New Zealand is a land of beautiful scenery, and in particular gorgeous beaches. I don’t know how many I’ve been to over my lifetime but there are a few that stand out in my memory as the best in the country. Waipu Cove is up there in my top five beaches – though I also spent most of my summers there camping with my family so admittedly it has some nostalgic value to me.
Apart from swimming and sunbathing there’s great surfing, you can gather shellfish, fish off the rocks and there’s a gorgeous hike over to the next beach Langs. There’s also a waterfall about 10 minutes drive out of Waipu where you can swim and climb.
If you feel like staying the night there’s a camping ground where you can pitch a tent or park up your campervan, and if your adventurous you can probably just free camp.
Where: Waipu Cove is about an hour a half drive from Auckland – and about 5 minutes drive from Waipu town where you can stock up on any groceries and petrol you need. It’s also around an hour and a half from the Bay of Islands, so can be a nice place to break up the drive if that’s where you’re heading.
How: Just take the main motorway SH1 straight on up – there’s a toll road that costs $3 each way (recommended) or there’s a free slightly longer option. Both routes are well signposted, and the turnoff is clear as day on your right.
If you want to go for the hike just walk along the beach (if you’re facing the water go to your right) until you come to a stream and you’ll see a little path leading up the hill. Follow it and you’ll come to a private little beach called Shelly Bay which is gorgeous in itself. If you follow the track through the grass and walk for about an hour you’ll come to the next bay over called Langs. It’s a nice beach for a swim and in the summer months there is an old fashioned ice-cream truck parked up. To get back to Waipu you can walk back the way you came or a faster route is along the road – just stick to the sides because the cars come around the corners a little fast at times.
When: Anytime of the year is a great time to go – it gets really busy on the weekend in summertime but there’s always enough room on the beach for you.
Why: It’s a place that not many tourists get to – but it’s a slice of true New Zealand which should be enjoyed by all.