Ōhope claims title of New Zealand’s best beach from Mt Maunganui in global awards Leave a comment


If you want to visit the world’s best beach, you’re going to have to hang out for the much delayed trans-Tasman travel bubble. Failing that, best head to the Bay of Plenty.

At least that’s according to TripAdvisor’s latest Travellers’ Choice Awards, which rated Whitehaven Beach in Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands the world’s best.

Whitehaven Beach (pictured behind Hill Inlet on Whitsunday Island) is renowned for its fine white silica sand.

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Whitehaven Beach (pictured behind Hill Inlet on Whitsunday Island) is renowned for its fine white silica sand.

No New Zealand beaches featured in the list of the world’s top 25 stretches of sand or stones, which are based on reviews and ratings on the travel website in 2020. As travel was so severely curtailed last year as a result of the pandemic, the number of times world-be visitors “saved” a beach to a potential future itinerary was also taken into account.

Santa Maria Beach in Cuba came in at number two on the global ranking, followed by Baia do Sancho in Brazil, Grace Bay Beach in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Saint Pete Beach in Florida, and Turquoise Bay in Western Australia.

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The highest ranked New Zealand Beach – Ōhope in the eastern Bay of Plenty – came in at number eight on a list of the top 10 beaches in the South Pacific.

The Whākatane District beach effectively knocked Mt Maunganui’s Main Beach – named New Zealand’s best in the awards for seven years in a row – off its perch.

Ohope Beach claimed the title of New Zealand’s best beach from Mt Maungaui’s Main Beach.

Christel Yardley/Stuff

Ohope Beach claimed the title of New Zealand’s best beach from Mt Maungaui’s Main Beach.

Main Beach came tenth in the South Pacific list this year, one place behind Kaiteriteri Beach in Nelson-Tasman.

Australian beaches dominated the South Pacific ranking, claiming the top five spots.

After Whitehaven – which lies within the Great Barrier Reef and is only accessible by boat, seaplane or helicopter – the next four beaches are all found in Western Australia. Turquoise Bay in Exmouth was followed by Cape Le Grand National Park in Esperance, Greens Pool in Denmark and Cable Beach in Broome.

Matira Beach on Bora Bora in French Polynesia and Piscine Naturelle on the Ile des Pins in New Caledonia placed sixth and seventh on the South Pacific list respectively.

Mt Maunganui's Main Beach just made the list of the top 10 beaches in the South Pacific.

Supplied

Mt Maunganui’s Main Beach just made the list of the top 10 beaches in the South Pacific.

Some six kilometres from Whakatāne, Ōhope is a classic Kiwi summer holiday destination backed by pōhutukawa, pines, popular holiday parks and a retro beach town.

The western end of the beach – aptly known as West End – is the most popular section of the 11-kilometre stretch of white sand, attracting swimmers, surfers, boogie boarders and kayakers.

The beach has a four-and-a-half out of five rating on Tripadvisor, with its more than 560 reviews overwhelmingly positive.

“Ōhope is known for its white sand and didn’t disappoint walking on the beach, breathing fresh air and taking plenty of pictures of Whale Island and White Island,” one recent reviewer said. “There’s nice wee cafes and a neart art and clothes gallery too, with a very friendly owner. Beautiful lookout points to drive or hike or cycle to from two different spots.”

Top 10 beaches in the world according to the awards

  1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
  2. Santa Maria Beach, Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba
  3. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
  4. Grace Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
  5. Saint Pete Beach, Florida, United States
  6. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Australia
  7. Eagle Beach, Aruba
  8. Spiaggia dei Conigli, Lampedusa, Italy
  9. Ka’anapali Beach, Hawaii, United States
  10. Baia dos Golfinhos, Praia da Pipa, Brazil
Kaiteriteri Beach was named the ninth best beach in the South Pacific.

MARTIN DE RUYTER

Kaiteriteri Beach was named the ninth best beach in the South Pacific.

Top 10 beaches in the South Pacific according to the awards

  1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
  2. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Australia
  3. Cape Le Grand National Park, Esperance, Australia
  4. Greens Pool, Denmark, Australia
  5. Cable Beach, Broome, Australia
  6. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
  7. Piscine Naturelle, Ile des Pins, New Caledonia
  8. Ōhope Beach, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
  9. Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson-Tasman, New Zealand
  10. Mt Maunganui Main Beach, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Do you agree with the rankings? Which is your favourite beach? Tell us in the comments.



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