New Zealand beaches are special in that you can often find a deserted on all to yourself. In the city, things are a little different since there are so many people, but it never gets to the point where you can't get a decent spot on the sand to put down your towel. On the sunniest days, however, you might find the 1.4 million Aucklanders dispersed along the shores so if you dont' like the looks of the first beach you get to, head odwn the road and you will eventually find the perfect one for you. Think of Auckland beaches in three main areas, the city including Tamaki Drive beaches, out west, and north of the city. The beaches along Tamaki drive include the popular Mission Bay and St. Heliers with their cafes and boardwalk. The boardwalk itself is known to cyclists, runners, and walkers. You could take the family to Kelly Tarlton's Underwater world and then walk along the boardwalk to a beach for a swim and/ or picnic. The "out west" beaches include Kare Kare, Piha, and Muriwai. These beaches are a bit more wild, mostly black sand, and good for surfing. There is also a gannet colony at Muriwai that makes for an interesting view. If you head north of the city in a car you can just about stop off at any of the neighbourhoods along the east coast and find yourself a nice beach. If you get as far as Pakiri, there is a small outfit who do horse rides, but do ring ahead to ensure you can get a booking.
State Highway 16
West coast beach with a gannet colony... read more