A guide to winter beaching in Northland

It may be too chilly for swimsuits, swimming or sunbathing, but winter beaching in Northland is a delightful way to spend the day.

Whether you’re wanting to do a day trip from Auckland or whether you’re a local looking for your new winter beaching spot, I’ve listed my top five Northland beaches that are perfect for beaching it all year round.


For stunning white sands that seem to go on forever, Ruakaka Beach is a definite must. This beach is one of my favourites for long walks to refresh and clear my mind, and with the impressive back drop of Whangarei Heads to gaze upon, it’s a wonderful place for winter beaching.

It’s also close to the Ruakaka township, so a cup of coffee and a snack are never far away.

Ocean Beach

Right at the end of the Whangarei Heads peninsula lies this jewel of a beach. It’s a favourite for many Whangarei locals, and when you visit it, you’ll see why!

The drive out to Ocean Beach alone is worth the trip, where you’re treated to world-class views of mountains, native bush and sea. The area is dominated by the majestic forms of Mt Manaia, Mt Lion and Bream Head, so even if the weather turns foul, you’ll be glad you made the trip.

Ocean Beach itself is a beautiful crescent of soft gold sand, tucked in-between two rocky outcrops, with Bream Head soaring up above it. There’s even a look out where you can park, so no matter what the weather’s doing, you can always soak in the view of this beach from the shelter of your car.

Pataua North

Looking for a beach that combines a diverse range of elements in one perfect package? From a long surf beach to an estuary complete with a footbridge, Pataua North is one of the most picturesque beaches Northland boasts. One moment, you’re on the long, white sands of a surf beach, the next moment, you turn a corner and the scene changes completely. Ancient pohutukawa trees lean out gracefully over the waters of an estuary where stingrays glide gracefully in the clear water.

Matapouri Bay

With its perfect crescent moon shaped beach of golden sand and perfect waves, Matapouri has long been a favourite with families and surfers alike. Nestled in the heart of the Tutukaka Coast, Matapouri ticks all the boxes when it comes to beaching at any time of the year:

  • Golden sandy beach
  • Sparkling blue water
  • Stunning views
  • Close to shops

Baylys Beach

Winter beaching goes to a whole new level when you visit a wild, West Coast beach. Wild and windswept at the best of times, these beaches really live up their name during the cooler, windier months of winter.

A little over 70kms from Whangarei and 12kms out of Dargaville, Baylys beach is a must for winter beaching. Well-loved by surfers, this rugged beach makes my list not simply because of its gnarly waves; the dramatic beauty of this wild west beach is exhilarating. There’s nothing like Baylys Beach on a windswept day to blow the cobwebs away.

Top tips for happy winter beaching in Northland

We may be living in the winterless North, but even here we can experience some pretty chilly weather. However, there’s no need to abandon your winter beaching experience due to sudden changes in temperature. Simply follow my top tips to ensure a perfect winter beaching experience:

  • Dress in layers – weather on the coast can change quickly and layers allow you to keep comfortable.
  • Take a thermos of hot coffee or tea – or a hip flask of whisky!
  • Rug it up! Why abandon a beautiful beach just because its cold? Wrap up in a warm wool rug!

If you’re looking for a coastal home so you can really indulge in beaching it in winter, Northland-style, contact me today. I have some great listings in a range of coastal areas, just waiting for you to make your home!

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