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The Top 12 Beaches in Auckland, No Lies!

The Top 12 Beaches in Auckland, No Lies!

Auckland has more beaches than you can shake a sunscreen bottle at. From golden sands to black sand beauties, there’s always a stretch of coast calling your name here. 

In fact, there are over 80 options, which can be mind-boggling if you’re the type who can get paralyzed by choice. But fear not! We’ve narrowed it down to the top stunners you have to see, as you’ll see below. For our money, these are truly the top beaches in Auckland.

Anchor Bay Beach

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Address: Anchor Bay, Auckland 0986, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

In the heart of Tawharanui Regional Park, Anchor Bay is a must-visit beach in northern Auckland. Only a breezy 90-minute drive from central Auckland, it offers clear turquoise waters, stunning views, and the sweet sounds of native New Zealand birds.

And speaking of photo ops, don’t miss the chance to climb up the little rocky hill smack dab in the middle of the beach. It’s a bit slippery, so watch your step, but once you’re at the top, you’ll get jaw-dropping views in every direction—perfect for snapping those epic shots we all love.

If you’re feeling adventurous, head over to the eastern side of the beach, where you’ll find two caves just waiting to be explored, especially during low tide. Or, if you’re more into a leisurely stroll, try out the self-guided Ecology Trail for a loop around the beach.

But if swimming’s your jam, you’re in for a treat because Anchor Bay Beach is totally safe for a dip. Plus, the waters right in front are part of a marine sanctuary, so you can grab a snorkel and dive in for some underwater fun. 

Quick heads up – while there are bathrooms and changing rooms nearby, there aren’t any shops, so make sure to pack your own snacks and drinks for the day!

Takapuna Beach 

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Address: Takapuna Beach, Auckland 0622, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

Takapuna is one of the most famous beaches on the North Shore, just a 10 to 15-minute drive from the city center and accessible by bus. It’s renowned for good reason – surrounded by grassy areas and shops, it’s the perfect spot for a family day trip. 

If you’re into water sports, there’s plenty to do, from kayaking to paddleboarding and even kitesurfing.

When hunger strikes after all that fun, you’re spoilt for choice with great restaurants nearby. Fancy some pizza and pasta? Head to Al Forno. Craving Asian flavors? Tok Tok has you covered. 

And for comfort food lovers, Winner Winner serves up delicious fried chicken and more. Plus, there are loads of bars if you fancy a bit of nightlife with your mates.

If you’re visiting on a Sunday, don’t miss the charming Sunday market. It’s a local favorite offering fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and delicious street food. 

Now, if you’d rather not rush through all these activities in one day, consider staying overnight at Takapuna Beach Holiday Park nearby. It’s clean, safe, and affordable – literally all you need in an accommodation.

Cheltenham Beach

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Address: Bath Street, Devonport, Auckland 0624, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 301 0101 

Operating hours: Open 24 hours 

Admission Costs: Free admission

If you’re seeking a spot similar to Takapuna but without the hustle and bustle, Cheltenham Beach in Devonport is the place to be. You can even hop on a segway ride from Devonport and roll right up to this gem. 

It’s perfect for picnics, with shaded benches nestled among the trees overlooking the beach. The tranquil waters are great for a dip, and there are a couple of cold water showers handy too.

For the active types, there’s no shortage of water activities to dive into. Grab a paddleboard or kayak, or if you’re feeling bold, try kitesurfing or windsurfing. 

There’s also a playground and a spacious grassy area, perfect for a game of frisbee or soccer. But if you’re more into soaking up the scenery, there are plenty of spots to sit back and take it all in. 

Treat yourself to a delicious bite from one of the nearby cafes (Chateaubriant is always a winner), or pack a picnic. And if all else fails, a leisurely stroll along the beach is sure to satisfy your hungry soul (we’re insisting on real food, though!).

Mission Bay

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Website: Mission Bay Auckland, Auckland 1071, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

Picture a stretch of golden beachfront offering million-dollar views of an ancient volcanic island. That’s exactly what this super beachy suburb is all about. 

Mission Bay is the place to be, where you can set up with an umbrella, Frisbee, or picnic blanket for an amazing day under the sun. 

But the real highlight here is the many activities you can enjoy on the beach. Take full advantage of the shimmering coastline with kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, which you can rent from Mission Bay Watersports. 

