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Best beaches for swimming at all tides

Last Updated : 14 Feb 2024
Thorne Bay

You might think that hitting the beach is best at high tide, but with 1800km of coastline – 69 percent of the Auckland region is sea!

There are plenty of places that are super swimming spots whatever the tide. These beaches are the bomb if you’re looking for a spot where you don’t have to wade in knee-deep water for ages before you can dive in.

Takapuna Beach

This popular Auckland beach deserves its iconic status for its 2.5km sandy pōhutukawa-fringed shoreline, gentle surf and breathtaking views of Rangitoto.

Plus it promises a good swim no matter the tide level. The northern end of the beach is patrolled by lifeguards most afternoons during the summer months (check the Safeswim website), so remember to swim between the flags and stay safe in the water.

Thorne Bay

Just a few minutes’ drive up the coast from Takapuna Beach is picturesque Thorne Bay, another good place for a dip during all tides. If you feel like beach hopping you can also access the beach from Minnehaha Avenue. This quiet beach has no car access so it feels more remote. You’ll see lava flows from nearby Lake Pupuke, and keep an eye out for the historic giant’s chair made out of rocks – a local legend.

Cheltenham Beach, Devonport

This is another place to admire the views of magnificent Rangitoto while refreshing yourself in the waters of Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana. With golden sands and clear waters, this safe swimming beach is also the perfect spot for a picnic.

Go for a picnic or a paddle at charming Cheltenham Beach.

Go for a picnic or a paddle at charming Cheltenham Beach.

Narrow Neck Beach, Devonport

Another lovely spot for a dip in Devonport is Narrow Neck Beach with its charming old lifeguard tower (note that this beach is not patrolled). There are also picnic tables, a playground and barbecues

The North Shore is spoilt for choice when it comes to all-round good high-tide beaches. Choose from Takapuna, Thorne Bay, Narrowneck and Cheltenham.

The North Shore is spoilt for choice when it comes to all-round good high-tide beaches. Choose from Takapuna, Thorne Bay, Narrowneck and Cheltenham.

Sullivans Bay, Mahurangi

The beautiful Mahurangi Peninsula has several stunning swimming spots, and Sullivans Bay is ideal for a dip whatever the tide. Make a weekend of it and book a site at the Sullivans Bay campground, then enjoy a morning swim just metres away from your tent.

Army Bay, Whangaparāoa

On the northern side of the Whangaparāoa Peninsula, this idyllic beach gained its military name because it was once used by the New Zealand Defence Force for training exercises, and parts of the land are still managed by them. As well as being good for swimming at all tides, it’s a popular spot for stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and wing foiling.

Ōmaha Beach

Bring your boogie board or surf board and this popular beach will bring the waves. Ōmaha Beach has a 4km-long white sand coastline so there’s plenty of room for everyone. Rip currents are common here so swim between the flags when the lifeguards are patrolling – check out the calendar on Safeswim so you can time your visit with patrol times.

Stay safe in the water at Omaha Beach by swimming between the flags when the lifeguards are on duty.

Stay safe in the water at Omaha Beach by swimming between the flags when the lifeguards are on duty.

Tāpapakanga Regional Park

The gentle waters here are great at all tides and perfect for families. Tāpapakanga Regional Park overlooks the Firth of Thames and is the perfect place to visit for the day, or you can book a site at the beachfront campground managed by Auckland Council and stay a bit longer.

The shoreline is rocky, so a pair of rubber-soled aqua shoes will come in handy. For one of the most refreshing swims you can imagine, head to the freshwater lagoon that’s just 10 minutes from the main carpark. It’s deep in the centre so, as always, always make sure children are within arm’s reach.

Check out Safeswim before you leave home to check the water quality and conditions.

Cool off in the freshwater lagoon at Tāpapakanga Regional Park.

Cool off in the freshwater lagoon at Tāpapakanga Regional Park.

Please remember to visit the Safeswim website for advice on water safety and to check water quality at Auckland's beaches and waterways. 

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