Dit zijn onze favoriete stranden in Nieuw-Zeelandmaart 13, 2020
It’s a tough job choosing New Zealand’s best beaches.
We’re blessed with so many pearlers for a start.
But also because there’s no such thing as the perfect beach. My idea of heaven on Earth might be a Pōhutukawa-fringed stretch of sand with no other humans in sight. Yours might be the best place to catch a wave at any given moment or somewhere calm to take the kids.
Here’s a list of a few of our personal favourites. Feel free to share yours in the comments.
COOPERS BEACH, FAR NORTH
The kind of archetypal Kiwi beach that features in ads designed to convince the rest of the world we live in a perpetually sunny paradise.
Walk round the rocks at the north end of the beach at low tide and to find a cove so picturesque it almost seems unfair to share it here.
MATAURI BAY, FAR NORTH
My first visit here will stay with me forever. I had only been on the road about a month and it was on my list of “mysteries” – places I had never heard of before which had been recommended to me.
From the very first glance at the top of the hill we were absolutely blown away. It’s almost too perfect there; the sand, the rocks, the rock pools, the colour of the water. I love how it’s surrounded by small, unpretentious houses people actually live in, rather than enormous new McMansions, all trying to block one another’s view despite being empty for most of the year. It’s like going back in time, it’s real NZ.
– Jackie Norman
Its rugged, movie-star looks rivalled Harvey Keitel’s in Jane Campion’s 1993 The Piano – a film that captured its enigmatic intensity perfectly.
As compelling in winter as it is in summer, it’s ideal for long beach or bush walks as well as boogie boarding, surfing and (if you keep between the flags) swimming.
COOKS BEACH, COROMANDEL
The perfect swimming beach for young families.
Sheltered from the open seas, with the gorgeous Purangi River at one end and the wonderful walk over the hill to Lonely Bay at the other, it is the scene of a million and one holiday memories.
– Mike Mather
NEW CHUMS BEACH, COROMANDEL
It’s hardly a secret spot away from the crowds (especially after publicised fights to stop development and retain public access), but I think it still retains a sliver of the unspoilt Kiwi summer.
Like all good things, you have to work for it – in this instance via a 30 minute walk from Whangapoua village (where you can stock up on essential drinks and snacks). The reward is a wide, sweeping curve of golden sand fringed by clay cliffs, blooming pohutukawa and lush nikau groves.
Yes, it is increasingly littered with bodies near where the track dumps you, but walk five minutes further down, and it feels as if the entire bay is your own, with the only sign of humanity being an in-the-know yacht bobbing in tide.
– Josh Martin
WAIKAWAU BAY, COROMANDEL
A dusty and winding road rewards hardy campers with a DOC campground that’s got all the best bits of New Zealand holiday folklore and the beach to match.
A cooling stream bounds one end of the beach with a spot for the tots to swim, while the two kilometre-long stretch of gleaming sand provides plenty of room and fun waves for an adventurous dip.
A stroll to the far end can make you feel like the only person on that side of the peninsular and you can doze off at night to the cry of kiwi in the nearby bush.
– Wayne Timmo
WAIHI BEACH, BAY OF PLENTY
Waihi is known for goldmining, and it makes bush walking in the area very cool. The Karangahake Gorge walk is our favourite, and includes an old rail tunnel. Spooky when you’re a kid and fascinating as an adult.
The beach itself is a gold-sand stunner, and there are a couple of decent cafes and a supermarket in town. Settle in for a couple of weeks if you can.
ŌRAKA BEACH, MAHIA
A long, private sandy beach which sweeps five kilometres around to Māhanga.
Even with the arrival of the Rocket project on the peninsular and the influx of workers and summer holiday makers, it’s hard to find another person on this beautiful beach. That makes it great for baring all in a skinny dip.
– Sharron Pardoe
ANAURA BAY, GISBORNE
The window of our aged pop-top faces the beach so we can watch the sunrise over the sea, knowing we are among the first people on the planet to see the light of the new day. We’ve witnessed many a dawn on this most easterly of beaches but the magic never fades.
The little camping-ground an hour north of Gisborne was a favourite summer holiday place when our children were young. A lagoon would develop each day during the tide cycle, providing the perfect spot for little ones to play safely in warm, shallow water under the watchful eye of their parents. We never gave a thought to the fact those idyllic holidays would one day come to an end.
Three decades have elapsed since then but the Gizzy clan, sans kids, returns there every summer. The boys still row out to drop crayfish pots near the island while the girls walk the length of the sickle-shaped bay, barefoot in the white sand and frothy surf.
In the evening, we sit on rickety chairs, open a cold beer or bubbly and watch the sunset. The communal peeling of vegies as the sun sinks below the horizon in a kaleidoscope of gold and red is one of life’s sweetest pleasures and far surpasses any ritzy resort. We dine by candlelight and reminisce about … Anaura Bay.
– Justine Tyerman
LYALL BAY, WELLINGTON
Lyall Bay has it all; swim, surf, run, walk the dog, catch some rays.
It’s got some of the best coffee shops in Wellington, and you can sit back and watch all the planes taking off and landing. It’s also home to brewers Parrotdog and the best little lawn bowls club around.
A little bit of something for everyone, and all just 20 minutes from the CBD.
– Alan Granville
Sunset here is about the most romantic view in the world, I reckon. And then there are those billion dollar views of Matiu/Soames and the capital.
It’s got a wild streak, too. I’ve seen spoonbills, plovers and jet black oystercatchers on the shore; swallows swoop over your head as you stroll along the pebbles.
At the other end is the dog park, where furry joy and excitement are a daily sight. In between is the Seashore Cafe, for some of the best coffee in the region. Paradise.
– Kylie Klein Nixon
BREAKER BAY, NELSON-TASMAN
A short walk over the ridgeline at the end of Kaiteriteri Beach you wander down a narrow, tree-lined path and find Breaker Bay, so called as the waves are usually bigger here than at it’s well-known neighbour.
It’s a smaller beach and as no cars can park there, it feels more private and “boutiquey”. A great spot to spend the day with a picnic, just chillin’.
– Victoria Guild
South of Oamaru, at the township of Kakanui, lie pristine beaches still off the beaten track enough to enjoy peace and quiet. But as word gets out, their popularity is growing in summer.
Campbell’s Bay and All Day Bay are ideal locations to have a swim, build a sandcastle, play some beach cricket or knock a football around.
WAIKUKU, NORTH CANTERBURY
Waikuku Beach lacks the glamour of beaches closer to the big city but it makes up for that with its do-it-all personality. It’s just about as far as you’d seriously want to drive from Christchurch to fill one of those afternoon “let’s go to the beach” whims.
There are patrols for swimmers near the club in summer. A north easterly wind brings the best waves and these are rated as punchier, more fun and “more hollow” than the Christchurch local beaches by nzsurfguide.co.nz.
ORETI BEACH, SOUTHLAND
Stunning long stretch of beach that you can drive on.
It’s a giant playground and used year round for endurance and horse riders, windsurfing, it’s a slice of heaven for dogs to run on freely, runners, and Māori who gather food from the beach.
It’s a long stretch of paradise that everyone in Southland loves.
– Natasha Holland
Where are your favourite beaches? Tell us in the comments.