Best beaches in New Zealand to visit this summer

Written by : Team Subaru and SURF2SURF


As the temperatures start to lift into the 20s and even the 30s, it is clear summer is in the air and that means it's time to hit the beaches!

We've come up with a list of our favourites and many of them just happen to be top surf spots too! Our All-Wheel Drive Subarus will enable you to access all the back-road beaches you desire this summer. Strap a surfboard on the roof, throw your togs, towels and umbrella in the boot and enjoy a day at these beautiful beaches!

The second generation, all-new Subaru XV.


North Island

Coromandel / Opito Bay North

The Coromandel Peninsula is well known for its beautiful beaches, but if you’re up for a bit of adventure, head north of Whitianga to Opito Bay North. Our Subaru All-Wheel Drive technology is perfect to take you down the unsealed, gravel roads and off the beaten track where you’ll find pristine views of the Coromandel Ranges, white sand beaches, great hiking tracks and of course, great surf.

Visit Opito Bay in the Coromandel for white sand beaches


Northland East Coast

If you’re looking for a more secluded area to relax in this summer, head a bit further into Northland and you’ll enjoy a range of uncrowded rocky bays, white sand beaches and coastal bush walks. Travel north of the Tutukaka coastline to find sublime sub-tropical weather, along with great surfing, stand up paddle boarding and swimming beaches.

Visit the Tutukaka Coast in Northland for get beaches and surfing.


East Coast to East Cape

The East Coast of the North Island is the ideal road trip to adventure around with the family this summer. State Highway 35 takes you from Opotiki around the East Cape to Gisborne, with hundreds of bays and beaches to stop at along the way. They offer great surfing and swimming over the warmer months.

Escape to the East Cape on the East coast of NZ.


North Island’s West Coast beaches

While the East Coast is often a popular holiday choice, the West Coast is a hidden gem for surfers. Summer in the west brings light winds and clean small waves from January through to March to beaches such as, Karekare, Piha, Port Waikato and Ruapuke. With plenty of beaches to choose from, there are also many great uncrowded spots, where families can set up their picnics on the beach for the day.

Visit the west coast beaches for some hidden gem surf spots.


Taranaki Surf Highway

Known as ‘Surf Highway 45’, exploring the rugged Taranaki coast is a must for keen surfers this summer. This area offers up many surf-break options with the picturesque Mount Taranaki providing the backdrop. With its pleasant climate and family friendly beaches, it’s also a great area to bring the kids to, with plenty of accommodation options around the New Plymouth and Oakura area.

Travel the Taranaki surf highway for surfing and family friendly beaches.


South Island


Known for its whale watching, Kaikoura is also home to some of the best surf breaks in the South Island. There are also many easy-going walks along the edge of the beautiful beach, giving you the chance to explore and enjoy the landscape, surrounded by fresh sea and mountain air. 

Kaikoura coast is stunning to visit



The water temperatures might be a little chillier than their North Island equivalents but the beaches surrounding Dunedin are simply scenically stunning. Take a drive out along the Dunedin Peninsula - past Portobello - and experience the wild, rawness of Allans Beach. Wildlife such as sea lions and penguins frequent this beach, so remember to give them some space. Surfers are spoilt for choice, with the beach geography to the north and south of Dunedin lending it superb conditions, similar to Gisborne’s. For more scenic sights, check out St Kilda with its stunning views and great surf.

visit St Kilda beach in Dunedin for some beautiful sights.


Catlins coastline

If you’re after a summer getaway down south, head into the Catlins via State Highway 1. The seasonal months bring warmer water temperatures along with a consistent swell for surfers to enjoy along the sweeping beaches and sandy bays. You can take a journey through the rural heartland which provides breathtaking scenery with its rugged coastlines, rainforests, hidden lakes and stunning waterfalls.

the south coast of the South Island is great for surfers.



Subaru partner with SURF2SURF, New Zealand's source for surf reports and updates. Built around live beach cameras, daily reports and accurate human-adjusted forecasting, is an important and highly utilised information service for watersports enthusiasts nationwide.

Just like Subaru, SURF2SURF likes to get people off couches and into adventure.


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