In Waiheke Island and wondering if you can swim here?
Yes, you can swim on Waiheke Island. The island has over 30 beaches, many of which are clean and safe for swimming.
We spent a few weeks exploring the island to uncover its most enticing swimming spots. From little beaches fit for families to expansive bays—we found a place to swim for everyone!
So, grab your sunscreen, practice your best cannonball, and join us as we plunge into Waiheke Island’s unforgettable swimming destinations.
A visit to Waiheke Island would be incomplete without experiencing the aquatic delights of Oneroa Bay. At the bay, you’ll find gentle waves as the warm, golden sand massages your toes and the sun’s rays paint a masterpiece across the sky.
As you submerge yourself in the refreshing waters, you’ll be immersed in a world of vibrant marine life and mesmerizing underwater landscapes that simply beg to be explored.
Explore the secluded coves and secret rock pools that pepper the shoreline to the awe-inspiring coastal walk that offers panoramic views of the bay’s beauty. If you have more time to spare, walk to Oneroa Village!
Little Oneroa Beach
With its secluded charm and family-friendly atmosphere, this is a quaint beach that will delight both young and old.
Plus, just a short stroll away from the shoreline, tucked away amidst lush foliage, awaits a whimsical playground with a pirate ship theme! Watch as your little ones embark on swashbuckling adventures while you bask in the sun-drenched bliss of this serene oasis.
Bring a snorkel and mask so you can explore Little Oneroa’s underwater world. The waters around here are home to a variety of marine life. You may even spot a stingray or two!
This tropical utopia will whisk you away to a world of palm-fringed bliss—the aptly named Palm Beach. You can stroll along a pristine stretch of powdery white sand as the gentle rustle of emerald palms sways to the rhythm of a warm sea breeze.
Just a stone’s throw away from the shoreline, you’ll find The Local Waiheke’s Fish n Chips. Trust us, nothing says “Waiheke” quite like savouring mouthwatering fish and chips after a long swim.
This is the island’s longest stretch of sand. With its endless coastline and azure waters, it’s the perfect place to dust off your boogie boards and hit the waves.
You can also tan along the stretch of sun-kissed sand. Or dive into the refreshing crystal-clear waters, with gentle rolling waves that offer the perfect playground for swimmers and surfers alike.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on solid ground, fear not—the towering cliffs that frame the beach offer a breathtaking vantage point for an invigorating coastal walk.
Along the northern end of the beach, you’ll find a series of rocky outcrops that form a natural labyrinth, perfect for a spot of snorkelling or exploring the fascinating marine life that calls these tidal pools home.
Enclosure Bay’s sheltered cove, and vibrant marine life, appeal to both nature enthusiasts and relaxation-seekers alike.
The bay’s calm waters make it an ideal location for a leisurely paddleboarding session, allowing you to glide gracefully across the water while basking in the tranquillity of this idyllic haven.
If you want to relax your mind before going for a swim, tucked away amidst the bay’s serene coves are many secluded spots perfect for practising yoga or meditation.
Cactus Bay’s exotic flora and secluded location, promise an unforgettable swimming experience that will leave you longing for more.
Here’s a fun tip: you can follow the sweet scent of native blooms to a secluded cove framed by towering cacti and lush vegetation. The bay’s sheltered location makes it ideal for a tranquil afternoon of swimming, sunbathing and relaxation, far from the madding crowds.
Search for the rope swing, perfect for unleashing your inner Tarzan (or Jane) as you soar through the air before plunging into the refreshing waters below.
We were charmed by the playful delights of Sandy Bay. The gentle waves offer the perfect playground for swimmers, paddleboarders, and kayakers.
Plus, Sandy Bay’s famous sands make it an ideal spot for a picturesque seaside picnic after swimming, complete with a glass of Waiheke’s finest wine to toast the setting sun.
Look out for the volleyball net tucked away within the bay. It is perfect for an impromptu beach volleyball game!
Man O’ War Bay
The awe-inspiring Man O’ War Bay has a rich heritage and pristine waters that history buffs and epicureans alike will enjoy.
Envision yourself wandering along a pebbled beach as the whispering breeze carries tales of ancient voyages and epic battles fought upon these very shores. That’s what you’ll get here!
• A stroll away from the shoreline, you’ll find the renowned Man O’ War Vineyards, where you can indulge in world-class wine tasting while overlooking the breathtaking panorama of the bay.
• For those who prefer to stay close to the water’s edge, the vineyard’s sumptuous platters and award-winning wines can also be savoured on the beach.
Matiatia Bay serves as the island’s welcoming embrace. It has a sweeping panorama of crystal water, verdant hillsides, and pristine beaches—a scene that instantly captures the essence of Waiheke Island.
A short trek away from the shoreline, you’ll find the start of the Headland Sculpture on the Gulf trail, where you can embark on a leisurely stroll amidst a captivating fusion of nature and contemporary art.
Te Matuku Bay
With its tranquil atmosphere and unspoiled waters, birdwatchers and solitude seekers will find that Te Matuku Bay is the place to swim. It’s also a birdwatcher’s paradise teeming with tons of native birdlife, including the elusive kingfisher and the melodious tui.
Wander along the bay’s narrow path as the sweet scent of native ferns lures you to a sheltered inlet embraced by lush, verdant foliage. It is an ideal spot for meditation or a leisurely afternoon of reading after hours of swimming.
Hooks Bay’s dramatic cliffs and waters captivate snorkelers, making it the place to swim while watching marine life. The beach is also known for its calm, shallow waters, which make it ideal for children and beginner swimmers.
When you’re not swimming, try strolling along the beach at sunset. It’s often secluded and paints a pretty picture as the majestic silhouette of towering cliffs casts a spellbinding shadow over the waters below.
Perched atop the bay’s dramatic cliffs, you’ll uncover a secret vantage point perfect for watching the sun bid adieu to the day, painting the sky with a breathtaking palette of fiery hues.
One of Waiheke Island’s most bewitching swimming spots is Hekerua Bay. As you step onto the sun-kissed, golden sands, you’ll be embraced by a tranquillity that invites you to dive into the waves for a leisurely swim.
Keep in mind, though, that the water gets a bit deep at some points. If you’re not a strong swimmer, we suggest staying close to the shore!
Tucked away within the bay’s lush surroundings, you’ll discover a whimsical treehouse, perfect for setting up a hammock and indulging in an afternoon siesta or losing yourself in the pages of your favourite book.
We recommend only swimming at high tide to avoid the murky waters at low tide. After swimming in the cool waters, amble along the black sand shores and try building a sandcastle or two. The beach’s distinctive black sands give your sandcastle creations an enchanting appearance.
Blackpool Beach has an abundance of intriguing driftwood and seashells, so be on the lookout for shells to add to your memories of Waiheke Island.
Rocky Bay (Whakanewha Bay)
Rocky Bay’s dramatic rock formations and sheltered waters make it the perfect place to swim for tide pool enthusiasts and seafood connoisseurs. It’s also a good spot for photography or simple relaxation.
During low tide, the bay’s rocky coastline reveals an abundance of fresh mussels, ripe for the picking and perfect for a seaside feast.
This beach’s rolling waves make it an ideal location for novice surfers or bodyboarders, allowing you to hone your skills in the exhilarating embrace of the ocean.
We suggest only swimming here during high tide, when the water is calm and clear. If you come during low tide, Surfdale Beach is a tidal mudflat.
Thanks to the beach’s consistent afternoon breeze, you’ll find that Surfdale is the perfect spot for kite flying, offering endless entertainment for both young and old.