Auckland's best beaches
21 of Auckland's BEST Beaches for kids and families
During the lockdown in New Zealand to prevent the spread of COVID 19, you should only walk to your local beach with members of your family. Please do not drive to other beaches and stay local.
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.
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.
6. Cornwallis Beach
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.