With more than 15,000 miles of coastline, New Zealand has no shortage of beaches! With so many stunning spots to choose from, it can be hard to pick when to pull over for a dip in the sea or a stroll in the sand. Here, we've pulled together 7 must-visit beaches around New Zealand. Slip, slop, slap, and wrap, and get out there!
Don’t have a car to get you there? Fear not, Yourdrive has got your back with over 600 privately-owned vehicles available to rent all over New Zealand. By renting from local residents, you'll find a wider range of better-value vehicles and more pick-up locations than traditional car rental companies. You'll also get travel tips and advice from a friendly local, and it’s better for the environment!
1. Matauri Bay
Starting way up north, 30km above Kerikeri is the beautiful Matauri Bay. The sheltered white sand beaches and crystal clear waters have long made this a favourite aquatic playground, popular for beachfront camping, swimming, snorkelling, water sports, horse trails, or just wandering along the beach. It is also the final resting place of the Rainbow Warrior - now one of New Zealand's best dive spots.
2. Cathedral Cove
Accessible only by foot, boat, or kayak, famous Cathedral Cove is a must do if you're heading to the Coromandel. The Cathedral rock itself serves as a tunnel between two stunning beaches, but watch out for waves rushing in at mid-high tide! Many an unsuspecting tourist has been soaked!
With three of the best left-hand point breaks in the world, Raglan is a mecca for surfers and the small town reflects the surfing vibe. The first point break, Manu Bay was featured in the 1966 cult surfing movie, Endless Summer. The main beach, Ngarunui, stretches from the northern end of Manu Bay all the way to the Raglan Harbour estuary. Go exploring the rocks at the southern end of the beach and you may discover the tattooed rocks.
4. Foxton Beach
Foxton beach is located at the mouth of the Manawatu River Estuary, 90 minutes north of Wellington on State Highway 1. The estuary is now a UNSECO Ramsar wetland conservation and bird sanctuary. The estuary and ocean are a watersport haven for fishing, surfing, sailing and kiteboarding.
Located 13km north of Motueka, Kaiteriteri beach is a beautiful golden sand beach with clear, blue-green waters. The beach is developed, with a motor camp, motels, beach houses and a general store. It is just a water taxi ride away from the stunning Abel Tasman National park which is also a must-see in the area. There are also some local walks in the area including Withells Walk and Kaka Pah Point.
6. Koekohe Beach
Located between Moeraki and Hampden towns, an hour's drive north of Dunedin along State Highway 1, Koekohe Beach is home to the famous Moeraki Boulders. Maori legend says the boulders are the remains of fishing baskets and water calabashes which washed ashore and turned to stone when the Araiteuru (legendary canoe) was wrecked at Shag Point. The boulders are best seen at low tide so check the tides before you go!
7. Tunnel Beach
The spectacular tunnel beach and tunnel beach track are located just south of Dunedin. There is a car park at the end of Tunnel Beach Road before the track starts. Follow the easy grade track for 1km to one of the most spectacular and rugged coastlines in the world! Continue on through a short tunnel with steps down to find the secluded beach!
Rent the perfect car for your next adventure for less, directly from locals.
Join YourDrive now and get $20 off your first rental. Use promo code ADVENTURE20 during sign-up to be eligible.