When the hot summer days hit, nothing sounds better than a refreshing dip to cool off in the waters that surround our region.
Auckland is not short of swimming spots, so when the weather heats up, check out these top picks:
Part of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, Cornwallis Beach is a gem of west Auckland. The beach runs for more than a kilometre along Karangāhape Peninsula which juts into Manukau Harbour. Between the dense bush, sandy beach and turquoise water, Cornwallis feels like a world apart from the city.
The calm waters make this an ideal swimming spot, and it’s also suitable for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. You can swim here even at low tide.
Roll out your beach towel under the shady pōhutukawa trees or take a long stroll down the beach. In between dips you can check out the 200-metre long restored Cornwallis Wharf and learn about the history of the area as a bach destination for Aucklanders in the early twentieth century.
Blockhouse Bay is a quiet reserve on the edge of Manukau Harbour. It has historical significance, with both Māori and European heritage sites.
The horseshoe-shaped bay protects a serene beach. The cool green waters lapping the shore are perfectly refreshing on a hot summer's day.
A large grassy, open space gives kids plenty of room to run around, and the nautical-themed playground is also a popular attraction.
For a short walk, follow the walkway along one edge of the bay to the boat club on the point, which offers spectacular views of the harbour.
Enjoy a leisurely drive out to the eastern suburb of Maraetai, which feels more like a laid-back coastal village. Maraetai Beach is dappled with shells and bordered by a lovely wooden boardwalk you can follow around to nearby bays.
The water at Maraetai is calm and crystal clear, and as you swim you can enjoy views across to Waiheke Island. The best swimming to be had is at high tide, and if you visit on a still day you’ll be treated to glassy water. Go at sunrise for an extra special experience.
With shaded grassy areas and the Maraetai Wharf Cafe on hand serving up generous scoops of ice cream, this beach is a great place to settle in for a picnic.
The nearby Magazine Bay is a calm, sunny beach that offers something for everyone. The shallow water is ideal for little legs to paddle in, and the wharf offers aspiring fisherfolk the chance to catch a few sprats when the tide is in.