Five of our favourite wild swimming spots in New Zealand's North Island

September 25, 2019

Five of our favourite wild swimming spots in New Zealand's North Island

Team D&B have a special relationship with New Zealand. Our Founder Rosie explains why...

"My brother first moved to New Zealand more than 10 years ago and quickly fell in love with the country - its spirited love of Rugby, its endless wild places to explore and its wonderful people. A few years later my sister followed him over and the two of them have since built their own families and lives in sunny Auckland.

So I've had the lucky excuse to visit New Zealand a handful of times over the last few years and it's become an incredibly special place for me too. Whether I've been travelling around the South Island in a wicked camper van or spending Christmas Day at Brown's Bay in Auckland with the extended family. My husband knew how important the country was to me that he even chose Waiheke Island as the place to ask me to marry him! Needless to say, it was very easy to say yes in such a stunning place...

Trips to New Zealand are always packed full of fun - my trusty D&B swimsuits and bikinis are always in the back of the car, just in case - and I've been lucky to explore some incredible swimming spots. Here are five of my favourites..."

1. Charlie's Rock

This crescent shaped waterfall, which is only accessible via a 15minute walk through a greenery lined track, is a complete wild swimmer's paradise. If you're unlucky you might have to share it with 1 or 2 other intrepid explorers, but most likely the spot will be yours. Enjoy leaping into the cool water from the top of the falls or gently edge in at the base and enjoy swimming in the crisp water. Perfection.

2. Waipu Cove

We arrived at Waipu Cove early on a mid-week morning and had the beach to ourselves until around 9am. This stunning beachline (pictured above) which runs almost as far as the eye can see is the perfect playground for gentle sea swimming. Stand and bask in the sunshine or head on in to the gentle, clear waters. Bring a flask of coffee to sip on the picnic benches after your dip - the best way to start a day.

3. Bay of Islands

Home to crystal clear water and completely undisturbed and undeveloped beaches, the Bay of Islands boasts several beaches and spots for getting into the sea. The beaches are largely sheltered which makes sea swimming relatively safe and easy. We found a rocky cove which we clambered over, dipping into the warmer pools of water surrounding them. We kept our eyes peeled for dolphins which are said to play in these bays but no luck so far!

4. Matauri Bay

This small picturesque bay is nestled onto the side of a camping site (which is also well worth a visit) just north of the Bay of Islands. The pacific ocean is possibly at its most crystal here, and a long beach gives campers plenty of space to get in without cramping anyone's style. We splashed and swam and soaked up the sunshine but this spot would be great for snorkelling too given its proximity to Goat Island.

5. Muriwai Beach

Muriwai is home to some impressive waves and entering the water is not for the faint-hearted. The beaches in this part of West Coast are very popular with surfers - and we can see why. However, if you're a very confident swimmer and feeling brave then spending 20 minutes diving under the waves in the 100m stretch of lifeguard-watched water is a lot of fun. Expect a couple of tumbles and to swallow a little sea water. Or alternatively, enjoy watching the enthusiastic swimmers from the safety of a picnic blanket on the beautiful black sand beach.