Tag Archives: Auckland

My Favorite New Zealand Beach Shots

Beauty sits everywhere you turn in New Zealand, which includes of course whenever you are on a beach. From the Tasman Sea and remote West Coast to the beaches lying just outside the hearts of Christchurch and Auckland, I’ve had the chance to enjoy many grains of sand and beaches along the waters of the “The Land of the Long White Cloud”.

Some of my favorite New Zealand beach shots and experiences are below. Part of the adventure and fun was just in getting to some of the more remote spots. I can never seem to put the camera down and there is almost always no one else around. No matter the weather they are all just as beautiful.

I’ve shared some of these before, with some new and alternate photos mixed in. Who is ready to visit New Zealand and hit up the beach?! Well without further ado:

Okanto Beach along the West Coast - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

It doesn’t get much more remote than the village of Okanto and this Tasman Sea beach front along the West Coast.

Piha Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Looking down at the breathtaking Piha Beach, my favorite Auckland day trip destination.

Sumner Beach in Christchurch - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Sumner Beach in Christchurch, a popular spot for locals along the east coast. Volcanic rock dots the landscape.

The Pines Beach, Christchurch - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

You’ll find wide open beach along Pegasus Bay at The Pines Beach. Christchurch lies off in the distance.

Shakespear Regional Park, Auckland - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Out on the open Shakespear Regional Park beach just outside Auckland.

Shakespear Regional Park, Auckland - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Get away from the hustle and bustle at Shakespear Regional Park and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula on the North Island.

Bethellls Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Admiring the surf and blue waters of Bethells Beach on the North Island.

Bethellls Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Walking the volcanic sand of Bethells Beach near Auckland. Watch out for that quick sand!

Beachfront in Wanaka - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Walking the early morning Wanaka beachfront along Lake Wanaka.

Opoutere Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

No one else around on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula at Opoutere Beach

Queenstown beach, Lake Wakatipu - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Starring out at the turquoise waters of Lake Wakatipu, along the beach in Downtown Queenstown.

Opoutere Beach - Favorite New Zealand Beach shots

Looking out into the Pacific Ocean and Hikunui Island from Opoutere Beach.

Where have some of your favorite photos come from in your time on New Zealand beaches?

Auckland: A Million Skyline Looks.

Continuing the series of highlighting skylines I’ve captured brings us next to Auckland. New Zealand’s biggest city and skyline offers photographers water shots, a hilly topography and views of the largest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower. You can capture the heart of this city in every place imaginable from up-top dormant volcanoes to peninsulas kilometers away.

I thought I’d share some larger, enhanced versions of photos I took and used in my original Auckland skyline post from a few years back, plus some additional ones. Well without further ado.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from Mount Eden

The Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden.

Auckland skyline, Auckland Harbour Bridge

The skyline as seen when heading across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland skyline, Auckland Harbour Bridge

The skyline as seen when heading across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Auckland skyline from Devonport and North Shore

Head to Devonport and the North Shore to see the skyline from across Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland skyline from Devonport and North Shore

Head to Devonport and the North Shore to see the skyline from across Waitemata Harbour.

Auckland skyline along Tamaki Drive

The Auckland skyline views along Tamaki Drive.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from Mount Eden

The Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Princes Wharf

Viewing New Zealand’s largest city skyline from Princes Wharf.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - SkyTower

Randomly looking up at the Sky Tower and other tall buildings.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline - from up-top Sky Tower

Checking out the high rises up-top Sky Tower.

Where would you recommend going around Auckland to capture its skyline?

Mount Eden (Maungawhau) in Auckland.

Auckland is New Zealand’s biggest city and urban area, much of which sits within a volcanic field. Because of that there are fifty dormant volcanoes and craters in Greater Auckland. Mount Eden is one of the more well-known ones. It’s Māori name is Maungawhau which means the Mountain of the Whau tree.

Mount Eden - Auckland, New Zealand - cinder cone, volcano

Mount Eden is a major tourist attraction and is the highest point in the city, reaching 196 meters at its summit. The crater is fifty meters deep and has been dormant since it erupted 28,000 years ago. It’s unlikely that it will ever erupt again. More than likely an eruption would occur at a new site in the area.

