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5 outstanding beach activities to try in New Zealand

Explore Piha Beach

Stretching along the wild west coasts of Auckland, the vast expanse of Piha Beach’s coal black sands welcome both locals and visitors from across the globe. One of the country’s most well-known beaches, the enormity of this section of coastline leaves you feeling gloriously isolated. Renowned for its rugged beauty, Piha entices many surfers hoping to tame the wild waves. The volcanic sands and rocky terrain provide ample room for exploration, and the iconic Lion Rock allows those with a little more daring the opportunity to view the beach from above (be careful not to climb too high, the slippery coastal rock has proven dangerous in the past!). Stroll to the nearby Kitekite Track to see the majestic Kitekite falls, take a walk along the soft black beach sands and stay to watch the sun set over the ocean in a blaze of fiery pink and orange.

NZ beach activities Lion Rock at Piha Beach

Take a tour down 90 Mile

Not quite true to its name, 90 Mile Beach in fact stretches 88 kilometres towards the top end of the country, the longest stretch of sand in New Zealand, 90 Miles’ immensity will not disappoint. Jump on a tour and enjoy all that this incredible beach has to offer, as you race past the waves on a custom bus designed to roll along the water’s edge with ease. Try your hand at surf-casting or experience the adrenaline rush as you slide down the massive Te Paki dunes at the beach’s northern boundary. Wind down at the end of your day with a tranquil walk up to the Cape Reinga Lighthouse and take in the stunning panoramic views across the ocean where the Tasman meets the Pacific.

NZ beach activities tour down 90 Mile Beach

Hike the Able Tasman track

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Abel Tasman National Park by hiking the Abel Tasman Coast Track, either on a guided walk or independently. Visit golden sandy beaches and swim in the beautiful clear ocean waters. Admire the beautiful Falls River as you make your way across a 47m suspension bridge and keep an eye out for kekeno (fur seals) as you stroll along the beautiful shores of the national park. Take a walk through the woods and discover Cleopatra’s Pool, an enchanting natural rock pool formation with a moss-lined water slide that you can slide down into the cool clear lagoon. With a mild climate perfect for hiking, the coastal track continues to deliver day after day with beautiful new areas to explore and incredible views to admire.

Abel Tasman National Park

Kayak to Cathedral Cove

One of the most picturesque locations on the Coromandel Peninsula (and that’s saying something!) Cathedral Cove is a must visit. You can take a relaxing walk from Hahei Beach to the cove, or if you’re wanting to fully appreciate the beauty of this area, jump on a sea kayak and get to the cove via the ocean. Paddle your way through sea caves, feel the sun on your face, start a paddle splash fight, all the while keeping your eyes open for beautiful marine wildlife. Bring your kayak up onto the beach in Cathedral Cove and explore along the sandy white shores, taking in the rugged beauty of the giant white rock caverns and archways, the crystal blue water and the fringe of native pohutukawa trees growing along the sands edge.

Cathedral Cove kayak tour

Get up close with some native wildlife

With a stunning array of diverse wildlife gracing our shores, New Zealand is the perfect place to see a variety of unique animals up close. Join a wildlife watching tour and take the opportunity to see a number of beautiful bird species including Yellow-Eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins and the world’s largest sea bird, the Royal Albatross. Take a walk along the rocky coast line and observe the breeding colonies of the New Zealand Fur Seals, and if you’re lucky to be travelling at the right time of year you might even have the chance to witness some seal pups playing and flopping about on the rocks.

See the Royal Albatross up close