Beaches Of Whanganui
By Deb Alexander
I am a beach lover from way back!
Going to the beach is a summer staple for pretty much everyone I know!
I definitely have many childhood memories of spending hours at the beach in the summertime. Building sandcastles, playing beach cricket, cooling off in the ocean, running up & down the sand dunes, sun bathing, enjoying endless amounts of food & drink and coming home happy and exhausted! The tradition continues and I now enjoy the beaches in Whanganui with my own children – they are beach lovers too!
There are some great beaches in Whanganui for everyone to enjoy and only minutes from downtown Whanganui. I love the fact that getting to the ocean from my home is only a short drive. I quite often take a drive to the beach to enjoy the sunrise or to photograph the sunset over the ocean after a long summer’s day.
The beaches in Whanganui definitely cater for all. There are three main beaches in Whanganui. Each unique in their own right, each offering a different atmosphere.
I love the fact that getting to the ocean from my home is only a short drive. I quite often take a drive to the beach to enjoy the sunrise or to photograph the sunset over the ocean after a long summer’s day…
Kai Iwi Beach is an easy 14km drive from Whanganui. My family and I regularly visit Kai Iwi Beach – one of the most family-friendly beaches in Whanganui and a great spot for the perfect kiwi beach holiday.
The fabulous Mowhanau Holiday Park is situated only metres from the beach. My boys love the truly epic playground (complete with ocean views!) and are regular visitors here. The flying fox is a real highlight for them and definitely a workout for me!! Kai Iwi Beach offers safe swimming and is patrolled regularly during the summer months. The area boasts a large grassy area with BBQ’s – we often take a picnic there and love making the most of the facilities. There are toilets/showers/changing rooms which are open from dawn to dusk and in close proximity to the beach. The beach itself is very unique. I always make sure I visit Kai Iwi Beach at low tide to really get the benefits of the beach as there is always lots of exploring to be done! There are breath taking cliffs & caves and lots of shells & stones to collect all along the beach. I always see people making the most of the beach which is so great! There is plenty of space for that all important family game of beach cricket – my family are cricket mad so that is an absolute must! We love enjoying Kai Iwi Beach from up high too – Sunset Parade offers great lookout points and provides truly different perspective of the area. I always have my camera handy!
Castlecliff Beach is situated 8km from the City Centre. I am always looking to catch incredible sunsets so Castlecliff Beach is definitely where I go. I have experienced dozens of sunsets here, all unique in their own right. Castlecliff Beach is going through a real period of change at present and some really positive things are happening here.
When going to Castlecliff Beach, I always visit The Citadel for my caffeine fix. I am a huge coffee lover and I am very appreciative of this place and its close proximity to the beach – after all, the beach & coffee are my two favourite things! My boys love the playground at Castlecliff Beach especially the huge blue slide and of course the flying fox! The skate park is very popular and is always humming. There are picnic tables, BBQs, public toilets & a dairy all nearby. The Whanganui Seaside Holiday Park is only a few metres from the beach and provides a great range of accommodation options & facilities – the perfect excuse to stay even longer!
There are some great beaches in Whanganui for everyone to enjoy and only minutes from downtown Whanganui…
Castlecliff Beach caters for all. The beach is ideal for fishing, 4X4, beachcombing, and surfing and there are patrolled swimming areas in the summer. Castlecliff Beach also has a lot of driftwood! My boys spend ages finding interesting pieces of driftwood and enjoy seeing the sculptures that pop up there from time to time. Another thing that makes Castlecliff Beach unique is the sand dunes. Running up and down the sand dunes is an absolute must for my boys – it sure helps them sleep well at night which is a win for me! Our black sand gets very hot though so have that footwear handy!
South Beach is the quietest and most remote of Whanganui’s beaches – a 20km stretch of coastline waiting to be explored! Situated adjacent to Whanganui Airport, South Beach is only a short drive from Whanganui’s CBD. South Beach is an unpatrolled beach so care must be taken at all times. The beach offers great fishing and is very popular for people using 4WD vehicles. There are vast sand dunes to explore which offer amazing views – the South Beach sand dunes are definitely my boys’ favourite! I am a plane geek and always looking out for aircraft, being so close to the airport! There are no amenities at South Beach so we always make sure we come prepared. South Beach Café is located at Whanganui Airport and a perfect place to stop on the way back to town for a bite to eat and a superb coffee – trust me, the ladies at South Beach Café know how to do things right!
Whanganui offers a great variety of beaches and a breath-taking stretch of coastline. I feel truly lucky to live close by and I want to share these hidden gems with the world! Come and visit Whanganui’s beaches and experience amazing scenery, genuine ‘real New Zealand’ hospitality and memories that will last a lifetime!
From our destination to yours…