If you’re looking to take a break to a country that’s completely removed from the UK, but which shares the same language and cultural history, then there are few candidates more suitable than New Zealand.As well as being a great place to take a holiday, it’s also an excellent choice of destination for would-be expats, and as more of us than ever before are emigrating to New Zealand from the UK.Jobs in New Zealand are relatively easily come by – especially if you have the skills listed on the country’s skilled occupation list – so if you’d like to settle in this part of the world, you’ll likely be able to do so with relative ease.
Among the country’s best features are its beaches.New Zealand’s coastline stretches over more than nine thousand miles, and is home to hundreds of diverse beaches – ranging from tranquil, secluded sandy beaches to rocky ones that are relentless battered by enormous waves.
Let’s examine some of the most popular beaches the country has to offer – as well as some of the less well-appreciated ones.
Ninety Mile Beach
It’s perhaps obvious that we should start our list with the largest beach the country has to offer.Though it isn’t quite as large as its title suggests – being a relatively small sixty-four miles long – it’s still sufficiently sizeable that you’ll need several weeks to explore its entire length.And even then you’ll likely have left lots of it undiscovered.
Being so large, Ninety Mile Beach offers an enormous amount to visitors – ranging from swimming and surfing opportunities at the southern end of the beach to sledding down the collection of enormous sand dunes, Te Paki, at the northernmost tip.The beach also hosts a five-day fishing event every February, and so there’s plenty for fishing enthusiasts to enjoy here, too.
Bay of Plenty
If you’re looking for an entirely different sort of beach experience, then you’ll want to pay a visit to the Bay of Plenty.The town has a reputation as something of a capital of New Zealand partying, which a certain sort of visitor will appreciate.But the beaches that surround it also offer myriad opportunities for gentle walks, during while you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding coastline.
Of particular interest is the Karangahake Gorge walk, which takes hikers through a section of old rail tunnel.The area has a history of golf-mining, and is a perfect location for those looking to settle for a few weeks and enjoy the scenery and culture.
This stretch of pebble-covered coastline can be found beside the Southern Alps on the west coast of New Zealand’s south island.It offers visitors spectacular views, not only of the mountains themselves, but of the nearby Fox Glacier.Like the Bay of Plenty, the area is rich in gold-mining history, and so you’ll be able to enjoy views of the old tunnels and gold dredge before enjoying camping on this near-deserted beach with a handful of backpackers who’ve also deigned to make the trip to this hidden gem.
If you’re staying in Wellington, the nation’s capital, then you’ll want to pay a visit to oriental bay – particularly on those days when the weather brings out the beach’s better qualities.Like any beach near a populated area, you’ll be able to build sandcastles before eating iced cream – and you might even deign to go for a swim, if the weather is considerate enough to make swimming a comfortable experience.
This stretch of sand spans around eight kilometres from end to end, and it’s astonishingly flat – so much so that you’ll be able to take in its entirety all at once.It’s a little bit difficult to access, but it’s still hugely popular as it offers calm, swimmer-friendly waters, and presents an ideal surface for ball games.If you’re looking to play a few rounds of Frisbee, or enjoy a picnic beneath the South-Island sun, then you’ll find few locations more suitable.
You’ll find this secluded spot in the Abel Tasman national park on the south island.It’s accessible only by boat, which makes actually getting there something of a problem – but once you do, you’ll likely have the place all to yourself.You’ll need to rent a boat from nearby Marhau before making the journey – be sure to time your arrival with high tide if you’d like to avoid carrying your boat an extra few hundred yards to camp.If you’re looking a secluded spot to relax and enjoy what New Zealand has to offer in terms of natural beauty, then this is it.