Auckland’s best beaches for kids and families

Auckland's best beaches

21 of Auckland's BEST Beaches for kids and families

1. Browns Bay

Manly Esplanade, Browns Bay, Auckland
Playground beside beach, nice calm water for the kids, and a grassy frontage for those that don’t like to sit on sand.  Plenty of places nearby for lunch.

Browns Bay Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

2. Big Manly Beach

The Esplanade, Whangaparaoa, Hibiscus Coast, Auckland
Sheltered sandy beach with large grass areas with shade for picnics and barbeques.  There is a children’s playground and changing rooms and toilets and lots of parking.

3. Clarks Beach

Clarks Beach is a great swimming beach for the kids.  There is no surf, and it is safe for paddling.


4. Castor Bay

The Esplanade, Castor Bay, Auckland
Good beach for the kids, and you can walk around the rocks at low tide.  There are pohutakawa trees for shade and a playground.

5. Cheltenham Beach

Vauxhaull Road, Devonport

Good sandy swimming beach with calm water for the kids and great views of Rangitoto.  The water level is quite low at low tide, which makes it ideal for families with younger kids. 

There is a little playground at one end of the beach. Dairies and a fish & chip shop are a short walk away.

Cheltenham Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

6. Cornwallis Beach

Cornwallis, Auckland

Shallow calm beach which is good for little kids. Plenty of shade.  Plus there is a great wharf for young and older kids to enjoy.

Fishing off the wharf at Cornwallis Beach

7. Kaitarakihi Bay, Manukau Harbour

A sandy beach located between Cornwallis and Huia which is good for swimming. The beach is accessed through a gate which closes at nigh time.  

It is a short drive to Huia Beach Store & Cafe which has ice creams, coffee and fish and chips. 

Kaitarakihi Bay Beach, Manukau Harbour

8. Karaka Bay

Karaka Bay, Glendowie
A sandy beach which is an ideal spot for a picnic, it can be accessed from the Point to Point Walkway, and at low tide you can walk along the silt and rock foreshore to the Glendowie Boating Club.

Karaka Bay in Glendowie, Auckland

9. Kelvin Strand Beach

Kelvin Crescent, Te Atatu Peninsula

Sandy beach, park with lots of grass to picnic and a children’s playground.   Great views of Sky Tower and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Go at high tide if you want to swim or at low tide if you want to walk out to a sand bar.  You can also bring your kids bikes to ride along the Harbourview Walkway.

Kelvin Strand Beach

10. Long Bay

Long Bay has 1km of a sandy beach next to parkland.  Great playground, safe family swimming, toilets, changing rooms, shady picnic and barbeque areas. The kids can check out the rock pools at low tide.

11. Maraetai Beach

Maratei Beach is perfect for swimming or having a picnic. There is a wharf in the middle of the beach which is perfect for older kids and teens to jump off. Fun kids playground with a large wooden pirate ship with slides.  There are shops to get an ice cream and coffee across from the playground. 

There is also a beach walk that goes from Maratai Beach to the wharf at Magazine Bay which takes about 1 hour to walk. It’s not buggy friendly though as there a short section of rocks you need to walk over between Maraetai Beach and Waiomanu Beac. On a fine day you will be able to see the Coromandel Peninsula in the distance too. There are lots of public toilets along the way too.

Maraetai Beach in Auckland, New Zealand

12. Mission Bay Beach

Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay

Popular Auckland beach with a sheltered sandy beach, grassy areas, an art deco fountain, public toilets,kids playground with cafe, restaurants and ice cream shops across the road.

Playground at Mission Bay Beach

13. Murrays Bay Beach

Great wharf for the older kids and teens to jump off.

14. Narrow Neck Beach

Safe sandy beach for the kids.  There is a playground, large field, barbeque area and great views of Rangitoto.  There is also a cafe on the beach and a dairy close by.

15. Omana Regional Park

2 Beach Road, Maraetai

Omana beach is a safe swimming beach high tide with lots of shells and shady pohutakawa trees. There are bookable BBQ’s too which have a stunning view of Rangitoto in the distance. Omana Regional Park also is a working farm, a Māori pā site, and campground.  The Omana Children’s Playground reflects the Ngai Tai tribe’s connections to the area. The playground includes a whare (house) with slides, a small fireman’s pole, a rope walkway and a space net. There are also two carved rock sharks, taniwha bars, swing ropes, a see-saw and treasure-hunt carvings for the kids to have fun playing on.

Omana Regional Park in Auckland, New Zealand

16. Piha Beach

Piha Road, Auckland

Piha has lots of grassy spots for picnics.  There is a lagoon that kids love to play in and a playground. The surf at the beach is rough, so you will need to be with your children and watch them closely if they go into the water. Lots of rock pools to explore at low tide.

Piha Beach in Auckland, New Zealand

17. Point Chevalier Beach

Sheltered beach which is safe for swimming, although you need to go when the tide is in. Great playground with a train, flying fox, swings and climbing net.

18. Saint Heliers Beach

Tamaki Drive, St Heliers

St Heliers is less crowded than Mission Bay.  There are grassy areas, a playground, public toilets and picnic tables.  There are plenty of cafes, ice cream shops and restaurants across the road from the beach where you can either eat in or get something takeaway to enjoy on the beach front.

St Heliers Bay Beach in Auckland, New Zealand

19. Snells Beach

Sunrise Boulevard, Snells Beach, Auckland

​The beach is flat and shallow for a long distance, plenty of rockpools making it perfect to take your toddlers too.  The pohutakawa trees are ideal for a shady picnic. There is also a fun playground right by the beach with basket swings, slides and more. Plus if you venture on a bit further you can visit the donkeys at Highfield Garden Reserve.

Snells Beach Playground in Auckland, New Zealand

20. Te Arai Beach

Te Arai beach is one of the last undeveloped beaches in the Auckland area. It is an Auckland Regional Park and is one of the best east coast surf beach in New Zealand. There is a beautiful protected swimming area for toddlers called ‘The Quary’. Toilet and changing facilities are available. Your family can also learn to surf with Aotearoa Surf who are based here and offer surfing lessons and equipment hire.

21. Waiake Beach

Safe and sheltered swimming beach with lots of grassy areas and shady trees. Right next to the beach is a fun playground for the kids with a large climbing net being the star feature.  Kids will have fun explore the rock pools at the south end of the beach looking for starfish, hermit crags and cats eyes.   The beach has a boat ramp for launching boats and kayaks too.

waiake beach in Auckland, New Zealand