There’s no shortage of stunning beaches for dips after work in Auckland. But it’s summer, and summer calls for road trips. So we’ve located the best beach day jaunts for picnics, frolicking, sunshine and swimming, not too far from our fair city.
After all, what better way to embrace the hot, hot weather than with sand between your toes?
Locate the hamper, slap on the sunscreen and prepare yourself for a hoon out to some of the best day trip beaches from Auckland.
This wild, rugged beach is an Auckland favourite—a little piece of untouched beauty less 50-minutes drive from the city. Bethells is a great activities beach, whether it's surfing, fishing, strolling along the Te Henga Walkway, or building the obligatory beach day sandcastle.
On the drive to Piha, keep an eye out for the Te Ahuahu turnoff and you’ll come across a serious gem of an adventure spot—Mercer Bay. Not for the faint hearted, pay strict heed to the barriers provided as these are Auckland's tallest cliffs and can be dangerous. With powdery black sand, warm rock pools and a massive cave that’s accessible during low tide, Mercer Bay is the ideal day trip for adventure lovers.
Just 80-minutes from Auckland, Mangawhai is a great beach town to spend the day in. It’s a popular spot with surfers but is an equally as idyllic spot for laxing on the beach. Splash around in the waves before popping into Sandbar for lunch and a coffee.
Jump on the ferry and head out to Waiheke for a day on an island. Palm Beach is on the northern side, boasting white sandy beaches and safe swimming. Sheltered from any nasty south-westerly winds, Palm Beach has two barbecue areas (that’s lunch sorted) and a pirate ship playground for when or if the sprogs get bored. Oh, and ‘Nudey Bay’ is situated at the far west end, if you’re that way inclined.
Nestled within the Tawharanui Regional Park lies a golden beach called Anchor Bay. Fill up the tank because this spot is an 80-minute drive from Auckland, making Anchor Bay the perfect day trip to get away from it all. This pristine slice of Kiwi beauty has golden sand, the cleanest and clearest of water, and a rock pool deep enough for bombs. A truly awesome beach.
Every Aucklander should spend a day at this beautiful West Coast beach. From surfing to lounging under an umbrella or rolling down the dunes, Muriwai has a lot to offer. Surf lifesavers are on patrol at peak times as the rips can get a bit full on, and the black sand can be absolutely scorching so be sure to utilise our jandal life hack! On your way back to the big smoke, don’t forget to have a nosy at the gannet colony.
Another impressive West Coast nugget, Karekare is a breathtaking and unique beach—the kind that makes us feel damn lucky that we call this country home. Several movies have been shot here including The Piano, and it’s less chaotic than beaches closer to Auckland. With a long stretch of sand, Karekare is a great walking beach and a wander to the Karekare Falls will make your day trip one to remember.
Keen to get your walk on? Take one of Auckland’s Best Weekend Walks And Hikes.