Christmas time in New Zealand is the perfect time to hit the beach. We've compiled a list of some of the best beaches in New Zealand to help you make the most of your holidays wherever you may be this festive season.
Auckland - Piha Beach
New Zealand’s most famous surf beach is the perfect spot to take a picnic during hot summer days. Black iron-sand and the rugged western coastline, coupled with the Waitakere Ranges and rock formations provide amazing scenery, and being 40km from Auckland city makes it the ideal spot to escape the city. As with much of New Zealand’s west coast, this natural beauty can get wild, so be sure to swim only in areas manned by lifeguards.
Northland - Paihia Town Beach
A convenient 20-minute drive from the headquarters of David Reid Homes Northland, the golden sands of Paihia Town Beach are ideal for picnicking, swimming and relaxing with family and friends. It’s also close to the shops of Paihia so you could even leave the picnic at home and treat yourself to lunch out. While you’re at the beach, try a low-tide stroll around the rocks at the southern end of the bay to soak up the sheltered sands of Sullivan’s Beach, you won’t be disappointed.
Bay of Plenty - Mount Maunganui Main Beach
Voted New Zealand’s best beach, the white sands of Mount Maunganui Main Beach, pictured, or “The Mount”, represent the ultimate Kiwi summer. Camp, wine, dine and relax, there’s so much to do at the Mount that you won’t need to leave all summer. Of course, you could always make it a day trip from Hamilton or Rotorua.
Coromandel & Hauraki - Whangapoua & Matarangi
You can’t reach the Coromandel’s famous Chums Beach without passing through Whangapoua Beach, but once you reach here you may not even want to leave. Crystal clear waters and golden sands provide an ideal spot for your lunch, or some surfing, or the estuary provides a perfect place for young families to swim, or to pull out the kayak for a paddle.
Hawkes Bay - Waimarama Beach
We couldn’t think of a better spot to have fish ‘n chips on the beach than Waimarama Beach, only 20 minutes from the David Reid Homes Hawkes Bay HQ. Typical East Coast, it’s got golden sands and is ideal for walking, jogging, swimming, surfing or fishing. If wineries are more your style, stop into Craggy Range Winery for lunch on the way.
Kapiti/Wellington - Paraparaumu Beach
You can’t beat views of Kapiti Island from the beautiful black sands of the Kapiti Coast. With stunning spots right along the coastline, you’re spoilt for choice. Paraparaumu Beach is easy to access from Wellington or Waikanae, and there are plenty of shops around for lunch or an ice cream. While you’re in the area, take a drive around sustainable lifestyle development Ferndale, where David Reid Homes Wellington/Kapiti have recently built a number of stunning and award-winning homes.
Rotorua/Whakatane/Gisborne - Ōhope Beach
The warm waters of Ōhope Beach and plenty of sunshine make it ideal for a summer holiday, or day trip from your piece of the Bay of Plenty. Think white sands, calm waters, beach walks, and plenty of places to eat. Bliss.
Taupo - Lake Taupo
Okay, so it’s not a beach, but why would you leave the lake’s pristine fresh waters? We can definitely recommend Kinloch Beach at the lake; away from the crowds, it’s a little more secluded and is an ideal spot for a picnic.
Waikato - Kawhia Hot Water Beach
Need we say more? The black sands of Ocean Beach in Kawhia are sitting waiting to be dug up and turned into hot pools. Take the kids and let them build sandcastles with the sand while you relax in your natural spring. Hot tip: this is best done at low tide; so time it to have your picnic while the waters recede to make room for your spa.
Canterbury - Corsair Bay
A little off the beaten track, we recommend Corsair Bay for a day in the sun. Shallow waters make it an ideal place to take the kids, and a mixture of sand and grass make it a lovely spot for lunch. It’s only 30 minutes from the centre of Christchurch, and 5 minutes from Lyttelton township.
Dunedin - Saint Clair Beach
Saint Clair Beach, only 10 minutes from central Dunedin is the place to be if you’re in the area this summer. With an esplanade filled with cafés, you can visit Saint Clair Beach rain or shine and taking in the amazing views of the white sands and the Southern Ocean.
Queenstown - Wakatipu
New Zealand is renowned over the globe for Queenstown for a reason: it’s absolutely stunning. Soak up the atmosphere in town, or pack a picnic and head to the lake shores for the day. Either way you won’t be disappointed on a hot summer’s day.
Southland - Gemstone Beach
If you have time for a day trip from Invercargill, the home of David Reid Homes Southland, take the hour’s drive to Gemstone Beach, where you’ll find a rugged beach with great surf. Storms and tides create regular change on the beach from sand to stones, and it’s not unusual to find hidden “gems” on the beach, hence its name.
Wanaka & Central Otago - Lake Wanaka
As with Queenstown and Taupo, we’d be silly to send you to the beach from the fresh waters of Lake Wanaka. Swim, kayak, paddle board or go for a cruise on the water. We recommend spending at least a few days here if you’re in the Central Otago area during the Christmas break.