The Wairarapa region is filled with gorgeous coastlines dotted with charming towns and pristine beaches. Surrounded by stunning turquoise waters and lush, verdant rainforest, the beaches in Wairarapa offer a beautiful escape for sunbathing, swimming, water sports and family time, as well as rainforest hikes, golf and waterfront dining. Whether you’re looking for quiet beaches for the kids, romantic beaches with picturesque scenery and spectacular sunsets or wild beaches with marine life and surf breaks, you can have it all in Wairarapa. Learn about the best beaches in Wairarapa to plan your next seaside holiday in New Zealand.

Best beaches in Wairarapa

From rugged ocean beaches with rough waves to quiet, sheltered beaches ideal for family days, the beaches in Wairarapa have something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for sunbathing and beach games or water sports and adventure, find out more about the best beaches in Wairarapa.

Castlepoint Beach

Castlepoint Beach is one of the country’s best beaches. The sand is soft and clean for sunbathing, and the kids will enjoy swimming and wading in the calm, clear waters. There’s a lot to do near the beach, such as hiking on the coastal trails to the historic Castlepoint Lighthouse and fishing in excellent fishing spots. For refreshments, you can stop in the beachfront store for ice cream and coffee. You could also play a few rounds of golf at the nearby Castlepoint Golf Club.

Riversdale Beach for exploring with the kids

With gently sloping sand and calm waters, Riversdale Beach is a popular place for family outings. The water is sheltered by the Tararua Ranges, so it’s free from rough surf, and there’s a children’s playground nearby. Off the coast, you can find excellent surfing spots for experienced surfers. At low tide, the beach has rock pools on both ends where kids can wade and check out unique sea life. Other activities at Riversdale Beach include snorkelling, fishing and scuba diving.

Ocean Beach for sunset views

Located across from Lake Onoke, Ocean Beach is a gorgeous beach destination with soft sand surrounded by charming historic homes. The sea is particularly rough at Ocean Beach, so swimming isn’t advised, but it’s an incredible spot to see the ocean and watch the sunset. If you want to take in more of the scenery, there are coastal walks and hiking trails in the rainforest to see local wildlife.

Accommodation types in Wairarapa

From luxurious resorts with decadent amenities to sprawling holiday homes and romantic beach cottages, you can find a wide array of accommodation options in Wairarapa for your beach trip. Take a look at the types of accommodation in Wairarapa to see what you can expect for your beach holiday.

Beach cottages

Whether you want a romantic space for 2 or a solo spot, beach cottages offer a charming and cosy option for your beach trip. Wairarapa has numerous beach cottages to choose from that offer self-catering and exciting amenities, such as pools, backyards or outdoor seating areas. Best of all, you can book cottages right on the sand or nestled in the rainforest for complete privacy and relaxation. Cottages also range from affordable to luxury, so you can have it all.

Beach resorts

Beach resorts give you an all-inclusive experience on your trip. Beach resort stays are available at Wairarapa’s best beach areas and include a variety of exciting amenities, such as on-site dining, golfing, waterfront views, childcare, family activities and beach access. When you stay at a resort, you’ll experience the best beaches in Wairarapa in style and comfort. Best of all, if you’re looking for water sports and adventure, you can book resorts with tour operators, sea safaris or fishing trips.

Family holiday homes

If you need space for the whole family on your beach trip, you have a wide variety of beach holiday homes to choose from. You can find sprawling beach houses with extra bedrooms and bathrooms for the kids, as well as practical amenities like laundry facilities, a full kitchen, backyard play areas and pools. Holiday homes are available right on the sand so you can spend more time sunbathing and swimming, or within walking distance of the beach.