With over 15,000 km of coastline from the north to the southernmost tip, New Zealand offers a plethora of idyllic sandy beaches and bustling seaside towns. From subtropical beaches to relax to rugged beaches to hike or surf to your hearts content, New Zealand has it all. In this article, you can read more about the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand and how to apply for a New Zealand visa.
New Chums Beach
New Chums Beach is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand and perhaps even in the world. Because the beach is so remote, it can only be reached by boat or a 30-minute walk. The walk starts in the nearest village, Whangapoua, which is also a well-known seaside resort. If you opt for the walk, it is better to do it at low tide, because at high tide there is a river that has to be crossed. The path leads through bushes and over rocks, so it is advisable to wear sturdy walking shoes. It is highly recommended to visit this beach at sunset. For an unrivalled view of the bay at New Chums Beach, there is a special lookout spot. This can be reached via a 10-minute steep climb, after turning right before arriving at the beach.
Views on the bay of New Chums Beach
The name of this beach may suggest otherwise, but this beach is located in New Zealand. The beach is situated on the remote east coast of New Zealand and is often (unfairly) overlooked by tourists. Due to the surrounding mountainous landscape and the black pebble beaches, the beach shows great similarities with the beaches in Hawaii, hence its name. The remoteness and unspoilt nature of this beach make it one of the undiscovered gems of New Zealand.
The remote Wharariki Beach is located in the northernmost tip of the South Island. Getting to the beach is a challenge, as you first have to make a twenty-minute drive along an unpaved gravel path, followed by another twenty-minute walk. The sight of impressive rock formations in the water and, with luck, young seals, definitely makes a visit to this beach worthwhile.
Located in the north of the North Island, this beach has in recent years established itself as one of New Zealandʼs most popular beaches. Cathedral Cove is known for its pink sandy beaches and impressive rock formations and can only be reached by kayak, water taxi or on foot. The walk to Cathedral Cove starts in the nearby village of Hanei and takes about 50 minutes. Fun fact: one of the opening scenes of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian was shot here.
View of Cathedral Cove at dusk
Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach is located just south of Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula. It is named after the hot springs that lie beneath the beach. The water that rises to the surface here is warmer than the seawater. About two hours before and two hours after low tide, it is possible to dig your own hot tub here. Please note that if you book in the high season (December to February), it can be very crowded here. Should you feel the need for more peace and quiet, it is advisable to travel there in the winter months. Temperatures are a lot lower then, but the water is still pleasantly warm.
If you wish to witness the outspoken love New Zealanders have for their country and nature, visit Awaroa Beach. This "peopleʼs beach" is located in the middle of Abel Tasman National Park, in the aptly named Golden Bay in the north of the South Island.
In 2016, when the private beach went up for sale, about 39,000 New Zealanders donated whatever money they could spare to donate the area to the Department of Conservation so that it could remain accessible to the people. Efforts are now being made to protect and restore the ecosystem in this area so that it can be preserved for the future.
Apply for a New Zealand visa
Prior to planning a roundtrip to visit the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a New Zealand visa. The visa, also called a NZeTA, is an electronic travel authorisation which can be easily applied for online. This way, you no longer need to visit the embassy to apply for your visa. An additional advantage is that the cost of the electronic visa is much lower than if you would apply for a visa at the embassy, which is £59.95. The visa is normally granted within a week from the time of application and is valid for two years from the date of issuance. This leaves you with plenty of time to admire all the natural beauty that New Zealand has to offer.