Beautiful beaches and bays
Set on a sparkling harbour, Wellington has many stunning beaches and bays. Whether you're looking for a spot to surf or scuba dive or somewhere to swim or a spot for a picnic, here's where to go for some salty sea air and sea views.
Oriental Bay, Wellington
Just a few minutes walk from the city, this golden sand beach is a top spot for a bit of walking, cycling or people watching. It's a safe swimming spot for families and plays host to beach sporting events during summer. It's also home to some of the swankiest real estate in the city and great eateries.
Go and play at Days Bay
123 Jackson Street, Eastbourne, Lower Hutt
A sandy beach with bush-clad hills behind, Days Beach is a beautiful place to visit no matter the season. It's particularly popular during the warmer months for swimming and picnicking. Hire kayaks and paddleboards from WildFinder or head up into the hills for a bushwalk.
Days Bay has a couple of great cafes for lunch or dinner and an ice cream shop. To get there, drive around the harbour to Days Bay from Petone or take the East by West ferry across the harbour.
Scorching Bay, Karaka Bays, Wellington
On a scorching hot Wellington summer’s day, the places to be is Scorching Bay on the Miramar Peninsula. Arguably Wellington’s most stunning beach, Scorching Bay has golden sand and impossibly clear blue water. It’s a favourite spot for a picnic, a game of beach cricket and a swim. Popular beachside café Scorch-O-Rama serves great coffee, milk shakes and ice creams which you can have ‘to go’ or opt to be seated across the road from the café at special seaside tables.
Lyall Bay, Wellington
Located on the South Coast, just a 10-minute drive from the city, Lyall Bay beach is the long sandy beach you’ll spot as you fly in or out of Wellington Airport. It’s Wellington’s inner-city surf beach and it’s also safe for swimming and is patrolled by lifeguards during summer. Lyall Bay is a wonderful place for a beach walk and there’s a designated section of the beach for dogs. Have a fish and chip picnic with takeaways from the classic Kiwi fish and chip shop Seaview Takeaways, which also serves ice cream by the scoop.
Island Bay, Wellington
Island Bay is an historic beachside suburb and a traditional fishing hub on the South Coast. The bay’s fishing boats moored in the calm shelter of the bay were famously painted by acclaimed New Zealand artist Rita Angus. Island Bay beach is a lovely sandy beach, perfect for a fish and chip picnic as you watch the fishing boats come in to dock in the evening. If you’re a keen scuba diver, check out Taputeranga Marine Reserve just offshore, home to a vast array of marine wildlife and a sunken navy frigate.
Princess Bay, Wellington
Popular with the locals, Princess Bay is a real hidden gem for those in the know. You’ll find it on the South Coast, near Houghton Bay. The curved sandy beach is popular for swimming and the large rocky point is a fun place for exploring rock pools. On a clear day you can see the peaks of the South Island’s Kaikoura Range across the Cook Strait. The bay is part of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve, which is helping to return the marine habitat to a more natural state and increase the size and abundance of fish.
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