New Zealand being an island, by default the country is having a huge range of beautiful beaches. In fact, there are almost 10,000 miles of coastline in total when you combine the South Island and North Island. New Zealand is filled if beaches not only in quantity but quality as well. You can find almost anything ranging from really hidden lagoons to rocky shores with black sand.
Ninety Mile Beach
The name of this beach is a bit misleading because the Ninety Mile Beach is actually “only” 64 (88 kilometres) miles. The beach is with golden coloured sands and an excellent place for surfing. It is located on the Northern tip of the North Island, just west of Kaitaia. The northern sand dunes are a popular tourist spot for bodyboarding. If you plan on visiting Ninety Mile Beach on your own, make sure you are driving a 4WD car because of the soft sand.
Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach gets its name from the geothermal activity that brings mineral-rich water from the ground from two natural hot springs. In the southern end of the beach, you can dig your own spa pool in the sand. You should be able to get the hot water two hours either side of the low tide. Bring your own shovel to help with the digging. Hot Water beach is not good for swimming because of strong undertows.
You will find Gillespies beach just at the foot of the Southern Alps, overlooking the towards Fox Glacier. Gillespies is actually an old gold-mining settlement and you can spot quite a few remnants of the olden days along the beach. The gold digging started around 1891 but it was never very successful because the suction dredge pump was not able to deal with the stones and timber buried in the sand. Gillespies beach is 21 kilometres away from the Fox Glacier village past the Lake Matheson turn. If you want to visit this hidden gem, please note that the drive is mostly on the very narrow unsealed road.
Manu Bay is a well-known spot in the surfing community. The beach is located in the western coast of North Island and famous for the left-handed point breaks. Manu Bay is about 8 kilometres away from the bohemian arts and crafts centre of Raglan. Many people believe the Manu Bay has the longest, most accessible and consistent left-hand break in the world. In fact, the beach was featured in the 1966 cult surfing movie Endless Summer. If you are not into surfing, just sip some great coffee in the local cafes and admire the sunset.
Gisborne is known being the first city in the world to catch the sun and Wainui Beach is just a stone’s throw away. The beach is littered with beautiful picnic spots from where you can watch the surfers. Wainui Beach stretches about four kilometers starting from the centre of Gisborne city. Again, if you are not into surfing, there are walking tracks, accessible swimming spots, horseriding, jogging and other activities on the beach.
Dunedin is often called the Edinburgh of the South and Allans beach is a few kilometres away from the city centre. The beach is rather remote and accessible only via unpaved road. Once you reach Allans Beach, take a moment to observe the surrounding jagged cliffs and bright green moss. The north end of the beach has a small sea lion colony and the southern end has a population of yellow-eyed penguins.
Despite the name, Mosquito Bay is actually a rather nice place to visit. The beach is only accessible by boat and that is why it’s one of those “best-kept secrets” in New Zealand. Mosquito Bay is located within the Abel Tasman national park. Once you have reached the secluded bay, you will enjoy the white sand beach and clear turquoise waters. Because of the limited access, this beach is popular among
New Chums Beach
New Chums Beach is another beach that is not accessed so easily. You will have to do some 40-minute hike from the Whangapoua Beach carpark through the forest, across a lagoon and a small hill to get to this place. The golden sand is beautiful and it is no wonder that New Chums Beach has been voted one of the “must things to see & do” in New Zealand. Please note that New Chums Beach has no infrastructure of any sort, so bring along everything you might need.