With nearly 30,000 kilometres of coastline in the surrounding areas of Auckland, you can bet there are plenty of stunning stretches of sand waiting to be explored. After securing your Auckland car hire with the team at East Coast Car Rentals, get ready to discover an array of coastal gems within a 90-minute drive from the CBD.

East and west: contrasting coasts

New Zealand’s coasts and their accompanying beaches couldn’t be further alike if they tried. On the east, visitors can enjoy sinking their toes into pristine white sand before taking a dip into calm and clear waters. On the west, beach-goers will discover endless stretches of black, sparkling sands on the cusp of wild waves. So why the difference? New Zealand is a country brimming with inactive and active volcanoes. As a result of volcanic activity in the Taranaki region centuries ago, the west coast of New Zealand has become awash with black ironsand. Due to being a product of volcanic activity, this fine black sand can reach incredibly high temperatures in the sun – so always wear your jandals (or flip flops!)

White-sand beaches of the East

Here are just a few of the white-sand beaches sprawling the east coast of Auckland.

Takapuna Beach

15-minute drive Beautiful beaches are closer to the bustling city centre than you might think. Just a 15-minute drive across Auckland’s Harbour Bridge in the popular seaside suburb of Takapuna lies one of the North Shore’s most frequented beaches. Come summer or winter, Takapuna Beach is constantly populated by sun-soakers, paddle-boarders, swimmers and people of all ages making the most of this stunning stretch of sand. Before heading off on your next Auckland adventure, nab a table at the ever-popular Takapuna Beach Cafe for some delicious brunch fare – the unbeatable views of Rangitoto Island from your table are simply an added bonus!

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Sep 6, 2017 at 10:34pm PDT

Tawharanui Peninsula

70-minute drive Get your East Coast Car Rental’s hire car packed with all the beach necessities, fuel up and make the 70-minute car trip to the absolutely stunning Tawharanui Peninsula. With golden sands, glistening waters and a rolling pasture-backdrop, this east-coast gem wouldn’t look out of place on a postcard. Start your day trip with a hike around this native coastal park. There are a range of walks spanning the rugged coastline, varying on skill level and time, but all sharing equally stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf. After a morning of tramping, take a well earned break at Tawharanui Peninsula’s Anchor Bay. This intimate beach is the perfect place to lay your head and catch some rays before cooling off in the clear, calm shallows. When the tide’s low, make your way around the corner to the nearby rock pools. There are smaller pools where you can look for starfish and marine-life, and much bigger, deeper pools perfect for practising those dive bombs!

Black-sand beaches of the West

Bethells Beach

50-minute drive It’s not just Auckland locals that appreciate the unparalleled beauty of Bethells beach – Taylor Swift does too. After filming a music video on this west-coast wonder, Swift reportedly said it’s the most beautiful beach she’s ever been on! This is one of the smaller west-coast beaches but certainly one of the most incredible. Pick your chosen sun-bathing spot amongst the endless expanses of shimmering sand and get settled ready for a day of adventure. Spend time splashing in or surfing the waves, exploring the cave at the end of the beach and strolling along the Te Henga walkway.

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Feb 28, 2018 at 9:58pm PST


45-minute drive Just a 45-minute drive down the coast from Bethells Beach lies Muriwai. This black-sand beach is one of the most impressive stop-offs on New Zealand’s west coast due to its incredible array of things to do and see. Not only can visitors lay the day away on the fine-grained shore, they can also take to the sand dunes themselves for a little more action-packed fun. Grab a body board and climb the steep sandy banks before dropping to your tummy and tearing down face first! Of course, it’s important to wear jandals or another pair of shoes to protect your feet from the hot, hot sand. Afterwards, wash yourself off in Muriwai’s waves but be careful, they can get a little full on, so always swim between the flags. Muriwai’s incredible beach also plays host to their famous gannet colony. In the months between August and March each year, 1,200 pairs of gannets reside on top of the towering clifftops, giving visitors the chance to witness these beach birds in their natural habitat from various viewing platforms around the colony.

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Feb 28, 2018 at 1:26pm PST
Best part is these beautiful beaches are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty more to explore in your East Coast Car Rental hire car!