St Clair Beach - image courtesy of PhillipC on Flickr
With temperatures having reached as low as -20°C and officials labeling it as one of ‘the worst winters in over 100 years’, it hasn’t necessarily been a great few months to stick around for the UK weather.
Why not trade in next year’s winter and book the holiday of a lifetime during the New Zealand summer months of December, January, and February?
Whilst it’s cold and icy at home you could be lounging on a beautiful beach, exploring sightseeing hotspots or indulging in exhilarating activities. Whatever you’re into New Zealand's beaches can offer you summer all over again.
To get you in to the sunshine spirit Tourism New Zealand has compiled a guide to some of the best beaches in the country, to enjoy on your stay:
Coromandel - Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach
The Coromandel, with its pristine beaches, native forests and laid-back vibe, is one of New Zealand’s most popular and best-loved holiday destinations. You can view some of New Zealand’s most spectacular costal scenery as you make your way to picture perfect Cathedral Cove.
Chill out on the white sand if you’re wanting a relaxing time or discover the ocean by snorkelling, scuba diving or kayaking if you’re after a more adventurous outing. Whilst in the Coromandel, visit Hot Water Beach where you can make your very own spa pool!
There are some fantastic places to stay if you’re visiting the Coromandel such as Poets Corner Lodge, 970 Lonely Bay, Bushland Park Lodge and Manawa Ridge. For further information on the Coromandel, visit: www.newzealand.com/uk/coromandel/
Loved for its beautiful golden sand beach, the sunny town of Kaiteriteri is a launching place for trips into the Abel Tasman National Park.
Kaiterteri beach, in the breath taking Nelson region, has sheltered green-blue water, glittering golden sand and is renowned for being one of New Zealand’s premier swimming beaches. From there, you can kayak to the famous Split Apple Rock landmark and other nearby beaches.
If you’re looking to stay at Kaiteriteri why not try the luxurious Split Apple Retreat or perhaps Kimi Ora Holiday Health Resort or Kaiteri Lodge.
If you’re looking for a more outdoors experience why not try Kaiteriteri Beach Motor Camp. For further information on Kaiteriteri, visit: www.newzealand.com/int/kaiteriteri/
If you’re into surfing then Raglan, in the Waikato region, is the perfect spot for you. More specifically, you should visit Manu Bay to get your wave fix! The renowned surfing area is frequented by world-class surfers and was made famous in the 1960’s cult movie ‘The Endless Summer’.
Why not check out Solscape eco retreat for the perfect beach-stay experience. For further information on Raglan visit www.newzealand.com/int/raglan/
Mount Maunganui - Bay of Plenty
Mount Maunganui is New Zealand's ‘Surf City’! The Mount's glorious surf beach is patrolled by lifeguards throughout the summer. The busiest section of the beach is close to Mauao; if you walk eastward toward Papamoa you'll find fewer people and more sand to call your own. You can also sail away from the Mount and look back at the beautiful coastline.
Recommended accommodation in the Bay of Plenty close to Mount Maunganui includes Cutters Cove Resort, Oceanside Resort and Twin Towers, Hotel on Devonport, Trinity Wharf and French Country House.
For further information on Mount Maunganui visit: www.newzealand.com/int/mount-maunganui/
Piha Beach - West of Auckland
Just an hour by car from downtown Auckland, Piha Beach is known for its big waves and wild, wilderness feel. Onshore winds, freshly salted by the Tasman Sea, sweep across the sand and swoosh their way inland over forest-covered hills.
The distant roar of the surf calms and refreshes the mind. If you’re looking to stay near Piha Beach we recommend checking out the Black Sands Lodge and Waitakere Estate accomodation.
For further information on Piha visit: www.newzealand.com/int/piha/
St Kilda and St Clair - Dunedin
Dunedin’s dramatic ocean beaches, St Kilda and St Clair, are great for long, refreshing walks. Together they stretch for over five kilometres. Just south of St Clair is Tunnel Beach, known for its sandstone cliffs, rock arches and caves. Check out the Hotel St Clair for your visit to the area.
For further information on Dunedin visit: www.newzealand.com/int/dunedin/
90 Mile Beach
90 Mile beach is one of the most popular visitor destinations in Northland. Here, you can enjoy surfcasting/swimming in the water and body boarding down giant sand dunes back on land.
For a special treat, you can dig for tuatua (a native shellfish) in the sand at low tide. There are some great accommodation options available, take a look at Doubtless Bay Villas, Beach Abode Lodge and the Ahipara Beachfront Accomodation.
For further information on 90 Mile Beach visit: www.newzealand.com/int/feature/ninety-mile-beach/
The Gisborne region is famous for its sunshine, warm temperatures, sandy beaches, excellent surfing and award-winning wines. Sunrises are also a local specialty, because Eastland is the first place in the world to see the light of the new day.
Pack a picnic and enjoy a crack-of-dawn breakfast at the beach. Great places to stay in Gisborne include the stunning Portside Hotel, Ridge House luxury accommodation and Knapdale eco Lodge.
For further information on Gisborne visit: www.newzealand.com/int/gisborne/
On the Tasman Sea side of Cape Farewell is Wharariki Beach - a wild, beautiful place where wind and waves have created massive rock and sand dune formations. Massive cliffs and sand dune formations give this portion of the coast incredible character.
Sometimes you’ll find fur seals sunning themselves on the rocks with the ultimate Wharariki experience being a horse trek.
For accommodation in Cape Farewell in close proximity to Wharariki Beach stay at the luxurious Westhaven Retreat. For a more outdoors experience there is the Wharariki Beach Holiday Park.
For further information on Wharariki Beach visit: www.newzealand.com/int/feature/golden-bay/
For information about New Zealand’s extensive vacation options, log onto the 100% Pure New Zealand website at www.NewZealand.com.
Have you visited New Zealand? Where are your favourite beaches? Comments below or tweet us @FemaleFirst_UK