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Wellington calls itself the coolest capital in the world, and there is no contesting that claim! The capital city of New Zealand, it has only an area of 442 sq km, one of the smallest of capital cities across the world. Despite its size, it makes us believe in the adage of ‘big things come in small packages’! The thriving downtown area has the best museums, galleries, restaurants, and pubs. Also known as one of the windiest cities in the world, it is located in a harbor surrounded by beaches that offer awe-inspiring landscapes. The beaches near Wellington are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and for indulging in activities like hiking, walking, and dog-walking. All the beaches come with excellent facilities like changing rooms and toilets, making it convenient to travel to the beaches along with your family.

Top 10 Beaches Near Wellington

All the beaches close to Wellington city have their unique feature, but we have chosen the top ten beaches that you must certainly visit on your trip to Wellington.

  • Makara Beach
  • Hataitai Beach
  • Lyall Bay Beach
  • Worser Bay Beach
  • Te Raekaihau Point Beach
  • Houghton Bay Beach
  • Island Bay Beach
  • Sinclair Head Beach
  • Scorching Bay Beach
  • Princess Bay Beach

1. Makara Beach

Makara Beach

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The Makara Beach is one of the most pristine and ecologically important beaches near Wellington, Florida. Located on the Southwest coast, the Makara stream joins the Makara Beach creating an estuary that is a native ecosystem and is being restored currently. The beach itself is rocky but you can enjoy scenic views, and there is a 6KM walkway that will take you from the beach to the cliff towering it. From the cliff top, you can see as far as Mana, Kapiti, and the South Island. Hikers and nature lovers will enjoy the beach, and the area is also known for pretty good diving spots. The best thing is you won’t encounter too many crowds at the Makara Beach!

Location: Southwest coast, Wellington 6972, New Zealand
Distance from Wellington: 17 KM

Must Read: Day Trips From Wellington: 10 Stunning Places To Visit From The Windy City

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2. Hataitai Beach

Hataitai Beach

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Just off the Evans Bay is a tiny nook of sandy beach known as the Hataitai Beach. Away from the bustling crowds and yachts of the bay, this beach is ideal for enjoying a quiet swim and is one of the best beaches near Wellington for the same. It is one of the peaceful beaches around Wellington and is an excellent spot to catch the sunset. Just off the road, the beach has changing rooms and toilet facility and a nice place to get the kids and enjoy a day out at the beach. The area around the beach is beautiful; there is a small settlement against the green hill in the backdrop that makes for great photographs.

Location: Evans Bay Parade, Hataitai, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
Distance from Wellington: 12 KM

3. Lyall Bay Beach


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The Lyall Bay Beach is one of the best surf beaches near Wellington. The beach is also home to a couple of surf lifesaving clubs – Lyall Bay Surf Club and Maranui Surf Life Saving Club. All types of surfers come here, including beginners who are just starting to learn. The beach is a long and stretches all the way to the Wellington airport. The area around the airport is a dog lover’s paradise as it is a leash-free zone and you will always find dogs frolicking around. For the active travelers, the beach stretches from Dorrie Leslie Park and connects to Moa Point and onwards to Tarakena Bay by a coastal walkway.

Location: Lyall Bay Parade
Distance from Wellington: 12.7 KM

Suggested Read: 8 Fascinating Places To Visit In Wellington That’ll Help You Explore This Beautiful City!

4. Worser Bay Beach

Worser Bay Beach

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A family beach day demands a nice beach with lots of fun guaranteed, and that’s what the Worser Bay Beach offers, making it one of the best beaches near Wellington! It is one of the most kid-friendly beaches around Wellington. The waters are comparatively calm and ideal for swimming in the summers. Bring along a picnic basket, and you can head to the dunes with picnic tables. The dunes have native grass growing on them, and just right across the bay, you can see the Ororongorongo hill range. The breezy beach got its name due to an anecdote dating back to its day as a pilot station. The pilot stationed at the beach kept commenting on how the weather kept getting ‘worser’!

Location: Worser Bay
Distance from Wellington: 15 KM

5. Te Raekaihau Point Beach

Te Raekaihau Point Beach

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New Zealand has a rich marine biodiversity and is taking steps towards conserving it. One such place where this conservation is taking place is the Taputeranga Marine Reserve. The Te Raekaihau Point is the boundary of the marine reserve and is an essential location in ensuring the pristine environment is maintained. The beach has rocky pools where you can snorkel and spot fish and other marine life. It is one of the best beaches near Wellington to teach children about the nature and value of ecosystems. The rugged geography has a stark beauty, and you can enjoy short walks along the beach admiring the blue waters hitting the jagged rocks.

