Maunganui Beach

Mt Maunganui

 

Bethells Beach

Bethells Beach

 

Mokau Beach

Mokau

 

Raglan Beach

Raglan

 

 Taylors Mistake Beach

Taylor's Mistake

 

 

 

 

 

Six of the best New Zealand holiday beaches

1. Mt Maunganui - the family beach

Mt Maunganui is where families head to the beach where there's plenty to do for every family member. There's enough surf for those who want action, enough clean sand for those seeking rest and a tan and it's next to some family-friendly camping grounds. The Mount, as it's known, is about two hours from Auckland and only minutes from Tauranga.

2. Bethells Beach - the wild west

Bethells Beach is on the west coast of the North Island, less than an hour from Auckland. It's often blustery and wild, with the high winds kicking up sand and surf and providing plenty of action for those who enjoy surfing.

3. Mokau - a lesser-known gem

If you're driving down the west coast of the North Island, check out Mokau. It's the first beach you come to when driving along State Highway 3 towards New Plymouth. You get fantastic sunsets and a view of Mt Egmont. The area's also a good spot for catching whitebait when they're in season.

4. Raglan - the surfer's choice

The choice of young surfers, Raglan provides several kilometres of clean, white beach with a township geared for hosting them. It's only 45 minutes from Hamilton and a couple of hours from Auckland. Raglan becomes a party town around New Year!

5. Ninety Mile Beach - or how to cut a long name short

Stretching along the Aupouri Peninsula and probably New Zealand's most famous beach and certainly a favourite with tourists who can catch buses along the stretch of sand. But mystery still surrounds its name as the beach is 'only' 55 miles (or 88 kms) long. No matter - the sandhills are the highest in the north and the beach has plenty of space for everyone. Surfcasters can fish for snapper at many spots along the beach.

6. Taylor's Mistake - thank goodness he made it

This is a beautiful bay only 20km from Christchurch. It provides sand and surf to thousands of visitors all year round. It came by its name from the legend of a Captain Taylor who sailed into the bay by mistake in 1858 when trying to find the port of Lyttleton.