Wainui Beach, Gisborne. Photo / J Dobson
Don’t miss your chance to nominate your favorite stretch of sand in our search for New Zealand’s Best Beaches 2021
We’re looking for the best beaches in New Zealand and we need your help. We want you to nominate your favorites, tell us why you love this beach and what makes it so special. Send us a photo of your favorite beach, too, and we’ll profile some of your entries over the summer. But hurry up, the nominations close at midnight [Sunday, January 10].
From there, your entries will be counted and the top 10 beaches will be named as our finalists, with the bonus of three wildcard entries chosen by the Herald Travel team.
You can then select one beach from the top 13 beaches to be crowned the ultimate winner.
Meanwhile, here are some of the nominees so far. Don’t see your favorite here? Vote below, or open nzherald.co.nz/bestbeach
May the best beaches win!
Matarangi Beach, Coromandel
This is one of the few beaches that are truly north facing in New Zealand with fine white sand, beautiful clear water. There is a wide variety of sea conditions for all – young shallow swimmers, ocean swimmers, boogie boarders, surfers, kite surfers, paddle surfers. The beach is never overcrowded and apart from that you can often see dolphins passing by.
Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson Tasman
I think Kaiteriteri beach is one of the best in New Zealand, known for its unique golden sand and crystal clear waters. An ideal and popular summer spot, it has everything you need for an action-packed day, from sailing, kayaking, bicycle tours and more. Even better, Kaiteriteri has more beautiful and unique beaches that are all located next to each other.
Pumps up the surf, there’s awesome wildlife (sea lions and penguins) and some really cool cliffs and rocks.
Bark Bay, Abel Tasman National Park
It’s secluded (you have to get there by hiking or by boat), has a sloping white sand beach, with clear, sheltered sea water and deep enough to swim. It’s also supported by a national park, so it’s 99 percent natural.
Mangawhai Surf Beach, Northland
Mangawhai is truly magical because the sunsets are amazing, you can surf, you can walk on the cliffs to see amazing bird’s eye views from places that cannot be caught on camera, there is local dune protection. Everyone must experience the Mangawhai miracle.
Cable Bay in Doubtless Bay, Northland
There’s an ice cream shop there, golden sand, blue water, happy people – the perfect place.
Soft white sand and clear clear water that stretches for miles make this beach our favorite. Ice cream in “the chilly bin” after a day in the sun is a bonus.
Campbells Bay, Kakanui, Waitaki
It’s great for families, surfers, and dog-friendly. This can keep you busy or treat you as your only friend. Take a walk to All Day Bay and back, or try a small kite. I like it.
Matapouri Beach, Northland
This beach has soft sand, warm water, and small waves perfect for swimming and body boarding. Ample parking makes it easy to prepare for a long day at the beach.
Anushree Sen Gupta
Kano Beach, on Mapoutahi in Otago
Canoe Beach has it all – beautiful for a walk with your dog, caves to walk through at low tide, rope swings, history, pā to hike and watch surfers, lovely long beaches to walk along the other side of the headland. Kano Beach is also great for swimming as it’s sheltered – you can kayak around to Osborne bay, and now there’s even a local brewery in Waitati. Nothing is missing.
Wainui Beach, Gisborne
Wainui not only greets the sun before anywhere else on mainland New Zealand, it also has a fun and nurturing community, incredible waves and beautiful clear water. There is a rock pool at each end with interesting creatures. The Okitu shop, about half way down, has excellent summer food and the most friendly staff.
Castlepoint is a superb coastal formation with a variety of coastal experiences. Wild surfing and calm and safe lagoons. Stunning rock forms, lighthouses and sand dunes. Great fishing, swimming, surfing and kayaking. Stunning views and walking opportunities. Sitting under the lighthouse after dark is also a real experience. This is an authentic Kiwi beach and bach environment, with an annual horse race on the beach.
Melissa de Souza-Correa
Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay
Wharariki only cut Mataī Bay and Castlepoint Northland for me. The three of them were very beautiful. But Wharariki won because it had exposed rocks like Cathedral Cove, providing a unique sight to behold. Has a rock pool for baby seals to swim and play. The distance is far away, which adds to its charm. There is plenty of room for multiple people to enjoy at once. Good surf. You need to take a short walk to access it, which might be considered negative, but people who tend to make an effort to reach it are less likely to litter and wreck the place. There are lots of walks, which can also expose you to a variety of wildlife.
Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
Cathedral Cove is a slice of heaven. There are stunning walks to the beach, pristine clear water, waves and waterfalls. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Mahdi Algargoosh |