Located about five kilometers outside the city centre, driving, taking the bus or going for a stroll to get to is an easy proposition. There are plenty of walking areas at the top.

Once at the top you can get great panoramic views of Auckland, the harbours and the skyline.

Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden

Auckland, New Zealand skyline from Mount Eden

A shot of suburbia as far as the eye can see.

Auckland, New Zealand suburbia from Mount Eden

What a lot of people like is unlike the Sky Tower, it’s free and you can go there twenty-four hours a day.

Looking towards the northeast you can see Rangitoto Island, the youngest and biggest area volcano, erupting and forming that island about 600 years ago.

Mount Eden - Auckland, New Zealand

Atop Mount Eden sits a survey marker which attracts a lot of tourist attention, Surveyor’s Monument. A survey marker is placed to mark a key survey point on the earth’s surface and is used in land surveying.

Mount Eden - Auckland, New Zealand

An interesting fact: Up until a few years ago you would have been able to see cattle within Maungawhau. Rats. It’s not everyday you can see cattle and a skyline in the same photo. Of course I had to find some older photos online.

Whenever you’re in Auckland make sure to make the trek over to Mount Eden (Maungawhau). What other craters, dormant volcanoes would you recommend visiting in greater Auckland? Anywhere?

Piha Beach in New Zealand.

Looking for a day trip destination with spectacular views when in Auckland? Look no further then Piha. Piha, the settlement and beach, are along the wild, rugged west coast of the North Island just west of the CBD. It’s a popular tourist and local destination for those in the city, especially in the summer months. It’s a scenic, winding and narrow ride over.

You’ll see Piha’s beauty as you reach the settlement and beach from up in the hills.

Piha, Piha Beach, Lion Rock - North Island, New Zealand

One of the first things you’ll notice  is the natural formation known as Lion Rock. It separates North and South Piha Beach. The rock resembles a large male lion and you can climb it to get great views. Lion Rock is the remains of a volcano which erupted sixteen million years ago.

Piha, Piha Beach, Lion Rock - North Island, New Zealand

The beach and settlement sit along the Tasman Sea remotely within the Waitakere range. Its sand is black consisting of iron of volcanic origin. Its the most popular and famous place to surf in New Zealand due to the large waves, having hosted domestic and international competitions over the years. Swimming is not advised due to those hard waves.

Piha, Piha Beach - North Island, New Zealand

Piha, Piha Beach - North Island, New Zealand

Piha, Piha Beach - North Island, New Zealand

Piha Beach and Lion Rock is a scenic destination along the Tasman Sea. It’s definitely worth a day trip when in Auckland. What beaches have you been in awe with over the view? What beaches would you recommend seeing in New Zealand?

Te Henga (Bethells Beach) in New Zealand.

Just west of Auckland along the wild, rugged coast on the North Island is Te Henga (Bethells Beach). It sits where the Waitakere River flows into the Tasman Sea. The Maori named this beach Te Henga for the way the sand dunes are shaped.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

It’s a bit of a walk to the beach and sea from the parking area. As your walking you’ll notice the volcanic sand right away. The beach sand gets its color from the black titanomangenite in the volcanic rocks that are carried by the coastal currents. When your walking you’ll see sand dudes along with quicksand danger signs. Wasn’t going to see if it really was quicksand and kept moving. 🙂

Te Henga, Bethells Beach, volcanic sand - New Zealand

As soon as you reach the beach and coastline you’re in awe.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

It was a quiet summer afternoon during the week, but this is the time of year when people from Auckland flock to the area. It’s near the big city, but has the feeling of being remote. Taking windy, narrow roads to get to it adds to the feeling of going somewhere secluded.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

Surfing is the most popular activity here. When swimming do so between the flags as the waters are a little rough. There are lifeguards in the summer months.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach - New Zealand

I became fascinated with all the green clams along the beach.

Te Henga, Bethells Beach, green clams - New Zealand

Some additional travel tips for planning a visit there: There are no gas stations in Bethells Beach so plan accordingly. Also, cell phone service is virtually non-existent.

It was a great afternoon trip over to Te Henga (Bethells Beach). It’s definitely a recommended stop when in and around Auckland. What coastal spots do you like around Auckland? In New Zealand?