Bordering the Tasman Sea, West Auckland boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in all of New Zealand. With wild, windswept scenery, dramatic dunes and outcroppings and sparkling black sand, West Auckland beaches offer opportunities for coastal walks, sunbathing, water sports, adventure and wildlife sightings. You’ll find a variety of things to do in the beach areas, whether you want fun with the kids in the sun or adrenaline-fueled activities like surfing and caving. West Auckland is also known for some of the best surf beaches on the island if you want to catch some waves or learn to surf. Find out more about the best West Auckland beaches to plan a holiday with friends, family or on your own.
If you enjoy nature and wildlife, Huia Beach is one of the top picks in West Auckland. Located in the Waitakere Ranges, Huia Beach hosts plenty of animal life that come close to shore, including shorebirds and marine life. The beach is well equipped for families and offers campgrounds, toilets, picnic spots and parking areas. Many activities are popular at Huia Beach, including abseiling, boating, swimming and fishing. If you’re looking for family fun at the beach, Huia Beach is one of the best options.
Located near the coastal community of the same name, Bethells Beach is a lovely beach with resorts and opportunities for water sports. Because the beach is at the mouth of the Waitakere River where it meets the Tasman Sea, it’s known for rough waters that are perfect for surfing. Bethells Beach also receives strong winds for hang gliding and parasailing. Other fun activities include bushwalking on nearby boardwalks, beach picnics, skimboarding on the dunes and fishing.
Piha Beach is one of New Zealand’s most famous surf beaches and a popular beach for summer fun. Located on the west coast of North Island near Auckland City, the black-sand beach has a reputation for incredible surf breaks on the edge of the Tasman Sea. Though it’s a popular beach for travellers and locals, Piha Beach retains a wild, windswept environment that’s beautiful for coastal hikes and exploration.
Located near the charming coastal community of Muriwai, Muriwai Beach is a spectacular black-sand beach that’s known for its surf breaks and wildlife. When you visit, you may spot the gannets that nest in the rocks. While the beach has rough waves for surfing and other water sports, you’ll find shallow, quiet areas on the harbour where kids can swim and play.
One of Auckland’s most beautiful black-sand beaches, Karekare Beach is a favourite of surfers and water sports enthusiasts. The beach itself is quiet and sheltered by towering headlands and large, black dunes, but the offshore surf is ideal for wave sports. Nearby, you’ll find Karekare Falls, a beautiful waterfall in the forest that you can access from the coastal track off the beach. Once you reach the falls, you can rest on the large, flat rocks or swim in the quiet pool at the base. Karekare Beach is located in Karekare Regional Park, which has campsites, walking tracks and picnic areas, making it great for a trip with the kids.
Whatipu Beach is a scenic beach that’s part of a scientific reserve, making it quieter and more unspoilt than some of the more popular beaches. The beach is known for rip tides, but you can enjoy sunbathing and exploration along the coastal tracks that take you on the cliffs and bushland. Near the beach, you’ll find massive cave systems that were once used as shelter by travellers and for cultural rituals like dancing.
Anawhata Beach is a remote and stunning beach that offers solitude and relaxation. You’ll find a walking track that takes you down to the beach or to a lookout point where you can sit and take in the sweeping coastal views. The sand is sheltered by rocky outcroppings that divide the sand, revealing channels, rock formations and pools at low tide.