Best Beaches In & Near Auckland

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Although not the capital, Auckland is New Zealand's biggest city. In a country blessed with hundreds of beautiful, sandy beaches it is no surprise that the city is home to a wide choice of great beaches.

The coastline in and around Auckland is fairly convoluted, with numerous bays, coves and natural harbours. This makes for no end of variety and a beach for everyone; whether you are looking for somewhere to relax and people-watch, family friendly, safe swimming beaches or a spot to catch some world-class waves. There are even some of New Zealand's iconic black sand beaches within a stone's throw of the city.

As well as listing Auckland's best beaches we have included some west coast gems such as Piha which are a only a 40 minute drive (or just jump on the shuttle bus).

  • 1. Mission Bay

    Mission Bay

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    Mission Bay Beach lies on the southern coastline of Waitemata Harbour in Auckland's Eastern Bays region, roughly seven kilometres from the heart of New Zealand's biggest city. It is generally reached by enjoying the stunning vistas along Tamaki Drive. Those with an eye for landscapes will also want to visit Bastion Point, overlooking the expanse of the harbour, while even from the beach itself it is possible to glory in… read more »

  • 2. Takapuna Beach

    Takapuna Beach
    © Adam & Tess / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    Takapuna is sometimes referred to as the unofficial 'capital' of Auckland's North Shore - a series of coastal suburbs across Shoal Bay from the city centre. The Takapuna Beach area is the centre of the North Shore's nightlife, being home to many bars, restaurants, cafes and shops. It is also the main shopping centre of the North Shore.

    The beach here is a fine stretch of white sand looking out… read more »

  • 3. Devonport Beach

    Devonport Beach

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    Devonport beach sits on the southern tip of Auckland's North Shore with uninterrupted views across the Bay to the city. It is backed by a small park known as Windsor Reserve. Here you will find a children's play area and plenty of open lawn ideal for picnicking.

    Devonport Beach is conveniently located next to the Devonport ferry terminal and Victoria Road making it one of the easiest beaches around to… read more »

  • 4. Cheltenham Beach

    Cheltenham Beach
    © Michal Klajban / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    Cheltenham Beach is the most popular in the Devonport suburb of Auckland. It is a good-sized sandy beach bordered by the North Head Historic Reserve to the south. Just offshore is the striking form of Rangitoto Island, a 260 m (850 ft) high volcanic cone which only formed around 600 years ago.

    It is well worth a visit to the North Head Historic Reserve, if only for the view back… read more »

  • 5. Little Palm Beach

    Little Palm Beach

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    Little Palm beach sits next door to Palm beach in a relatively sheltered bay on Waiheke Island's north coast. It is yet another of the island's pristine beaches with a white sandy shoreline facing into clear blue sparkling waters.

    What makes Little Palm well known amongst a plethora of other beautiful beaches of Waiheke Island is its reputation as a naturist beach - in fact it is often referred… read more »

  • 6. Murrays Bay

    Murrays Bay
    © Holgi

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    Murrays Bay is a suburb of New Zealand's largest city, Auckland. The beach at Murrays Bay is home to a wharf (see photos) that is a popular spot for fishing and also jumping from during the Spring/Summer months.

    From Murrays Bay it is easy to walk around to neighbouring Rothesay Bay and Mairangi Bay via a walkway.

    The beach also has its own sailing club that sails from the… read more »

  • 7. Howick Beach

    Howick Beach
    © OrangeZone / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    read more »
  • 8. Piha beach

    Piha beach
    © Fyletto

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    Piha is possibly New Zealand's best known beach and for good reason. Not only is the scenery stunning but this is the birthplace of surfing in New Zealand. In addition, Piha is less than an hour's drive from the centre of Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city.

    Despite being so close to the North Island's main city Piha remains relatively unspoilt. The beach backs onto the rugged and heavily forested coastline… read more »

  • 9. Onetangi Beach

    Onetangi Beach
    © trakesht / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    At nearly 2 km (1.2 miles) long, the north-facing Onetangi Beach is the longest on Waiheke Island. The local have taken full advantage of this fact and the beach has been home to the Onetangi Beach Horse Races for many years.

    Other activities the beach is well known for include the annual sandcastle-building contests; the soft sand, which is free from shells, is particularly suitable for the creation of some… read more »

  • 10. Browns Bay

    Browns Bay
    © Sids1 / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    read more »
  • 11. Karekare Beach

    Karekare Beach

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    The secluded black sands of Karekare Beach lie surrounded by dramatic cliffs just 35 kilometres from the centre of Auckland on North Island. Immortalised in rock group Crowded House's Together Alone album which was largely recorded nearby, and the Oscar-winning film The Piano in the same year, Karekare beach has been named one of the top 25 beaches in the world.

    Part of Karekare Regional Park, surfers regularly frequent the… read more »

  • 12. Oneroa Beach

    Oneroa Beach
    © J.E. Mcgowan / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    This long crescent of sand is considered the main beach on Waiheke Island. Set in a wide sheltered bay on the northern side of the islands biggest village, Oneroa, it has plenty of facilities such as a free BBQ area, public toilets and a playground for children.

    read more »
  • 13. Little Oneroa Beach

    Little Oneroa Beach
    © CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    Little Oneroa beach is situated on Waiheke Island, around an hour's travel from Auckland. It forms the southern end of the sweeping white sands of Oneroa Bay, which is also the location of the island's main village.

    The beach here is separated from the villages main beach (Big Oneroa) by a small finger of rock which can easily be climbed over, or walked around at low tide. Although by no… read more »

  • 14. Maraetai Beach

    Maraetai Beach
    Simon Morris

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    Maraetai Beach is located on the Pohutukawa Coast within the Auckland Region. Facing north towards Waiheke Island, it's a popular family beach destination that becomes particularly crowded with holidaymakers from Auckland in the summer months.

    It is popular for a number of reasons. For one thing, its clean sands have a shallow entry into waters that are suitable for the whole family to swim in. But there are also grassy… read more »

  • 15. Big Manly Beach

    Big Manly Beach
    © russellstreet / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    read more »
  • 16. Umupuia Beach

    Umupuia Beach
    © Mrogex / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    read more »
  • 17. Tindalls Beach

    Tindalls Beach

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    read more »
  • 18. Orewa Beach

    Orewa Beach
    © Steve / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 0.5 hrs

    read more »
  • 19. Muriwai Beach

    Muriwai Beach
    © JShook / CC BY

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 1 hr

    Muriwai Beach is located on the rugged and relatively undeveloped west coast of the region around Auckland. Atmospherically if not physically far from the sights and sounds of New Zealand's biggest city 42 kilometres north west, it offers visitors a wide, flat expanse of volcanic black sand. Part of a chain of continuous beaches running for around 50 kilometres, its name is said to mean ‘water's end'.

    Prevailing offshore breezes attract… read more »

  • 20. Anchor Bay

    Anchor Bay
    Nick Allen

    Travel time from Auckland: approx 1 hr

    North facing Anchor Bay lies approximately 1.5 hours north of Auckland in Tawharanui Regional Park. Found on a peninsula of land of the same name, it sits between Kawau Bay to the south and Omaha Beach to the north.

    One of Auckland's east coast beaches, grassy dunes shaded by pohutukawa trees slip down onto a wide expanse of pale sand which can be reached by a short set of well-tended… read more »