If you’re heading down under to New Zealand over our summer months (from December to March), there’s a high chance you’ll want to head to the beach and soak up some rays. We give you a few of Auckland’s secret beaches, so you won’t have to fight for a spot for your towel or worry about a carpark!
1. Minnehaha Beach (a.k.a Thorne Bay)
The North Shore is home to many of Auckland’s famous beaches, which means that often you’ll have to battle the crowds for a spot on the sand. Minnehaha Beach is an awesome little beach tucked in between Takapuna Beach and Milford and it is only accessible on foot. Laze under the trees, take a picnic, explore the rock pools or take a dip in the ocean!
How To Get There: Park up on Minnehaha Avenue or O’Neills Avenue and take the coastal walkway at the end of the street and wind around to the left.
2. Sentinel Beach
Perhaps the closest beach to Auckland’s City Centre, Sentinel Beach is a great spot for a quick dip at the end of a hot day or for some fish n’ chips with friends on the weekend. With a few original boat sheds, sun loungers and a view of the Harbour Bridge, if you’re around town during your stay definitely make a trip here. Did we mention that the view also makes for an epic 'gram?
How To Get There: Head down Sarsfield Street in Herne Bay and on to Sentinel Road. Find the steps at the end of the road and walk down to this little gem.
3. POHUTUKAWA BAY
Now, we must warn you, swimsuits are optional at this beach! Pohutukawa Bay is also located on the beautiful North Shore and is home to several large native Pohutukawa trees, providing the perfect amount of shade for those who want to stay out of the sun. Spend the day reading a book listening to the crashing of the small waves, admire the view out to Rangitoto or go for a swim.
How To Get There: Park the car at the far north end of Long Bay and walk along the coastal cliff walk for 15 minutes over the hill.
4. Karaka Bay
A tranquil beach sitting at the mouth of the Tamaki River in the eastern suburb of Glendowie, Karaka Bay will make you feel like you’ve left the city behind! As it’s only accessible by foot, this beach really is rather secret and has spectacular views out to the Waitemata Harbour, Rangitoto, Browns Island and Motutapu.
How To Get There: Access the beach via private boat or on foot down the hill at the end of Peacock Street.
5. TAWHITOKINO BEACH
Tawhitokino is an incredible unspoiled beach located near the Firth of Thames, a few bays around from Kawakawa beach and Orere Point. The beach is only accessible on foot and at low tide. With fairly small waves and a level of remoteness, you’ll be lucky if you see a few other souls on your adventures. Take a picnic or some fishing gear and head out east for an unforgettable day under the summer sun.
How To Get There: A 20 minute drive from Clevedon, follow the drive to Kawakawa Bay along the Kawakawa Bay Coast Road. The beach is a short walk from the end of the road. Please note that the beach is only accessible during low tide, but sometimes the wait is worth it right?
6. Anawhata Beach
Settled between Piha and Bethells Beach on Auckland’s wild west coast, Anawhata is particularly Instagrammable and secluded. Admire the view from the carpark at the top of the hill (particularly amazing at sunrise or sunset), and then head down the hill through native shrubs and hear the birds chirping away. With the rolling green hills and stretch of sand, you'll feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Auckland City! Be aware that this beach is more for looking rather than swimming!
How To Get There: Head out to Piha Beach via Piha Road and take a right turn onto Anawhata Road. Be aware that part of the road is a dirt track to take extra care!