New Zealand has over 15,000km of picturesque, unspoiled beaches with crystal clear water for you to enjoy. Each area of New Zealand has its own individual beach character. From tropical hot water beaches, to wild rugged coastlines, to popular surf spots – New Zealand beaches have it all!

With so many beaches scattered throughout New Zealand, it is simply impossible to visit them all. You can, however, visit some of the most unique and beautiful ones. If you are able to visit these 5 New Zealand beaches during your holiday you are guaranteed to be impressed!

Based on our extensive travels, we have narrowed it down to the 5 best New Zealand beaches.

1. Piha Beach

Piha beach, New Zealand

Located on the west coast just half an hour’s drive from the busy city of Auckland, this popular surf beach was the birthplace of Malibu Board riding in New Zealand. In 1956, two lifeguards from California introduced the sport and the popularity of surfing in New Zealand has grown ever since!

Although a popular spot among surfers, Piha beach is also perfect for those just wanting to go for a swim, relax on the beach, or take in the picturesque views! The rugged coastline and volcanic black sand at Piha Beach is stunning. But for the best view, you must hike to the top of Lion Rock. A short 20-minute walk up this huge rock will reward you of panoramic views of Piha Beach!

During the summer months, lifeguards patrol the beach making it a safe place for families to enjoy. There is a campground nearby as well as cafes and a couple of restaurants. You can visit Piha on a day trip from Auckland, or if you like it that much, choose to stay a couple of nights in the campground!

2. Kaiteriteri Beach

Beautiful Kaiteriteri beach in New Zealand. Incredible orange sand. Gateway to Abel Tasman National Park.

Image credit: Tupungato / Adobe Stock

Kaiteriteri is in a beautiful and ideal location right next to Abel Tasman National Park. Located right at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, this idyllic beach has the highest rate of sunshine in the whole of New Zealand! The constant rays make Kaiteriteri Beach the ideal place to swim in warm water and sunbathe on the golden sand! It is a classic Kiwi summer spot.

For wildlife enthusiasts, it’s also a great place to spot penguins, seals and even dolphins! You can go on wildlife spotting boat cruises, or just hope to see them from the shore. It isn’t uncommon to spot Little Blue Penguins (the world’s smallest penguin) waddling around the beaches.

But besides just enjoying the beach, there is also a ton of things to do such as kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing and hiking. Otherwise, just use Kaiteriteri town as a launch point for exploring Abel Tasman National Park!

3. Hot Water Beach

Hot Water beach, New Zealand

Situated on the Coromandel Peninsula, Hot Water Beach lives up to its name allowing visitors to actually dig their own hot spa in the sand! When the tide goes out, you can dig little pools in particular places which fill with hot water!

The natural springs below the surface is what creates these pools and the water is full of healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium. You must arrive at low tide or two-hours on either side, otherwise the ocean water comes up too high and covers the areas which are ideal for digging!

Around Hot Water Beach there are lots of other famous attractions you must check out when travelling around the North Island. Popular nearby attractions include Cathedral Cove, Paku Lookout, the Pinnacles Hike, and New Chums Beach (another one of the best beaches in New Zealand!)

4. New Chums Beach

Scenic sunrise through Pohutukawa trees at New Chums Beach, Coro

Image credit: Longjourneys / Adobe Stock

If you’re looking for a quiet and beautiful undeveloped beach then you won’t get much better than New Chums Beach!

The breath-taking beauty and serenity that you’ll experience at New Chums Beach comes at a small price. The beach is off the beaten track and notoriously difficult to get to. You will need to walk through the bush for 40 minutes before wading through a lagoon to reach this quiet beach, but it will be well worth your while!

Since it is a bit of a mission to get to, New Chums Beach is often much less busy than its neighbours such as Hot Water Beach. Its location on the Coromandel is surrounded by many other popular attractions that make it a place you must visit on any North Island trip!

But not only is New Chums Beach one of the best beaches in New Zealand, but it was also recently ranked one of the best beaches in the world for its crystal clear waters and fine sand. You won’t find any restaurants or cafes at New Chums Beach, just purely nature!

5. Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach, New Zealand

Image credit: Dmitry Pichugin / Adobe Stock

Northland is often skipped by tourists. It is the area in the very north of New Zealand above Auckland. And at the very top sits the impressive Ninety Mile Beach. Ninety Mile Beach stretches from Kaitaia (near the Bay of Islands) to Cape Reinga. Although you would assume it is ninety miles long, it is actually only 54 miles long or (88 kilometres.) But, it is still large, impressive and pristine!

One of the biggest drawcards to Ninety Mile Beach is that you can actually drive on the sandy beach! Although it is a popular tourist attraction, the sheer size of the beach means that you can drive for miles without seeing anybody else!

Ninety Mile Beach is famous for the towering sand dunes that are nearby. You can actually sandboard down the dunes – a once in a lifetime experience hands down. But besides sandboarding, you can also just swim, fish, or go surfing!

Other New Zealand Beaches worth Mentioning

Some other beautiful beaches worth checking out while you’re in New Zealand include Bethells Beach, which is only a stone’s throw from Auckland; Muriwai Beach, where thousands of Gannet birds nest; Mount Maunganui, with pearly white sand and an incredible lookout hike; Waihi Beach, on the North Island’s East coast; Koekohe Beach, that is home the famous Moeraki Boulders; and Wharariki Beach, near Nelson which is one of most photographed beaches in NZ!

The truth is, if you are looking for some incredible beaches, New Zealand is sure to impress!

At The Road Trip, we love showing travellers the best New Zealand has to offer. Get in touch with us for more inspiration for your trip, we can help you plan your ideal adventure in “The Land of the Long White Cloud”. Call us at +64 2191 0433, email us at [email protected] or use our contact form.