Hawke’s Bay is a picturesque region on the North Island with an abundance of wineries, cultural attractions and pristine beaches. You’ll find endless opportunities for beach fun, including sunbathing, swimming, surfing and fishing on Hawke’s Bay beaches, as well as unique experiences like coastal tracks, cultural tours and wildlife sightings. The coastal communities also offer attractions for the whole family, such as aquariums, architectural tours and theatres. Whether you want to spend time by the water with the kids, watch a romantic sunset with your partner or find thrills on the water on your own, find out more about the best Hawke’s Bay beaches to find inspiration for your holiday.
Waimarama Beach for boating and watersports
Boasting long stretches of golden sand and quiet, turquoise waters, Waimarama Beach is one of the most beautiful coastal areas in Hawke’s Bay. The beach is popular for coastal walks, swimming, sunbathing, surfing and fishing. You’ll also find a boat launch on the beach for kayaking and boating. Several cultural sites can be found near the beach, such as Hakikino, a historic Maori fortress, that are great for outings with the kids.
Waipatiki Beach for fishing with the kids
Surrounded by rugged cliffs and farmland, Waipatiki Beach is a picturesque beach that’s known for its abundance of flounder for fishing. You can visit the beach to cast a line or try fun water sports like surfing, diving, paddleboarding and boating. There’s also a stream near the beach for fishing and paddling, which is great if you have the kids with you. Plenty of coastal tracks run along the shore and offer stunning coastal views and scenic pathways through kahikatea trees and nikau palms with native birdlife.
Napier beaches for family fun
Napier is a vibrant city in Hawke’s Bay with beautiful art deco architecture, fascinating cultural attractions and family-friendly activities like wildlife tours and wildlife attractions. You’ll also find beaches along Westshore and Ahuriri with soft sand and quiet waters to swim. Water sports are popular at Napier’s beaches and harbour areas, such as riding watercraft, kayaking, whitebaiting and jet boating.
Kairakau Beach for child-friendly waters
Kairakau Beach is unique among Hawke’s Bay beaches in that it’s surrounded by rugged cliffs and offers a quiet lagoon area. The coastal community is focused around the grassy beachfront that gently slopes into the water, which is perfect for children to swim and play. From the shore, you can see spectacular views of the islands in the distance. If you want to see more of the landscape, you can take a track to Waterfall Bay to the north and see a scenic waterfall. Plenty of activities are popular at Kairakau Beach, including surfing, surfcasting and swimming.
Porangahau Beach for beach activities
Porangahau is a charming coastal community with a namesake golden-sand beach. A popular recreation area for locals, Porangahau Beach has opportunities for swimming, surfcasting, blowcarting, kite flying and sunbathing. In summer, you can dive or snorkel to see the colourful marine life. You’ll find many excellent places to cast a line along the beach or from a boat as well.
Pourerere Beach for family adventure
Located near the Te Angiangi Marine Reserve, Pourerere Beach is a remote beach destination that offers a laid-back atmosphere. The beach is popular for family trips and romantic sunsets, as well as swimming, fishing, diving and other water sports. Plenty of wildlife calls the beach home, including seal colonies, and you’ll often see whales and dolphins frolicking offshore. Freedom camping is also permitted along the beach, so you can stay overnight and enjoy a sunset and stargazing.
Haumoana Beach for diverse attractions
Surrounded by the coastal town of Haumoana, Haumoana Beach is a lovely beach surrounded by fertile farmland and grape vineyards. Away from the water, you’ll find creative-arts venues, a coastal cycling trail, renowned wineries and cultural attractions, making Haumoana Beach a great destination if you want a combination of beach days and sightseeing. The beach is also the gateway to Cape Kidnappers, a stretch of coast renowned for surfing and fishing.
Mahanga Beach for beachcombing
Mahanga Beach offers a long stretch of white sand for sunbathing and beachcombing. The waters boast excellent right- and left-hand surf breaks with areas suited to all levels of surfing experience. You’ll find a lot of amenities nearby, including public toilets and designated parking, so it’s an easy beach to visit and access.