Just a 3-minute drive from the beach, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium is a must-visit for the kids. This offers a fascinating glimpse into thousands of marine animals, so consider if you have the kiddos along.

After soaking up the sun, wander over to trendy eateries, lively bistros, and even rooftop bars.

Good George is your best bet. Here, you can indulge in spicy fish tacos or woodfired pizza. For a touch of Grease-esque nostalgia, sip on milkshakes at the Bald Eagle Diner.

Even on cloudy days, Mission Bay has something special to offer. For instance, there’s an arthouse cinema at The Berkeley, one of Auckland’s oldest theaters, that’s conveniently located close to the sea.

Oneroa Beach

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Address: 191 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island 1081, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

A roundup of Auckland’s finest beaches wouldn’t be complete without including the spectacular offerings of Waiheke Island. 

A 35 to 40-minute ferry ride from Auckland transports you to this island paradise, where you can hop on a bus to Oneroa Beach. From here, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Coromandel Peninsula in the distance.

Whether you’re into watersports like paddleboarding and kayaking or prefer a leisurely stroll along the shore, there’s something for everyone here.

Sports enthusiasts can enjoy beach volleyball and soccer. Nature lovers can explore walks ranging from a short five-minute jaunt to the beach to a satisfying five-hour loop around Park Point.

And what’s a beach day without a picnic? Find a cozy spot under the shade of a tree and unpack your delicious treats for a memorable outdoor feast. 

Not in the mood to pack a picnic? No worries! Oneroa Village, just close distance away from the beach, offers a delightful range of dining and refreshment options to satisfy any craving.

Orewa Beach

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Address: 218-281 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Ōrewa, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission 

Stretching for three kilometers along the shoreline, Orewa Beach provides plenty of space for leisurely walks, sunbathing, and picnicking with your family. 

Getting here is easy – it’s about a 30 to 40 minute-drive from the city via State Highway 1 or the East Coast Road. Taking a bus is an option too, but driving’s easier and quicker.

Though the beach can get quite crowded, you can escape it by sipping coffee at Beach House Eatery and enjoying uninterrupted beach views. While you’re there, why not treat yourself to some of their delicious dishes like sticky pork belly, fish n’ chips, or a juicy burger?

There are loads of ways to have fun at the beach – you can try paddleboarding, kayaking, or windsurfing. The water’s calm, and it’s great for all skill levels. 

Right across the road from the sandy shores of Orewa Beach, you’ll find the Orewa Motor Lodge. It’s a great place to stay if you need more than one day to enjoy everything the beach has to offer. 

The lodge offers suites for all sorts of groups, whether you’re flying solo, with a bunch of friends, or with a big family.

Ladies Bay Beach

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Address: Ladies Bay Beach, Auckland 1071, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

Located in the neighborhood of St Heliers, Ladies Bay Beach is one of Auckland’s most renowned nudist beaches. So what more is there to say? When in here, just strip off, relax, and enjoy.

But don’t let the name fool you – this beach is open to everyone, including the fellas!

To get here, take a bus to St Heliers, then walk 10 to 15 minutes to the beach. If you’re unsure of where to go, just ask around – Ladies Bay Beach is quite famous.

Be prepared to descend quite a few sets of steps to reach the beach, but once you’re there, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and inviting blue waters.

Laze around for a sunbath or take a leisurely stroll along the promenade and enjoy the fresh sea breeze. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of dolphins or whales in the distance.

Make sure you check out Achilles Point, a scenic lookout located at the beach offering breathtaking views of the Hauraki Gulf, Brown’s Island, Rangitoto Island. It also gives you a distant view of Auckland City.

Piha Beach

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Address: 55 Marine Parade North, Piha 0772, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 301 0101

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

Piha Beach is a real treasure tucked away in the Waitakere Ranges, just an hour’s drive from Auckland’s city center. It’s a local favorite with the iconic Lion Rock, stunning black-sand surf beach, and awesome waves that are perfect if you’re a pro surfer.

But if you’re new to surfing, don’t worry – there are several surf schools in the area catering to all ages and skill levels.

From its cliff-framed shores, you can soak in stunning views of the ocean, while the bush-covered hills surrounding the beach invite endless hiking opportunities. You can even climb over rocks and explore mysterious caves!

