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Bethells BeachNew Zealand

With plentiful trails through coastal forests, amid sand dunes and alongside dramatic waves, this isolated beach is the perfect place to get back to nature.

Located 30 kilometres north-west of Auckland at the mouth of the Waitakere River, Bethells Beach, or Te Henga to give it its Maori name, offers a vast, wild landscape teeming with birdlife and tramping trails.

Black sand, high surf, sand dunes and bushland provide the perfect environment for the proliferation of birdlife. In fact, the area is so well-suited to our feathered friends that there is an ongoing breeding programme here involving the New Zealand dotterel – a threatened species of bird which nests in the dunes above the waterline. Bethells Beach is now one of the rare places this bird can be seen in the natural environment.

However, these are not the only birds in the area; there's actually a wealth of birdlife that call Te Henga home, including harriers and petrels. Sometimes blue penguins even put in an appearance on the beach at night time.

While the beach is quite an isolated location nowadays, there is plentiful evidence to suggest that humans have lived at Bethells Beach, and made use of its significant attributes, for over 1,000 years. Such evidence includes cave shelters and an inland "pa" (or fortified village) used for crop storage.

While the water may seem appealing, particularly on a fine day, it's important to note that swimming and surfing conditions along the beach can be dangerous, with frequent riptides. On the other hand, this is a great spot for tramping at any time of year. So, bring a picnic and hit the trail to Lake Wainamu or Waitohi Falls. The trails here also form part of the well-known Hillary Trail covering 75 kilometres of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.

In good weather, there's often a food truck at the beach, but it's best to bring your own supplies as, once you get here, it's quite a journey to get anywhere else. To reach Bethells Beach, you'll need to rent a car. Fortunately, there's more than enough free parking at the beach, mostly behind the dunes.

Top hotels in Bethells Beach

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Bethells Beach Cottages
Bethells Beach Cottages
4 out of 5
267 Bethells Road, Bethells Beach
The price is NZ$310 per night from 24 Sep. to 25 Sep.

Situated by the ocean, this holiday home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Bethells Beach and within 12 miles (20 km) of Waitakere Golf Club and Kerr Farm Wine. Babich ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (28 reviews)
Absolutely magical place, great location, brilliant views. Homely accommodation with everything you

"Would highly recommend"…"

Reviewed on 7 Oct. 2019

Bethells Beach Cottages
Magical West Coast Retreat
Magical West Coast Retreat
4 McKay Place, Bethells Beach, Bethells Beach, Auckland Region

Situated in Bethells Beach, this holiday home is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Bethells Beach and within 12 miles (20 km) of Waitakere Golf Club and Kerr Farm Wine. Babich ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (40 reviews)
Bethells Beach stay

"Excellent stay, great communication."…"

Reviewed on 9 Jul. 2020

Magical West Coast Retreat
Bush Sand and Sea
Bush Sand and Sea
3.5 out of 5
26 Te Aute Ridge, Henderson. R.D.1, Bethells Beach, Auckland

Situated in Bethells Beach, this golf guesthouse is within 9 miles (15 km) of Bethells Beach, Waitakere Golf Club and Kerr Farm Wine. Babich Wines and Soljans ...

5/5Exceptional! (11 reviews)

"My husband and I loved staying here!!! The host, Lynn, was very friendly Be helpful! The place felt like we were at home and was very comfortable! We loved the location because it was so close to the beach! We had a great time having dinner & listening to music at Bethel's Cafe and then watched the ..."…"

Reviewed on 14 Dec. 2018

Bush Sand and Sea

Popular places to visit in Bethells Beach

Sky Tower
Image for Sky Tower

Sky Tower

4.5/5(1,179 reviews)

Ascend the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand for stunning views over Auckland. Dine in the rotating restaurant or take a dive from a height of 194 metres.

Piha Beach
Image for Piha Beach

Piha Beach

4.5/5(219 reviews)

Take to the black sand and rolling surf of Piha Beach for epic surfing and serene rainforest walks.

Auckland Zoo
Image for Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo

4.5/5(340 reviews)

Just eight minutes from Auckland city centre white rhinos and a pride of lions roam. Wander safely and at your leisure amid tigers and elephants at Auckland Zoo.

Top activities in Bethells Beach

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
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Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

NZ$89
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Sky Tower Observation Admission Tickets
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Sky Tower Observation Admission Tickets

NZ$29
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Hobbiton Movie Set, Rotorua & Waitomo Caves Tour
Image for Hobbiton Movie Set, Rotorua & Waitomo Caves Tour

Hobbiton Movie Set, Rotorua & Waitomo Caves Tour

NZ$459
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Waitomo Glowworm Caves Boat Tour
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Waitomo Glowworm Caves Boat Tour

NZ$55
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Hobbiton Movie Set/Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip
Image for Hobbiton Movie Set/Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip

Hobbiton Movie Set/Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip

NZ$239
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
Infinity Float Tank Experience for Couples
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Infinity Float Tank Experience for Couples

NZ$75
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Cities near Bethells Beach

Sky Tower which includes a high-rise building, a city and city views

Auckland

Auckland showing a sandy beach

Waitakere