Our favourite New Zealand and Australian beaches
Summer’s here, and the time is right, to… argue the various merits of our favourite beaches. As the year nears its end, the hot topic of conversation is which bit of salt or fresh water we’re each heading to.
In this post, some of the ecostore whanau share their favourite places to go sunning, surfing and swimming. No two of us mentioned the same beach – a great reminder of how spoilt we are for beautiful waterways in our corner of the world. One thing we all agree on – New Zealand’s and Australia’s beaches hold some very special places in our hearts.
“Mitai Bay on Karikari Peninsula in Northland. We were lucky enough to stumble across it one New Year’s and it made me and our group pretty proud to call New Zealand home. Beautifully untouched. This was one of the best New Years we’ve ever had because we were completely removed from our everyday lives, which meant we were able to truly appreciate the natural beauty of our home.”
- Lauren, Art Director
“Sorrento Back Beach! Really beautiful, big waves and a gorgeous spot in Sorrento, a coastal town on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. It’s a really gorgeous area, lots of greenery, big surf and even though it can get busy, it’s quite tucked away, so it can feel quite peaceful to visit.”
- Samantha, Assistant Brand Manager
“I can’t just choose one so below is two. The Tongariro River – mostly around the Turangi area. My grandparents built a bach there and we spent a lot of time there as kids. Lots of good times, fishing, rafting, kayaking, swimming, walking or biking along its banks trying to build dams (we always failed as it’s a giant river!). Our favourite tradition was walking down to the river when we arrived at the bach with my Dad to see how it had changed since our last visit. O’Neills Beach over the dunes from Bethell's is probably my favourite beach. It’s a beautiful Auckland west coast beach, black sand, a little wild at times and no cell phone reception. I’ve spent many summer days with friends here.”
- Sarah, HR
“Places are so powerful in connecting people. My favourite beach is Manu Bay in the Waikato. The spot overlooks the peninsula surrounding the township of Raglan, with sparse green rolling hills, where the whenua (land) meets the moana (sea). You can sit there for hours watching surfers ride waves that go on forever. These surfers remind me that when we as humans flow with nature, beautiful things can happen. There is an element of peace and timelessness here that you can’t help but connect with. I feel closest to Papatūānuku (our earth) here.”
- Britt, Sustainability Manager
“Whakamoenga Point on Lake Taupo. It’s a wee walk off a little road on the western side of town. It is quite close to the famous Māori rock carvings – which some of my family were involved in making. You can walk out onto the rocks there and sunbathe with very few people about. But the best bit is diving off the rocks, straight down into the very deep crystal-clear water and then from under the water looking up at the sun’s rays cutting through. I’m not sure if you can still get there as it may be private land… certainly by kayak.”
- Kat, Brand Manager
“Controversial perhaps… but a beach we return to annually because it offers so much ‘good clean’ family fun is Whangamata. This beautiful Coromandel beach offers amazing surf for both the experienced and learners alike, safe swimming in beautifully clean water between the well-patrolled flags, and the ability for the kids to join the surf life-saving club over the holidays. Our family pooch adores long walks on this gorgeous white sand beach, swimming and frolicking every morning and making new four-legged friends – while we meet their friendly, chatty owners. Kayaking, biscuiting and ‘bombing’ are family favourites. This stunning beach gives our family all the entertainment, beauty and serenity that we could possibly need.”
- Amanda, Senior Brand Manager
“Ocean Beach in Whangarei Heads, over the hill from the main beach is where our friends lived and we would go camping there every summer for years and years.
They had private access from their property so we had the place to ourselves apart from the occasional surfer who decided to climb the hill. One New Year’s Day I spotted dolphins and we jumped in the water and swam with them while they played in the waves around us – one even popped up to look at me and was less than a metre from my face. (Never realised how large they really were till that moment!) A day I will never forget!”
- Alicia, Retail Channel Manager
“Oh, so many to choose from! If I had to pick a favourite, I would say Onetangi, Waiheke. Lots of space, uncrowded, unpolluted, clear water… plus the occasional bit of surf and a great spot for fishing.”
- Mel, Financial Controller
“The Lake Taupo waterfront. I love the fresh, clear, clean water and the stony shore. I remember always feeling safe swimming in the Lake as you can see the bottom and open your eyes underwater without getting a salt burn.”
- Isa, Community & Events Manager