Beaches in the Bay of Plenty

Paddle, swim, surf or build a thumping great sandcastle. The choice is yours on the magnificent beaches of the Bay of Plenty.

The Bay of Plenty has... wait for it... 125km of coastline. So, yes, you'd better pack a swimsuit (or several). While sightseeing here you'll stumble across quaint towns, rocky coves and tumbling cliffs. You'll also find some of New Zealand's most dazzling white sand beaches. And when we say beaches, we mean great swaths of powder stretching as far as the eye can see.

You'll find truly great beaches to visit, many with fantastic accommodations nearby. There are popular family beaches, where patrolling lifeguards mean safety comes first; then there are secret beaches, where a sense of adventure will reward you with hidden delights. Jump on a boat and venture out to the islands too. You'll even find beaches frequented by waddling penguins.

If lying on the sand for more than five minutes bores you to tears, choose from all manner of other things to do at the beach. We promise the time will fly by as you enjoy activities from kayaking and paddle boarding to surfing and scuba diving. Here are some great beaches to visit and other tips to add to your itinerary when you're planning a trip:

Image: Tourism Bay of Plenty


  • Mount Maunganui Main Beach is often voted the best beach in all New Zealand. Head down and see if you agree. (Spoiler alert: You will!)
  • The walk to Orokawa Bay is a beauty! Home to 145 hectares of native bush, Orokawa Bay does not skimp on impressive scenery. However, be aware that the beach itself is considered unsafe to swim.
  • Along Ohope Beach's 11km, you'll find everything from surf spots to swimming pool-like conditions. The turquoise water is pretty dreamy, too.

Image: Tourism Bay of Plenty

Island Activities

  • If you want powder-white sand, rolling surf waves and an idyllic getaway, hop on a boat out to picturesque Matakana Island.
  • Rent a paddleboard or kayak and glide across the pond-calm waters around Ohiwa Harbour's pretty little islands.
  • Gear up in a thick wetsuit and scuba dive or snorkel around the wildlife-laden waters of Whale Island (Moutohora).

Image: Tourism Bay of Plenty

Water Activities

  • Kayak to the secluded little paradise cove of Otarawairere Bay in Whakatāne.
  • Embark on a marine or eco-cruise and tick dolphins, whales, seals and penguins off that wildlife bucket list.
  • Try surfing on Waihi Beach, one of the safest surfing beaches in the region. Book a lesson and learn some gnarly new skills.

Created in partnership with Tourism Bay of Plenty