Your Bucket List Beaches When Visiting Taranaki

29 November 2021 / By Metrotel
Destination - The best beaches in Taranaki
When you ask the locals what they like most about living in New Plymouth, most of them will tell you; “Being so close to the ocean”. In this blog we will share the 6 best beaches in Taranaki, carefully selected by our team to make your visit one to remember! The ocean is literally in our backyard, as The Metrotel is only one block away from the coastal walkway.

Are you thinking about a trip to New Plymouth, but still not too convinced? Surely we will twist your arm, while reading this blog! For example, did you know that Taranaki has its own Surf Highway? A 105km coastal route around Taranaki’s coast, starting from New Plymouth going down south to Hawera, providing you the best surf breaks, beaches, and historical landmarks in the region. Besides, in the first half of 2021, Taranaki claimed the title for ‘The region with the most sunlight in New Zealand’. Finally, you will never have a dull moment on the beaches of Taranaki. The rough West Coast makes the dramatic cliffs of Taranaki continuously sculpting and reshaping. Every time you get to one of the beaches, it will look different than your last visit.

All together, enough reasons come over to New Plymouth to enjoy the stunning beaches and enjoy the fresh ocean air! Read further to find out about the best beaches in the region.

Fitzroy Beach - Staffs FavoriteStaff’s Favourite Staffs Favorite
Just about a 10-15 minutes' bike ride from The Metrotel, you will find New Plymouth’s most popular bathing beach; Fitzroy Beach. If you just want to relax on the beach, go for a swim or catch some waves on your surfboard, this is the place to be! The beach could be easily reached on foot, by bike or by car. A small cafe is located right next to the beach. Sip a coffee away, while watching the (kite)surfers showing off their skills.

Ngamotu Beach
Did you know that Ngamotu is the Maori name for New Plymouth?

Take the bikes out and cycle along the coastal walkway towards Port Taranaki. Between the port and the breakwater you will find Ngamotu beach which is a calm and safe place to go for a swim or practice your sup skills. This beach is great for a picnic with the family. Let the kids roam around on the beach or in the adjacent playground. Every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, The Seaside Market will pop up on Ngamotu beach. With over 70 stalls this market is a must visit during your weekend in New Plymouth.

Ngamuto Beach, New Plymouth

Back Beach
Undoubtedly, Back Beach is the most perfect place to watch the sunset in New Plymouth. It is about a five minutes’ drive out of town, but so worth it to finish off the day. Park your car on the top car park and release the inner child in you by running down Taranaki’s only sand dune! Have a stroll over the black sand or enjoy a picnic and watch the sunset from the cliffs overlooking the Sugar Loaf Islands and Paritutu Rock. You might even get entertained by some paragliders who glide around or by some local surfers.

Tip from the team: Take your binoculars when visiting Back Beach. The Sugar Loaf islands is home to the New Zealand fur seal colony and 19 species of seabirds. During sunset, all the birds will return home to the island providing you with magnificent spectacle.

Oakura Beach
The first beach to stop at when driving the Surf Highway is about 20 minutes drive out of New Plymouth. Oakura’s stretched coastline is a hidden gem for surfers, paddle boarders and fishermen. Scenic walkways will take you to Māori and early European history. Walk along the The Gairloch coastal walk, admire the gorgeous views and discover the skeleton of the SS Gairloch shipwreck during low tide.

One of the most popular beaches in South Taranaki among locals is Opunake Beach. This beach is a bit calmer than you’re used to from the West Coast and therefore a fantastic place to hang out with the family. Nevertheless, it is a great spot for surfing and watching stunning sunsets. Also, this is a popular campsite for locals.

Looking for that rough West Coast landscape? About an hour drive out of town, you will find Tongaporutu beach. This extensive beach is home to the well-known rock formation “The Three Sisters” and “The Elephant Rock” and is an absolute must-visit! Make sure you go here when it is low tide, so you can see the rock formations from close by and discover the caves, tunnels, and arches.

Fun Fact: Did you know that there were four “Sisters” back in the day? Due to erosion, there are only two, and a half “Sisters” left. The same happened to “The Elephant Rock”, which lost its frunk due to erosion.

So there you have it, our top 6 beaches in Taranaki. Hopefully we have convinced you to come and visit New Plymouth and check out these wonderful places! A final tip from the team: Make sure you take your jandals to the beach, as the West Coast black sand could get very hot, especially during summer! (We learned it the hard way ourselves!)

We see you out there!