Cathedral Cove, one of NZ's best beaches

Top New Zealand Beaches to Add to Your Beach Bucket List

If spending time in the sun and sand sounds like the perfect holiday, then these top New Zealand beaches are a must for your kiwi adventure!

90 Mile Beach

Stretching from Kataia up towards Cape Reinga and the Aupouri Peninsula, this misnamed beach runs for 88 kilometres (55 miles) up the coast. The longest stretch of sand in New Zealand, 90 Miles’ immensity and grandeur will not disappoint. Lined with giant grass-topped sand dunes, the beach makes up part of New Zealand’s official highway system and plays host to large numbers of visitors each year who come to enjoy everything from surf-casting and dune sliding, to sitting quietly and taking in the magnificent scenery where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.

Take a drive down Highway 1 on 90 Mile Beach

Piha Beach

Stretching along the rough coast of Auckland, the moody black sands of Piha Beach welcome surfers from across the world to test their skills taming the famously wild surf. The volcanic sands and rocky terrain provide ample room for exploration, and the iconic Lion Rock proves a tempting challenge to view the beach from above. With notoriously tricky swimming conditions, Piha Beach plays host to well-known surf rescue show Piha Rescue. A striking section of coastline, walk along the nearby KiteKite track to take in the majestic beauty of the KiteKite falls, then relax and watch the sun set over the stormy ocean.

Explore Piha Beach

Cathedral Cove

Only accessible on foot or by boat, Cathedral Cove is a gem of the Coromandel Peninsula. Take the Cathedral Cove walk from Hahei Beach, a gentle 1.5 hour return trip through the coastal forest, or join a kayak tour and paddle around to land on the white sandy shores of the beach. Enjoy a walk along the shore and explore the giant cathedral-like archway of white rock that stops budding photographers in their tracks, take a swim in the beautiful clear waters or relax in the shade of the native pohutukawa trees that run along the sands edge.

Walk through the natural arch at Cathedral Cove

Hot Water Beach

Another perfect feather in the cap of the Coromandel Peninsula, Hot Water Beach is an exciting natural phenomenon not to be missed. With natural hot springs running beneath the surface of the beach, take a shovel at low tide and dig your very own hot pool right in the sand. Relax and soak your cares away in the delightfully warm geothermal waters and watch the sun set over the ocean.

Sink into a pool as the sun sets over Hot Water Beach

Koekohe Beach

The mysterious, dragon-like Moeraki Boulders of Koekohe Beach make this destination a must see for beach goers and natural world enthusiasts. Walk along this beautiful stretch of golden sand where spherical boulders of up to 3 metres in diameter rest along the shore. Formed from ancient seafloor sediments 60 million years ago, visit the beach at sunrise or sunset with your camera to take away some truly magical photos of these ethereal natural formations.

Marvel at the enchanting Moeraki Boulders