Is this New Zealand's best beach?

CHARLIE MITCHELL
Last updated 09:39 21/03/2014

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Grab your jandals and togs, and head to Mount Maunganui - it's New Zealand's best beach, according to travel website Tripadvisor.

The top 10 New Zealand beaches were determined by reviews and rankings left on the website.

North Island beaches dominated, taking out the top seven, with votes evenly shared between the rugged west coast beaches and their tamer counterparts on the east.

Mount Maunganui

A popular holiday spot for tourists, surfers and families alike. An attractive extinct volcano overlooks the beach, which is lined by bustling cafes and eateries. Reviewers on Tripadvisor praised its relaxed atmosphere and golden sand, although complaints about its popularity occasionally surfaced.

It placed fourth in Tripadvisor's list of top South Pacific beaches.

Piha

Known for its devastating rips and pulverising waves, the country's most prolific (and dangerous) surf beach is notable for its ominous black sand, scenic West Auckland location, and TV ratings-juggernaut Piha Rescue, a reality show dedicated to its busy lifeguards.

Oriental Bay

Noteworthy for its close proximity to the Wellington city centre, which makes the beach a hub of activity. Icy water and often relentless wind occasionally deter swimmers, but runners, roller-skaters and cyclists can be seen roaming the busy sidewalk seven days a week.

Ninety Mile Beach

Famous for enormous sand dunes, the extravagantly named beach curves up to the tip of the North Island's west coast. It's not 90 miles (145 kilometres) long, only 55 miles. It is stark and isolated, but its immense size attracts thrill-seeking off road drivers from around the world (including TV's Top Gear gang).

Ohope

There's something to love for all visitors to this Whakatane beach, in the eastern Bay of Plenty. It's a safe swimming spot for families, the surf is prolific in the summer months, and loners can dodge the crowds by wandering down to the quieter end of the expansive beach.

Piha's neighbours Bethells Beach and Karekare took sixth and ninth respectively, and Whangamata on the Coromandel coast rounded out the North Island presence in seventh.

The South Island has only two beaches on the list - Kaiteriteri, on the cusp of the Abel Tasman National Park, and Dunedin's spectacular Tunnel Beach coming in at eighth and 10th respectively.

Tripadvisor's full list:

1. Mt Maunganui Beach, Mt Maunganui

2. Piha Beach, Auckland

3. Oriental Bay, Wellington

4. Ninety Mile Beach, Kaitaia

5. Ohope Beach, Whakatane

6. Bethells Beach, Auckland

7. Whangamata Beach, Whangamata,

8. Kaiteriteri Beach, Kaiteriteri

9. Karekare Beach, Auckland

10. Tunnel Beach, Dunedin

What do you think? Was your favourite beach on this list? Was Expedia's list more accurate? Do you have a beach you want us to know about? Hit the big green button to tell us about your favourite beach.

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