Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, is not only known for its urban allure but also boasts some of the most breath-taking beaches in the country. Whether you’re seeking family-friendly shores, white sandy expanses, or the unique beauty of black sand, Auckland has it all. Here’s a curated list of the top 10 beaches you simply can’t afford to miss.

Close to the City

1. St Heliers Beach

Located just 11.7km from Auckland CBD, St Heliers is a picture-perfect beach, making it an ideal spot for families. The beach offers safe swimming and sea kayaking opportunities, and after a day of seaside fun, visitors can take a leisurely stroll to explore the charming shops and eateries nearby.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 11.7km
  • Excellent swimming spot, showers to rinse off nearby
  • Cafes and restaurants nearby

2. Devonport Beach

A mere 12-minute ferry ride from the Downtown Ferry Terminal in central Auckland, Devonport is a treasure trove of delights. Its pristine sand beaches, vibrant village atmosphere, excellent cafes, and boutique shopping make it an ideal day-trip destination for locals and tourists alike.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 14.4km
  • Family friendly, park and playground nearby
  • Cafes and restaurants nearby

3. Takapuna Beach

Just 10 minutes from Auckland CBD, Takapuna boasts another safe and family-friendly beach. With a plethora of entertainment options, this beach offers something for everyone. Whether it’s sunbathing, swimming, or engaging in various water sports, Takapuna has it all. On Sunday’s there’s a regular market with a variety of stalls, and tasty cuisines to sample.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 9.8km
  • Family friendly playground nearby
  • Cafes and restaurants nearby

White Sand Beaches

4. Pohutukawa Coast Beaches

Situated an hour’s drive north of Auckland, the Pohutukawa Coast is a haven for beach enthusiasts with a number of different options to select from. Choose from beaches near a village, shops and cafe’s like Browns Bay Beach, or the aptly named one mile long Long Bay Beach located further up the coast. Stunning white-sand beaches, proximity to regional parks, and family-friendly activities make it a must-visit destination. Visitors can revel in safe swimming and breath-taking views along this coastal gem.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 41.8km
  • Multiple beaches to select from
  • Dog friendly beach options

5. Maretai Beach

Known for its beautiful white-sand beaches, Maretai Beach offers a serene escape just 43.8km from Auckland CBD. Surrounded by regional parks and family-friendly activities, it’s a perfect spot for those seeking safe swimming and panoramic views.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 43.8km
  • Family friendly
  • Wharf & boat ramp nearby

6. Omana Beach

A mere 42.6km from Auckland CBD, Omana Beach enchants visitors with its beautiful white-sand expanses. With proximity to regional parks and family-friendly activities, this beach ensures a delightful experience for all. Safe swimming and spectacular vistas complete the coastal charm.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 42.6km
  • Family friendly, safe for swimming
  • Playground nearby

Black Sand Beaches

Auckland’s west coast has some spectacular black sand beaches unique to the region. Whilst the strong waves make many of the beaches dangerous for swimmers they are a surfer’s paradise.

7. Muriwai Beach

Renowned for its black-sand shores, Muriwai Beach is approximately an hour’s drive from Central Auckland. The dramatic clifftop platforms and gannet colonies overlooking the Tasman Sea add a unique charm to this beach. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely walk with stunning natural vistas.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 41.3km
  • Spectacular scenery
  • Surfing

8. Piha

Piha, one of New Zealand’s most popular surfing destinations, is famed for its black-sand beaches and Lion Rock. Located just 40.5km from Auckland CBD, visitors can spend the day exploring the small township, known for its vibrant artistic community. Take a stroll south at low tide and you’ll encounter the blue pool, a small tidal pool created by the gap between Taitomo Island and the mainland.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 40.5km
  • Excellent surfing
  • Various scenic lookouts

9. Te Henga / Bethells Beach

Situated on the west coast, Te Henga (Bethells Beach) is a sheltered haven approximately 35.6km from Auckland CBD. Its calm waters make it an excellent spot for swimming, while nearby Lake Wainamu and Waiti stream offers massive sand dunes for those who prefer to stay dry while surfing.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 35.6km
  • Great picnic spot
  • Sea cave to explore at low tide

10. Karekare Beach

South of Piha, Karekare Beach is a favorite among photographers and filmmakers. Recognisable from famous films such as “The Piano,” this beach is celebrated for its dramatic landscapes and the stunning Karekare falls, offering a captivating day out just 37.6km from Auckland CBD.

  • Distance from Auckland CBD: 37.6km
  • Dog friendly
  • Photographer’s paradise

For more detailed information on visiting and how to reach these beaches, check out Whether you’re a local seeking a weekend escape or a tourist exploring New Zealand, Auckland’s diverse range of beaches promises a memorable coastal experience.