Whangarei: The city of 100 beaches… so which ones should I visit?

Whangārei, the city of 100 beaches! So, which ones to visit? We’ve got you covered with our top 8 beaches.

Important reminders: 

  • Please remember to use sunscreen. As general guidance, the Cancer Society of NZ recommends the use of broad-spectrum, SPF30+ sunscreen.
  • During the summer months, Surf Life Savers will be out at our most popular beaches to help you. Please swim between the flags and listen to any advice given to you. 

Langs Beach

Nestled between Mangawhai and Waipu Cove on a winding but scenic road, Langs Beach has some of the most unique sand in all of New Zealand. Its pink hue attracts artists, tourists, and holidaymakers. The beach boasts a magnificent view of the Hen and Chicken Islands, just a few miles offshore and is fringed with pohutukawa trees and rocky headlands.

Waipu Cove

Another stunner along Bream Bay is Waipu Cove. Get the full Kiwi seaside experience with shops and cafes to grab an ice cream. The beach is ideal for swimming with lifeguards patrolling in summer and is very photogenic with picturesque pohutukawa trees everywhere.

Matapouri Bay

Matapouri Bay, along the beautiful Tutukaka Coast, boasts spectacular white sand and a restful estuary. It’s perfect for a relaxed day at the beach for family or friends, with shelter from the wind and reasonably safe swimming as it is cradled by two headlands. Please note, the mermaid pools are now closed for public access.

Whale Bay

There is no public access road to Whale Bay, which makes it a lot less frequented than other beaches on the Tutukaka Coast. There are different walking tracks to get there, the shortest being a 10-minute walk. You can also access Whale Bay from Matapouri Bay by a 30-minute walk in each direction. It’s well worth the exercise with some of the best views on this part of the coast!

Sandy Bay

Sandy Bay is probably the most popular surfing beach in Whangārei. With its white sand, rolling surf, scenic pohutukawa trees, what else could you want? Hire a surfboard at the local shop and give it a go!

Smugglers Cove

Located on the northern side of Whangarei Harbour, not far from the Heads, this small secluded beach can be accessed with a short walk from the Urquharts Bay car park. It’s a great spot for safe swimming and snorkelling. With beautiful white sand in a sheltered cove, we recommend packing a picnic, staying the day and enjoy a walk around the loop track.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is around 5 kilometres of uninterrupted white sand and glorious views. It’s a popular surf spot and has lifeguards on patrol in summer for safer swimming. Tip: take a boogie board and hit the sand dunes or the rolling surf!

Pataua North and Pataua South

Pataua North is a long sweeping beach that is a fantastic surf spot. Pataua South has a sheltered estuary on one side of a long footbridge and an ocean-side beach on the other. Join the local and jump off the bridge at high tide!

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