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Auckland Beaches and Regional Parks

Auckland really does have it all. Beyond vying with Melbourne or Singapore for the title of Australasia’s leading metropolitan hub, Auckland can lay claim to some of the most picturesque beaches and regional parks in the world. The good news is that you don’t even have to travel far out of the city to stumble across them: Hire an Auckland rental car from the airport, and you’ll soon be in the midst of New Zealand’s unbeatable natural beauty.

There are over 10 regional parks in Auckland’s vicinity, but we’ll just name a few of the best. Start with Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, which at 16,000 hectares is one of the largest on offer. Beyond its gorgeous coastline and rainforest, Waitakere is smattered with waterfalls and some of the West Coast’s best-known surf beaches, meaning that you can revel in the black sand of Piha, Muriwai, or Bethells Beach at your leisure. Muriwai is actually a regional park in itself, and its rugged coastline makes for a stunning twilight walk as the sun sets. Bring along your jandals and surfboard, and see for yourself what all the fuss is about!

Waitakere Regional Park

Image: Waitakere Regional Park, Auckland – Julian Apse (http://visuals.newzealand.com)

Complete with a picturesque Bohemian village by the name of Puhoi, Wenderholm Regional Park is a long-time favourite with families. Bordered by golden sands and clear waters, Wenderholm practically breeds calm. Long Bay Regional Park, on the other hand, has a bit more hustle and bustle to it. Its sandy beach proving popular for locals and tourists alike – and even better, it’s just 20 kilometres from the city centre, so you can easily relax here in the afternoon after a morning of shopping in the CBD.

Any study of Auckland’s best beaches would barely be complete without a mention of Mission Bay, one of the most frequently visited pieces of coastline to frame the city. Located a short drive from Omega’s Auckland City rental car depot, Mission Bay’s water is safe for swimming, it looks out onto a stunning vista of Rangitoto Island, and there are bars and restaurants a stone's throw from the sand. What’s not to like? Anchor Bay in the Tawharanui Regional Park is another great stretch of sand, as is Takapuna Beach, which boasts a holiday park for all your family-camping needs. Lastly, it would be remiss not to mention Oneroa Bay on Auckland’s Waiheke Island - hop on the 40-minute ferry from the city, and you’ll be strolling in an island paradise before you know it.

Piha Beach

Image: Piha Beach, Auckland – Scott Venning (http://visuals.newzealand.com)