Location: Houghton Bay Rd, Houghton Bay, Wellington 6023
Distance from Wellington: 16.4 KM

Suggested Read: 10 Hostels In Wellington For Staying In The City With Utmost Luxury

6. Houghton Bay Beach

Houghton Bay Beach

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You can catch huge swells hitting the Houghton Bay Beach on most days! The magnificent power of the sea can be experienced at this beach; however, it also makes it unsafe for swimming. But, there is so much more to do at the beach. The wide bay has a long sandy beach that is ideal for running and walking. If you are up for more exercise, then you can take hikes up to Sinclair Park, View Road Park, and Te Ranga a Hiwi track. It is also the place where the Southern Walkway first meets the coast! In the right season, you may also find surfers riding the huge waves!

Location: 61 The Esplanade, Houghton Bay, Wellington 6023
Distance from Wellington: 15.9 KM

7. Island Bay Beach

Island Bay Beach

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The Island Bay Beach is one of the few best beaches around Wellington city that has something for everyone! The calm waters of the ocean are great for swimming, although the surfs can be quite huge during the rains. What makes the beach stand out is its proximity to the Taputeranga Marine Reserve, which is known in New Zealand for its thriving marine life. There is a marked dive trail that snorkelers and divers can use. Plus, you can find the shipwreck of the navy ship HMNZS Wellington that is exciting to explore and must-do if you are a diver! And if you are coming along with kids, then the Shorland Park is around the corner and has BBQ equipment, picnic tables, and play area.

Location: South coast, The Esplanade
Distance from Wellington: 14.5 KM

Suggested Read: 14 Things To Do In Wellington For An Impeccable And Exciting Vacation

8. Sinclair Head Beach

Sinclair Head Beach

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Imagine walking up to find a colony of fur seals! At the Sinclair Head beach, you can see a resident New Zealand fur seal colony of about 150 seals. You can spot them during the winter months from May to August, and thanks to the conservation efforts the numbers of these seals are just going up. To access the beach, you will have to start walking from the Owhiro Bay Quarry and is quite a secluded coastal area. The local Maori name for the beach is Te Rimurapa which means search for the seaweed. The region around the beach was an ancient Maori settlement and later on was also an important site during World War Two.

Location: Red Rocks Walkway, Owhiro Bay, Wellington 6023
Distance from Wellington: 17.6 KM

9. Scorching Bay Beach

Scorching Bay Beach

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The Scorching Bay Beach is one of the beautiful beaches near Wellington city. It has fantastic clear water on most days and is perfect for swimming in the summer. Despite its name, the weather is generally pleasant, and you can enjoy a bit of sunbathing. The hills behind the beach shelter it from the northerly wind ensuring a lot of native vegetation and grassland around the beach. The best feature of the beach is the rope-climbing structures that are free for use. It’s a great way to stay fit while having fun! You can sit back and relax after a swim and watch the ships coming in and going out of the harbor.

Location: Karaka Bays, Wellington
Distance from Wellington: 16.9 KM

Suggested Read: 9 Cafes In Wellington That Treat You To The True Flavors Of New Zealand

10. Princess Bay Beach

Princess Bay Beach

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The Princess Bay Beach is one of the most popular beaches close to Wellington. The beach is a part of the Esplanade and is nestled right between Houghton Bay and Te Raekaihau Point. You can even spot the Kaikoura Range on the South Island on a good day! The beach is suitable for swimming in the summer, and when the tide goes low, rock pools are exposed that are can be explored by foot. You can find fascinating marine animals and plants in these pools. The water around the beach is a part of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve and is conserved by the government.

Location: South Coast, Near Houghton Bay, The Esplanade
Distance from Wellington: 16.2 KM

Further Read: 10 Interesting Spots For Shopping In Wellington To Splurge Your Money At!

Can’t wait to get into your swimsuit and enjoy the waters of the beaches around Wellington? Make sure you include these beaches on your New Zealand trip and enjoy their breathtaking beauty! Plan your fun-filled getaway in New Zealand right away with the help of TravelTriangle to grab great deals and discounts on customized travel packages.

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Category: Beach, New Zealand

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