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The Best Swimming in New Zealand

Looking for the best swimming in New Zealand? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around New Zealand. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top swimming spots in and near New Zealand

  • Hahei, New Zealand

    Hike to Cathedral Cove

    3.1 mi
    Cathedral Cove is an isolated beach on the Coromandel Peninsula in the small coastal town of Hahei. Being that this is one of the most beautiful places in all of New Zealand, you can expect some crowds. You can take your chances at finding a spot in the small lot, or there is a shuttle option tha...
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  • Te Anga, New Zealand

    Explore the Mangapohue Natural Bridge

    1 mi / 0 ft gain
    Mangapohue Natural Bridge is about 30 kilometers past the infamous Glow Worm Caves in Waitomo. Continue on Te Anga Rd and you'll run into the beginning of the trail on the right. It's only about a 10 min walk out to the cavern so no need to worry about bringing a day pack.You walk through a tree ...
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  • Piha, New Zealand

    Evening at Piha Beach

    The beautiful black sand stretches as far as the eye can see at Piha Beach. Just a short hour drive from nearby Auckland, Piha Beach makes for the perfect evening getaway.Hike to the top of Lion Rock (well almost the top...the last portion of the trail is closed due to loose rock and hazardous co...
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  • Taupo, New Zealand

    Hike to Huka Falls

    3.7 mi
    This hike begins in the Spa Thermal Park and there is one clear path to follow. After a couple minutes there is a bridge that crosses over a small section of the lake. This section of the lake is formed by several hot pools and is a great place to swim for a bit. From here the trail continues ...
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  • Waiotapu, New Zealand

    Swim in Kerosene Creek

    Located amidst New Zealand's vibrant volcanic zone, this favourite local gem lies approximately 29.5km (25 minutes) South of Rotorua, only a short distance before the renowned Waiotapu Geothermal Wonderland. Driving South towards Lake Taupo Kerosene Creek is situated 2km down gravel forestry trac...
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  • Auckland, New Zealand

    Hike the Summit Track on Rangitoto Island

    2.4 mi / 850 ft gain
    Starting from the Auckland Ferry Terminal (-36.842505, 174.767258), jump on the Fullers Ferry to Rangitoto Island (-36.786279, 174.858345). A short, beautiful 30-minute ride through the city's harbor will end at the island's wharf.  Rangitoto is a volcano, the youngest and largest in the Auckland...
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  • Dunedin, New Zealand

    Hike to Tunnel Beach

    2 mi
    Dunedin is a small city on the Southeastern coast of the south island of New Zealand. The coastlines are stunning, and spending an afternoon exploring one of the beaches is never a bad idea. Tunnel Beach, just south of the city, is one of my favorites because of the natural tunnel that one of the...
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  • Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

    Hike to Lake Marian

    3 mi / 1312.3 ft gain
    The track starts soon after the turnoff onto Hollyford Rd off the Milford Highway. The track begins with a bridge crossing over a river and then soon reached Marian Falls. From the falls the trail climbs steeply through forest until the lake. The lake is a beautiful place to spend several hour...
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  • Cattle Flat, New Zealand

    Climb the Buchanan Peaks above Lake Wanaka

    18.6 mi / 8202.1 ft gain
    From Wanaka-Mt. Aspiring Road, head west out of town and past Glendhu Bay (and Roy's Peak). Go right on West Wanaka Station Road and follow it until the obvious split towards the Homestead Bay / Minaret Burn Track parking area to the right.Take the Minaret Burn / Homestead Bay track approximately...
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  • Ben Lomond, New Zealand

    Camp at Moke Lake

    4.3 mi
    The drive to Moke Lake from Queenstown is only 14km but it takes about 30 minutes since you're on a dirt road for a good portion of it. You'll pass Lake Kirkpatrick and lots of sheep on your way to Moke Lake, but keep driving until you get to the campground that's on the southeast end of the lake...
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  • Lake Okareka, New Zealand

    Hike around Lake Tikitapu

    3.4 mi / 0 ft gain
    Lake Tikitapu is the smallest of the mountain lakes in the Rotorua area. Take Tarawera Rd about 9 kilometers and you'll run right into it. There is a huge lawn to the right that you can park on if the lot at the shore is full.The beginning of the 5.5 kilometer trail starts on the right hand side ...
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  • Milford Sound, New Zealand

    Kayak to Lady Bowen Falls in Milford Sound

    There are multiple options for getting to Milford Sound.  If you have a car and can drive, then just take the Milford Sound Highway from Te Anau, and once you get to the end of the road and see all the big boats, just park your car and get ready for some fun in the water.  If you don't have your ...
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  • Thames, New Zealand

    Hike the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail (Pinnacles Track)

    8.7 mi
    The Kauaeranga Kauri Trail  is a 1-2 day hike. The hike itself spreads over a number of tracks that range from approximately 6-10 hours. The track can be summited in a out-and-back track in a day or as a circuit (loop). There is a serviced hut (80 bunks - bookings required) available as well as m...
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  • Marahau, New Zealand

    Kayak Camp Abel Tasman NP

    23 mi / 328 ft gain
    This beautiful national park can be explored by boat and/or by foot, so we decided to incorporate both before catching a jet boat back to Marahau. The entire coastal track is almost 50 km one-way without side trips, and the coastline can also be done entirely by kayak. Before arriving in Marahau,...
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  • Motutere, New Zealand

    Paddle and Camp at Lake Taupō!

    It lacks salt, but Lake Taupō is quickly becoming one of the favorite places to visit on the weekends. An easy 3.5-hour drive south from Auckland, Lake Taupō is Australasia's largest lake and roughly the same size as Singapore. The Romans and Chinese both wrote of seeing an immense fire in the sk...
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  • Makarora, New Zealand

    Backpack the Gillespie Pass Circuit, New Zealand

    44.7 mi / 4266 ft gain
    The small township of Makarora West is the kickoff point for this 3-5 day circuit that guides you through a strikingly beautiful and wild corner of the Southern Alps in New Zealand. My tramping companion and I decided to hike the route anticlockwise, although the trail can be traveled in both dir...
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