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Piha BeachAuckland, New Zealand

Moon Bay, Slovenia at number three. Stokes Bay Beach, Australia at number two. And coming in at number one—inserts drum roll—is Piha Beach, New Zealand.

An unlikely, but not unworthy, first placer on Enjoy Travel’s Best Beaches in the World list for 2024, Piha Beach boasts sparkling black sand, whipped white waves and the impressively shaped Lion Rock. Which may or may not look like an actual lion (it doesn’t).

READ: NORTH OF THE NORTH ISLAND ROAD TRIP

While the water might entice you with its gorgeous blue colour and perfect clarity, don’t be fooled. This beach has many charms, but being swimmable isn’t one of them. Read: there’s no early-morning recovery sessions or late-night skinny dips happening here. The waves are formidably rough (sadness) and the currents are strong, like Dwayne Johnson strong, so swimming without the supervision of a lifeguard is dangerous.

But despite the conditions, it’s an epic spot to surf. It’s also a pretty good-looking one, thanks to the rugged cliffs at either end of the beach. Settling down for a picnic on the sand or abseiling down the Piha Canyon are popular ways to spend time here, along with surf fishing and taking surf lessons.

You might even see some blue penguins if you’re there after the sun goes down. Yes, Piha Beach gets to have the world’s smallest penguin species and be crowned the world’s best beach. Some beaches just have it all.

If you’ve got enough sand in your shoes (and in other places to last you a lifetime), you can wander the streets of the small coastal village behind the beach or go bushwalking through the surrounding wilderness to make your visit a full-day thing.


Read the full list, right here

Where’s your favourite beach in the world? Let us know at info@getlostmagazine.com

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Tags: beach, new zealand

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