AA Traveller’s favourite family beaches

Packing the car full of kids, stuff and maybe the dog can be an ordeal, but the hardest part is finding somewhere everyone actually wants to go.Thankfully New Zealand is full of family-friendly beaches that offer more than just the surf and sand, but also capture the wider interests of people of all ages.

23 January 2017

AA Traveller’s favourite family beaches

Packing the car full of kids, stuff and maybe the dog can be an ordeal, but the hardest part is finding somewhere everyone actually wants to go.

Thankfully New Zealand is full of family-friendly beaches that offer more than just the surf and sand, but also capture the wider interests of people of all ages.

AA Traveller narrowed down a list from throughout the country to help families pick a new spot to explore this summer.

AA Traveller Marketing Manager Rhys James says a lot of what makes a beach popular with parents is about what else is available in and around where they’re spending their day.

“They’re looking for a beach that offers safe swimming, but beyond that they also want good facilities including barbeques and playgrounds, walking and cycling tracks and places to eat nearby so they can really make a day of it,” he says.

“A beach like Caroline Bay in Timaru is not only considered one of the country’s safest swimming beaches, but it also has plenty of other attractions like the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden, a maze, mini golf, a paddling pool and a playground which makes it a popular spot and keeps families coming back.

“It’s places like these that appeal and the good thing is you can find them throughout the country,” he says.

Family favourites include:

  • Te Tii Bay, Paihia
  • Matapouri Bay, Northland
  • Cheltenham Beach, Auckland
  • Long Bay Regional Park, Auckland
  • Oriental Bay Beach, Wellington
  • Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson/Tasman
  • Rabbit Island, Nelson
  • Caroline Bay, Canterbury
  • Sumner, Christchurch
  • St Clair Beach, Otago

Rhys says having something for everyone is one of the many reasons why heading to the beach is a summer staple and why so many families have that particular beach they always go back to.

“They’ve found a place that works for everyone, but we wanted to show Kiwis that there are plenty out there to choose from, so don’t be afraid to head to a new place this summer.”

AA Traveller has helped Kiwis see the best of New Zealand for more than 100 years. It publishes and distributes more than three million guides and maps every year, and provides travellers with a wealth of information including 101 Must-Do’s to inspire and assist them in planning travel and to make bookings at more than 1500 properties on aatraveller.co.nz or at any AA Centre.


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