Whangārei: The city of 100 beaches… so which ones should you visit?

Beach in New Zealand

We’ve got you covered with our top 8 beaches in Whangārei, Northland.

Important reminders: 

  • Please remember to use sunscreen. As general guidance, the Cancer Society of NZ recommends the use of broad-spectrum, SPF30+ sunscreen which will help protect you from the harsh New Zealand sun.
  • During the summer months, Surf Life Savers will be out at our most popular beaches to help you if you ever get into trouble. Please swim between the flags and listen to any advice given to you. 
Beach in New Zealand

Langs Beach

Nestled between Mangawhai and Waipu Cove on a winding but scenic road, Langs Beach has some of the most unique sand in all of New Zealand because of its pink hue. It attracts artists, tourists, and holidaymakers all year round. The beach boasts a magnificent view of the Hen and Chicken Islands which is just a few miles offshore and is fringed with pohutukawa trees and rocky headlands.

Beach in New Zealand

Waipu Cove

Another stunning beach along Bream Bay is Waipu Cove. Get the full Kiwi seaside experience with shops and cafes to grab an ice cream or share a delicious meal. This beach is ideal for swimming with lifeguards patrolling in summer and is very Instagram-worthy with picturesque pohutukawa trees everywhere.

Matapouri Beach in New Zealand

Matapouri Bay

Matapouri Bay, along the beautiful Tutukaka Coast, boasts spectacular white sand and a restful estuary. It’s perfect for a relaxed day at the beach for family or friends, with shelter from the wind and reasonably safe swimming because it is cradled by two headlands. Please note: a rāhui tapu is now officially in place at Rangitapu (the Headland) and Te Wai O Taniwha, Mermaid Pools, which means they are now closed for public access.

Beach in New Zealand

Whale Bay

There’s no public access road to Whale Bay, which makes it a lot less frequented than other beaches on the Tutukaka Coast. You can take different walking tracks to get there with the shortest being a 10-minute walk. It’s also possible to access Whale Bay from Matapouri Bay with a beautiful and easy 30-minute walk in each direction. We assure you, it’s well worth the exercise with some of the best views on this part of the coast!

Beach in New Zealand

Sandy Bay

Sandy Bay is probably the most popular surfing beach in Whangārei. With its white sand, rolling surf and scenic pohutukawa trees, what else could you want? Hire a surfboard at the local shop and give it a go!

Beach in New Zealand

Smugglers Cove

Located on the northern side of Whangārei Harbour, not far from Whangārei Heads, this small secluded beach can be accessed with a short walk from the Urquharts Bay car park. It’s a great spot for safe swimming and snorkelling with beautiful white sand in a sheltered cove. We recommend packing a picnic, staying the day and enjoying a walk around the loop track.

Beach in New Zealand

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is around 5 kilometres of uninterrupted white sand and glorious views. It’s a popular surf spot and has lifeguards on patrol in the summer months for safer swimming. Here’s a tip, take a boogie board and hit the sand dunes or the rolling surf!

Pataua Bridge in New Zealand

Pataua North and Pataua South

Pataua North is a long sweeping beach that is a fantastic surf spot while Pataua South has a sheltered estuary on one side of a long footbridge and an ocean-side beach on the other. Join the locals and jump off the bridge at high tide! We recommend you take a short walk along the Pataua Estuary and over a low hill to a lovely beach known as “Frog Town”. Check out the beautiful yet easy track here

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