Best Beaches: The Bay Of Islands

Explore, enjoy, and unwind at the best beaches in the bay of islands!

The best part of any trip to the Bay of Islands is enjoying the amazing coastline. Blessed with some of the best beaches in the country, there are amazing experiences to be had. At every corner you’ll find perfect white gold sand, bordered by lush native bush, leading into azure blue waters. A number of the more popular beaches have amazing experiences provided by local operators and businesses worth checking out too.

Whether you’re there to swim, surf, unwind, or explore beneath the surf from it’s serene sheltered coves, to rolling breakers, there is a perfect beach for everyone.

If you’re staying at Matauri Bay Holiday Park, or planning your next trip up, we have prepared the ultimate guide to the best beaches in the Bay Islands.

Central Bay Of Island’s Best Beaches

Paihia Beach

A popular spot in the bay of islands, in the summer time you’ll find the beach alive and busy with tourists and locals. The sandy shores, and pleasant waters are great, however, one of the biggest reasons to visit is the amazing access to a range of water activities. Try kayaking, snorkel, or sailing on your visit with one of the many operators.

Te Tii Bay

Head north from Paihia to find Te Tii Bay. A pleasant beach popular with families, it is great for swimming, fishing, and even has playground your children will love. The sand here is golden, at the top of the beach sit under the shade of beautiful pohutukawa trees as you while the day away.

Sullivan’s Beach

If you’re ever in Paihia, and wondering where the locals go to enjoy the seaside, they’re probably at Sullivan’s Beach. This local secret is inaccessible by road. To get there, pass around the rocky head at the southern tip of the Paihia Town Beach. We advise walking over during low tide, as this is the safest.

Oke Bay

Located in a lovely secluded section of the Cape Brett Peninsula, you’ll find Oke Bay. A wee wander off the beaten track, you’ll Oke Bay is near the Rawhiti settlement, and is accessible through a short track (Near the starting point of the Cape Brett Track). While you’re out there swimming or sunbathing, keep your eyes peeled for pods of dolphins which frequent the area regularly. The clear blue waters, and beautiful sunset views make this a perfect spot for a quiet, intimate, day at the beach.

Northern Bay Of Island’s Best Beaches

Matauri Bay

Our home beach, and one of the best reasons to stay at Matauri Bay holiday park is Matauri Bay. A short stroll from campground sites, the popular summer bay offers a number of awesome activities and opportunities to relax. The long white sandy beach with crystal clear waters is great for all kinds of water activities, from diving to surfing. As you drive down, enjoy what locals call the “million dollar view” of the bay.

Tapotupotu Bay

Bordered by dense native bush, Tapotupotu Bay is far north of the Bay of Islands, near the northern tip of New Zealand. It’s geographical position means that the beach is quite exposed to the elements, however, on a peaceful sunny day, travellers headed to Cape Reinga or back down the coast can enjoy the bay. It’s quite close to the Te Paki stream where many climb the giant sand dunes to body board down. Another option, if you’re planning to stay over night is to hang around the DOC campsite.

Rarawa Beach

Rarawa bay is famouse for it’s brilliant white silica sands. Shining in opposition to the translucent blue ocean meeting it’s shores. The southern end of the beach is generally popular with fisherman, and it’s waves popular with local and visiting surfers. The beach has an adjoining DOC campsite for those wanting to stay over night and then spend the morning at one of New Zealand’s prettiest beaches.

Taupo Bay

Swimming, fishing, snorkelling or diving, kayaking and surfing. Whatever your fancy, you’ll find it at Taupo Bay. An hour north from Paihia, you’ll find the generally unknown beach tucked away in Whangaroa Bay. A stunning example of why the Bay of Island’s are so spectacular, it’s a destination worth checking out.

Matai Bay

Matai Bay is another hidden gem of northern Bay of Islands region. A classic northland beach take in the spectacular ocean views bordered by numerous pohutukawa trees. The crescent shaped bay, laden with white sands is perfect for families, and there is DOC campsite near by offering some basic facilities.

Eastern Bay Of Island’s Best Beaches

Elliots Beach

A curious beach on the eastern edge of the Bay of Islands, Elliots Beach attracts numerous locals and visitors despite it’s distance from Russel. Here you’ll commonly find surfers and body boarders enjoying the left and right hand waves, as well as swimmers and snorkellers around the rocks. Interestingly, the beach was recently purchased from the Elliots Family by a private trust.

Daisy Bay

A beautiful little bay found on the Tutukaka Coast, Daisy Bay is one of the best surf beaches in Northland. Named for the volume of daisy flowers that grow through it’s grasses in the summer time, it’s impressive headland and steep hillside backdrop provide a great opportunity to look over the surfers and waves rolling into shore. There are yearly surf competitions which run here as well.


Only a short way away from the Bay of Islands, Oakura is the perfect place to while away a perfect summer day with family. You’ll find many people swimming and sunbathing, on it’s sandy shores. The kilometer long beach is right near Goat Island, which offers a number of opportunities to adventure and explore. Otherwise, there is a giant rock pool found over the rocks.

Where to stay while you explore the Best Bay of Islands Beaches

Matauri Bay Holiday park is the obvious choice for those keen on exploring the Beast Beaches in the Bay of Islands. We also offer awesome facilities, and a range of awesome accommodation options expert staff will ensure you have an amazing experience while you’re here. Click “Book Now” to lock in your stay!

Great place to stay, fantastic location. You basically turn a corner and see this wonderful view, where the holiday park is at the bottom. You are right on the beach, wonderful to listen to the waves lull you to sleep at night.

The amenities were extremely clean.
Such a wonderful location.

Jay from New Zealand