The beaches of New Zealand are sunny, sandy and superb! If you have been thinking about private campervan rentals in New Zealand, a beach getaway is just the ticket. We’ve outlined the top beaches in New Zealand for your upcoming holiday, so let’s dive in!
Hawke’s Bay Region
Hawke’s Bay is home to many of the top beaches in New Zealand. In particular, Ocean Beach, Waipatiki Beach and Waimarama Beach are must-see places. Ocean Beach is a spectacular white sand beach located right outside the town of Hastings. Driving on the beach is allowed too. Also located close to Hastings along a beautiful drive is Waimarama Beach, a great beach for surfing and swimming and a great place to collect driftwood. Waipatiki Beach near Napier is also a popular swimming and surfing destination.
West Coast Beaches
If you are looking for a truly wild, uninhabited beach, look no further than Gillespies Beach on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. This is a desolate beach with grey pebbles and windswept mounds of driftwood. Long ago, gold miners came to this remote coastline in search of treasure, and their tombstones are still in the region as a reminder of the coastline’s amazing history. This beach is about a 6 hour drive from Christchurch, driving through the Korowai-Torlesse Tussocklands Park, Arthur’s Pass and the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, part of the UNESCO site Te Wahipounamu. Fox Glacier is the closest township to the beach.
Far North Beaches
Like Gillespies, Rarawa Beach is remote and isolated. When you step onto its shores, you will feel as if you have stepped into another world. The sand is so white that it almost seems fluorescent, and the huge windswept sand dunes look like they’re from another planet. The beach has a very basic camping ground but no other facilities. No worries, though, as civilisation is just a short 15-minute drive away at the Houhora Tavern, New Zealand’s northernmost pub.
If you’re looking for a more rugged and rocky beach, Moeraki Beach in Otago is a wonderful choice. This beach is also on South Island, located just north of Dunedin. It has the characteristic sand that all beaches have, but also has incredible large round boulders that look as if they were dropped there from the sky. The best part is that you’re allowed to climb all over them! This beach is a must see and definitely one of the top beaches in New Zealand.
The People’s Beach
Perhaps the best beach in all of New Zealand is Awaroa Beach, otherwise known as the People’s Beach. This beach is so incredibly beautiful that 40,000 New Zealanders purchased it in 2016 for all people to use. The beach was then gifted to the New Zealand Department of Conservation. The coast’s golden sand stretches out before turquoise waters and the beach is surrounded by the deep green native bush that New Zealand is known for. This beach is in the Tasman region, in the Abel Tasman National Park on Golden Bay. There is no road access to the beach, so most visitors come by water or on foot, but it is definitely worth the trip. While camping is not allowed on this beach, there is a campground at Totaranui, about 1.5 hour’s walk from Awaroa Beach.