Whanganui boasts a range of beaches, from classic untamed west coast black-sand beaches to those perfect for families, swimming and surfing.
A short drive from the city centre (just over 10 minutes), this beach is popular for swimming and surﬁng and is patrolled by lifeguards during summer. There is also a playground and skate park, making it ideal for families. It is also a popular ﬁshing spot.
Kai Iwi Beach (Mowhanau)
A beach for all the family offering swimming, ﬁshing, playground, wood-burning barbecues and a great place for camping. Kai Iwi beach is reached via Rapanui Road, 14km west of Whanganui. It is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer.
Adjacent to the Whanganui Airport, as soon as the tide goes out South Beach becomes a 20km stretch of sand, excellent for a day’s picnic, surﬁng or ﬁshing. A wild and untamed beach, there is a car parking area and a short walk to the beach, but for full beach access a 4X4 is advised. Take care at all times and watch the tides as South Beach is great fun but an unpatrolled area.
A little further north of Kai Iwi Beach, near Pākaraka, Ototoka Beach is a classic out-of-the-way New Zealand beach. Located at the end of Ototoka Beach Road, this beach is a popular spot for swimming and fishing. The path from the car park descends past the Ototoka pool and waterfall down to the beach below. The cliffs surrounding Ototoka Beach are also well-known for fossil hunting, with marine fossils over 1.5 million years old to be found here.
As beautiful as our beaches may appear, they can also be dangerous and rough at times.
- Swim only at life-guard patrolled beaches (red and yellow ﬂags will be visible).
- Always swim between the red and yellow ﬂags.
- Never swim alone or leave children unattended.
Summer swim spot monitoring
Each year from 1 November to 30 April, Horizons Regional Council monitors the water quality from around 80 swim spots across the Manawatū-Whanganui region. The samples are tested at an independent laboratory with results uploaded weekly. Check the results here.