Below is a quick guide to the best Auckland beaches,
Okahu Bay is the closest of the Auckland beaches to Auckland central business district ( CBD ) and is suitable for swimming, sunbathing, small boats, and has:
About 2 acres of flat grassed recreation area with children’s playground across the road, suitable for playing ball games etc.
It has about 400 metres of sand foreshore with a gentle slope under water.
Is close to: Kelly Tarltons Underwater World, Fergskayaks and Bastion Point and on the way to Mission Bay.
The best of Auckland beaches overall for families.
Tawharanui Regional Park
Has – native coastal forest and regenerating wetlands offering walking an ecology trail and fisherman’s track( part of the coast is a marine reserve so check location signage before fishing).
Diving and snorkeling in the marine reserve.
White sand beaches,with surf when there’s a north east swell.
An open sanctuary with a pest proof fence to protect native wildlife.
A working farm of sheep and cows.
Ocean Beach Campground with basic facilities of water, toilets, shelter trees and grass over sandy undulating ground.
Campervans can park at Lagoon car park for up to 2 nights. No dogs.
It’s about 90 minutes drive from central Auckland, with a gravel road for the last twenty minutes or so.
Closest North Shore beach.
This is one of the Auckland beaches that is suitable for swimming walking, sunbathing. It has a good sloping concrete boat ramp at the northern end, with adjacent trailer parking, although parking can be a problem at peak usage times ( weekends ). For non trailer parking go to the southern end of the beach, you won’t have issues with the parking wardens issuing you with a parking infringement notice and spoiling your day with a fine.( Hauraki- Clifton Roads).
The second best of Auckland beaches for families.
Long Bay Regional Park
Has – A gently sloping beach with water as warm as you’ll get it around Auckland, roughly 18 to 22 degrees celceus, with little current.
A children’s play area, with large grassed areas, free of cars for recreational activities.
Long Bay – Okura Marine Reserve ( No fishing ). You can dive and snorkel, but the viability is poor ( 4 to 6 metres).( There’s better diving and snorkeling at Goat Island ).
Vaughan Homestead is open every second Sunday afternoon from 2.30 to 5pm, with a basic historical items and information.
Both electric and wood fire barbecues, some are bookable some are for casual use.Is 25 minutes drive from central Ak.
For the most reliable beach breaks go to South Piha ( Can be crowded on sunny weekends ). Strong swimmers only, should go above waist deep due to holes and strong rip currents.
People drown regularly here!
or Maori Bay ( Just south of Muriwai beach ).
You need to beware of submerged rocks at this Auckland beach.
The best of the Auckland beaches for a shore scuba diving site
Goat Island Marine Reserveis one of the Auckland beaches, that is about 90 km north of central Auckland, or just over one hour to drive from the CBD.
You can snorkel or scuba dive here, to see a range of New Zealand marine life. There’s a dive shop on the road between Leigh and Goat Island where you can get air fills, or hire equipment.
There’s a camp ground near Goat Island, if you want a longer stay.
Directions – Take State Highway One north until Warkworth and then turn right and go through Matakana to Leigh. At Leigh turn left towards Pakiri , travel about 1.5km then turn right into Goat Island Road. Before the little bridge at the beach you’ll often find parking spaces. It can get crowded on summer weekends.
I’m working on a more comprehensive guide to Auckland beaches, so watch this space.