There are also fantastic trails starting right near the beach, so why not explore the hills behind Piha and see what wildlife you can spot on your way back down?

But if chilling out is more your style, no problem. Piha Beach is definitely perfect for sunbathing and maybe even a spot of fishing. 

If you’re feeling hungry after a day of activities, head over to Piha Store. It’s the perfect spot to easily grab a bite, offering a nice selection of pies, bread, pastries, and healthy drinks for you to choose from.

Karekare Beach 

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Address: 2 Karekare Road, Karekare, 0772, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

If you’re into the ocean, waterfalls, and swimming holes all in one spot, then Karekare Beach is the place to be in Auckland. Tucked between Piha and Whatipu Beach, the only way to reach Karekare is through the stunning Waitakere Ranges. 

To get there, turn left off Piha Road onto Karekare Road. The main parking lot is just a 10-minute walk from the beach.

Once you’re there, you’ll find more than just your ordinary swimming experience. You can surf in the Tasman Sea, hike 30 minutes to the breathtaking Karekare Falls, and even take a dip in the swimming hole. 

The sunsets here are also stunning, and the black sand is perfect for building sandcastles. Another highlight is the ridge that separates it from Muriwai Beach. If you hike up this ridge, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views.

Karekare Beach and Falls are part of the Karekare Regional Park, which also includes a small campsite. If you’re up for it, you can set up your tent and stay the night under the stars.

Te Henga (Bethells Beach)

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Address: 257 Bethells Road, Bethells Beach, 0604, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

Bethells Beach, also known as Te Henga Beach, is a stunning coastal treasure nestled within the Waitakere Ranges on Auckland’s West Coast. Just a short 45-minute drive from Central Auckland brings you to this serene seaside escape. 

Among the four beloved beaches along Auckland’s west coast – Piha, Muriwai, and Karekare – Bethells Beach stands out with its breathtaking natural beauty. 

What sets Bethells apart from these other beaches? It’s not as crowded, offering a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle.

Bethells Beach is a haven for surfers, thanks to its amazing waves and favorable wind conditions. But it’s not just about the waves here – the beach also boasts its own lake and hidden waterfalls.

For adventurers, the dunes surrounding the lake are ideal for boogie boarding and surfing down into the water.

Home to the Bethells Te Henga Wetlands, this area is a haven for birdlife and perfect for exploration and birdwatching. For hiking and biking enthusiasts, various trails also await along the coast.

Muriwai Beach 

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Address: 458 Motutara Road, Muriwai, 0882, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

A favorite among locals, Muriwai Beach offers a plethora of activities to enjoy. Of course, surfing takes the top spot here, with a variety of breaks and waves to suit all abilities. But if surfing isn’t your thing, fear not – there’s plenty more to do. 

The beach is home to diverse wildlife, including a gannet colony, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. Clifftop platforms provide excellent vantage points to observe the gannet colonies from August to March, offering sweeping views of the Tasman Sea.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Muriwai Beach is perfect for hiking and exploration, with numerous trails winding through the coastal bush and dunes. And if kiteboarding is your passion, you’re in luck—the strong winds here will keep your kite flying high for hours on end.

Feeling peckish? Head over to Sand Dunz Beach Cafe just around the corner. This cozy coffee shop serves up a delicious array of muffins, pies, smoothies, ice cream, and other tasty treats.

Whatipu Beach

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Address: Whatipu Road, Little Huia, Auckland 1081, New Zealand

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Admission Costs: Free admission

This hidden gem sits within the Waitakere Ranges, just over an hour’s drive from the city center. The entire beach feels like a whole different world, with its black sand and dramatic cliffs contrasting beautifully with the turquoise waters of the Tasman Sea. 

One of the coolest things about this beach is all the stuff you can explore here like taking a leisurely walk along the coastline. Plus, some awesome trails in the hills nearby give you epic views of the beach and the sea. 

And don’t forget about the many beautiful walks in the area. There’s the Omanawanui Track and Karamatura Falls, where you can find a gorgeous waterfall and swimming hole. 

On top of all that, Whatipu Beach has picnic tables, barbecue areas, and plenty of space to lay out a blanket and enjoy the sunshine. And if you’re keen to stay longer, there’s the Whatipu Lodge and Campground nearby.