New Zealand is lucky enough to boast an impressive 15,000 kilometers of coastline. That makes it the 9th longest coastline in the world! This means there is no shortage of coastal towns just waiting to be explored.
New Zealand’s small coastal towns are some of the most inviting, laid-back and surprising places in the world. Every little town boasts its own special little something that the locals are proud of.
We could create an endless list of towns that you need to visit in New Zealand, however, this list is of my favorite 6 coastal towns in New Zealand. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Raglan is one of my personal favorite coastal towns in New Zealand. There are a couple of main reasons why.
The first is the Raglan Fish fish and chip shop. Anyone will (or should) tell you that New Zealand is home to the world’s best fish and chips. Raglan Fish is on Focus Fishing’s top list of fish n chip shops and in my opinion, is the best in New Zealand.
Grab a crumbed Snapper, a serving of fresh hand cut chips, a bottle of L&P, Watties sauce, crumbed mussels, scallops & oysters and you are in for one perfect classic kiwi dinner! Now all that’s left is to head down to Manu Bay to eat, check out the surf & watch the sun go down.
The second reason Raglan is so loved, is due to all the amazing cafes, boutiques & galleries that litter this little town.
A list of the best coastal towns in New Zealand would not be complete without Kaikoura. Kaikoura is a laid back, trendy, and inviting town with lots of cool little surprises. Not to mention home to some of the warmest and welcoming people you will ever meet!
For those of you who like your sealife, you will be pleasantly surprised when arriving in Kaikoura. You will be welcomed by the local seals, penguins, dolphins and if you are lucky enough, maybe even a pod of whales passing by. Kaikoura is New Zealand’s home of whale watching. The season generally runs from November to March.
Kaikoura is also home to Point Kean, one of the awe inspiring lookouts. On a sunny day in winter or fall, you get the stunning view of the snow-capped mountains, the lush green farmland, Kaikoura town and the South Pacific Ocean, it’s really is magical.
3: New Plymouth
New Plymouth is a playground for those who love a healthy and active lifestyle. Situated on the North Island’s wild West Coast, New Plymouth is set right at the foot of the glorious Mt Taranaki and wedged up next to the Tasman Sea. w Plymouth is famous for several things; the incredible 12.7km coastal walkway, the abundance of cafes, coffee shops & restaurants and the 105km state or ‘Surf’ Highway 45 coastal road. Surf Highway 45 heads south and boasts over 100 surf spots and endless options of beaches, coves and sand dunes.
If camping is your thing, New Plymouth has some amazing campgrounds and free camping options. Most of which with a stunning beach and mountain view. Sitting back with a glass of wine at your beachside campsite watching the sun go down is very hard to beat!
Bluff is pretty much as far south as you can get on the mainland of New Zealand. Bluff is mainly famous for one thing. Oysters. The oysters from Bluff are world famous and are a must for anyone that visits New Zealand.
The best spot to get some fresh Bluff oysters is Fowler Oysters. This little shop is amazing. The friendliest service you will ever receive, swiftly followed by the freshest & tastiest oysters you have ever set your eyes on, and at only $24 NZD a dozen for A grade you really can’t go wrong.
Bluff is also home to Stirling Point, the southernmost point in New Zealand. Here you will find a great lookout and the classic signpost depicting distances to major cities all over the world. There is also 2 awesome scenic walks, the Foveaux Walk & the Glory Track. Both worth checking out if you have the time.
Coromandel is one of the most beautiful coastal towns on the North Island. Situated on the eastern tip of the North Island, Coromandel is surrounded by lots of beautiful beaches, coves and remote destinations. <
My favorite spot is Ruffins Bay. Ruffins Bay is a beautiful private bay only accessible by boat or if you have a key to the private road. There are several small holiday rentals that are perfect for a little getaway. Make sure you bring your fishing rod, the fishing is always on at Ruffins!
The other cool attraction of Coromandel is the Driving Creek Railway. A narrow gauge train ride through the mountains and forests that surround the area. The railway 3 short tunnels, 2 spirals, and several viaducts. After winding up the hill you end up at the top with awesome views of the Island packed Hauraki Gulf.A really cool experience for any nature lover.
Ahipara is a town full of rich history also home to one of the best sunsets anywhere in the world. You will be pleasantly surprised at the suns beautiful glow glistening over 90 mile beach.
Shipwreck Bay is a situated to the left of the township and at low tide, you will see the various shipwrecks. A beautiful bay to get some alone time and soak up some of that beautiful New Zealand sun.
This is a small snippet of beautiful coastal towns you could explore. Hopefully this list inspires you to get out there and check out the beautiful coastline of New Zealand and discover your own favourite ‘must visit’ spots.
About the Author
Jay is a New Zealander who discovered the joys of food, travel and exploring in 2010, after deciding a traditional office job just wasn’t quite working out. Fast forward 7 years and 28 odd countries later, Jay finds himself living a nomadic lifestyle with his partner Brittnay. Currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Together they travel around the world house & Pet sitting. They love to document their house sitting adventures, travels and favourite cheese & wine discoveries on their website The Travelling House Sitters and Instagram account.