikato 

The magical Raglan beach is an hour’s drive from the city of Hamilton. It is regarded as one of the best beaches in New Zealand where you can go surfing. In fact, it ranks among the top left-hand breaks on the planet. Aside from catching waves, this beach is a perfect place for para-gliding and sport fishing. The fantastic town of Raglan also many great dining places, pubs and cafes where you can enjoy live music as you watch cool, beautiful sunsets.

Book a private surfing lesson here.

3. Cannibal Bay, Catlins

This breathtaking beach lies on the south-east of the South Island’s rugged coastline. You can access this amazing beach from either Dunedin or Invercargill. While on a day trip at cannibal bay, you will get a chance to spot fabulous New Zealand wildlife, including elephant seals, fur seals and the rare yellow-eyed penguin. The highly scenic bays and water falls will also keep your camera busy.

4. Papamoa Beach, Bay of plenty 

This beach is the quieter version of the hugely popular Mt. Maunganui Beach. It takes approximately 30 minutes to drive to the Papamoa beach from Tauranga town. Some of the activities you can enjoy here include, sport fishing, surfcasting and blokarting – an indigenous invention, which is more like land-based yachting. If you love sailing and speed, you will certainly enjoy blokarting.

5. Karekare Beach, West Auckland

This beach is famous for its unique black sand. It is located about an hour’s drive from Auckland. The film – The Piano, was shot on this very beach. If you are looking for a romantic beach getaway, the Karekare beach is a perfect choice. The dark, cool mood of the beach, which is enhanced by the charcoal-black sand and grey-brown cliffs gives the landscape a sentimental atmosphere that will leave a permanent impact on you.

We love this luxury Karekare holiday home. It’s perfect for a family holiday or trip with friends, featuring three-bedrooms and just a 10-minute walk to the beach!

Book here.

Ngawha Springs

Relax at the Natural Hot Pools at Ngawha Springs in New Zealand


A friend of mine took me to Ngawha Springs (pronounced “Nafa”) yesterday – some natural hot pools that the Maoris really like and that are supposed to be good for skin and soul.

To get there you have to follow State Highway Number 1 (it is THE main highway in New Zealand) up north in direction of Cape Reinga, pass Kawakawa – where they have a cool Hundertwasser toilet right next to the road – and eventually you have to turn left. I think there were enough signs pointing you to Ngawha Springs so you shouldn’t miss it. From Whangarei the drive takes approx. 1.25 hours.

There’s plenty of parking spots by the springs, which are called “Healing Waters” and it’s quite funny because even the mud puddles in the parking are making bubbles. The entrance fee to the Springs is $4 for adults and I think it was $2 or $3 for children. The pools are open daily from 9am to 9pm and once you’re in you can stay as long as you want.

There are eight different pools named “Doctor”, “Favorite”, “Bulldog” and more. Every pool has a different temperature and the temperatures also vary from day to day. Usually there is a sign by the entrance telling you how hot each pool is. Some can be 45 degrees celcius and hotter so make sure you don’t just jump in (they are also not very deep)!

Once you’ve found the perfect pool for you just sit down on the wooden boards and relax 🙂

I also found this article about Ngawha Springs, which actually dates back to 1937!!!

It was published in the New Zealand Railway Magazine and tells you all about the pools, their healing powers and what significance they have to the Maori.

A few more things to keep in mind:

1. There are no showers and only basic changing facilities.

2. There are no lockers so what you bring inside you have to carry around and watch it! We “lost” a towel which probably someone took by accident.

3. The stinky smell of rotten eggs that comes from all the sulphur can take a while to get used to. Worse is, however, that it stays in your clothes for days and days – probably even forever in your swim suit so don’t wear your favorites!

4. There is no food court so make sure you bring your own stuff, especially drinking water.

5. Don’t wear any jewelry! It will turn black from the sulphur, expecially if it’s silver.