First and foremost beaches are associated with swimming and sunbathing. Quite a few of them are scenic or outstanding at a special time. Share your favorite beach which you already experienced.
De Hoop is a year-round destination. From October until March it is great to swim in tide pools at low tide. Summer is also the time with little rainfall. The chance of increasing precipitation starts in May and lasts until September with its peak in August. It has a Mediterranean climate with hot summer, mild winter, and most rain occurs during winter time.
Don't miss the beautiful Piha Beach north of Karekare. If you visit the Karekare Beach famous from the 1993 "The Piano" Movie. The Piha Beach is even more spectacular at low tide. You can walk to a hidden beach (in front of Taitomo Island) or climb to the top of Lion Rock. The trail is pretty steep, but the view is awesome. Tide times
Hidden Beach at Piha; accessible at low tide only
The sunset at Piha Beach is famous and popular. Many visitors and especially young people stay here to watch the sunset before going back to Auckland or even better spend a night at Piha. You may have heard about the Piha Rescue, Surf Rescue or Deadly Surf. The lifeguards are pretty famous they featured in a New Zealand reality show.
Weather and Crowds
November until April is the most pleasant time with temps often above 20°C. Coldest months in winter from June to August. However, day temps are often mild around 15°C though expect in the night one digit temps. Most precipitation in winter but expect already more rain in May with its peak in July. Driest months are during summer from December to February/March. The best months for a bath are January until March with a sea temperature below 20°C. The best months for a vacation are December to February; the peak season. Weekends are more crowded due to local beach visitors. If you like to dodge the crowds, November and March/April are a better choice.
When visiting the Pancake Rocks, you should not miss this walk to the gorgeous Truman Beach. It's overshaded by the Pancake Rocks but in our opinion a must. There are many photo ops. which are best late afternoon to evening when the sun is shining into the bay. Schedule an hour to 1 1/2 for the walk and the exploring. A waterfall occurs most of the time but not in the drier summer. The access to the beach is safe around low tide only. Tide times Westport
Usually, the summer is pleasant and the winter mild. The day temps in summer are around 25°C/77°F, in spring and fall up to 17°C/63°F. A high amount of precipitation throughout the year on average each month more than 200 mm except February which is usually a little drier. Spring is the wettest season influenced by the winds from the Tasman Sea. The rain increases quickly closer to the mountains. A local saying “go deep, go steep, get wet”. Check conditions for hiking and the tides at the visitor center first.
Steamers Beach is quite a popular beach yet not much crowded. Several trails are leading to this excellent place in the Booderee National Park but it's not accessible by car. We spotted colorful birds along the trail in the late afternoon. Expect more visitors and campers in the summer from December until February and during weekends. March is a pleasant month with warm temps, less crowded and swimming in the sea is still possible. Water temp over 20°C from December to April.
Rain is common throughout the year, but more precipitation during summer; winter is much drier. Temps in summer on average around 25°C but can be hot as well. Summer is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. In the winter the day temps are below 20°C and expect one digit temps during the night.
Murrays Beach is a jewel in the Booderee National Park. It is a world class beach with beautiful white sand and perfect for swimming. The bay has pristine clear water also good for snorkeling. To experience the real beauty of the beach avoid the Christmas summer holidays and weekends as well.
- Midday until afternoon - perfect light on a sunny day.
- At sunrise, Bowen Island gets illuminated.
- A short walk from Murrays Beach car park to the "Hole in the Wall" at low tide only 1 km one way.
- Spotting Penguins; September until December one hour before dusk wait at Murrays Beach and you may spot groups of penguins swimming back to Bowen Island for feeding. The island is a successful breeding colony with roughly 5.000 breeding pairs.
Weather and Crowds
Expect more visitors during summer from December until February and during weekends. It's perfect for swimming and snorkeling. March is a pleasant month; it is warm, less crowded and swimming is refreshing. Water temperature of more than 20°C from December to April. Most precipitation during summer; winter is much drier. Temps in summer on average around 25°C but can be hot as well. In the winter the day temps are below 20°C and one digit temps during the night.
You will fall in love with this beautiful landscape and beach hike. Don't miss this exceptional place and feel the power of mother nature and the sea when traveling along the Great Ocean Road. Best visited around low tide. it's usually possible to walk along the beach to the rusty anchors except high tide. However, beach walking is safer during low tide. In former days the Marie Gabrielle anchor was accessible around low tide only. Due to the strong power of the sea, the Marie Gabriel Anchor is changing the position. The anchor was better accessible end of 2019 than four years before. It is not any longer so much-effected by the tides. However, always watch the sea. Nevertheless, it also depends on the level of the tide and the wind that builds up the waves. The Fiji anchor stands sentinel near Moonlight Head and is not affected by the tides. Tide times
The beach and wrecks are poorly signposted and due to the remote location not busy. The gravel road is not suitable for tour buses, therefore, our top tip along the Great Ocean Road. Google Maps Location Car Park
Weather Great Ocean Road
The Southern Ocean has a strong influence on the climate. It keeps the winter warmer and the summer cooler. During summer the sun is very intense, but it is not too hot; there is always a fresh breeze and temps are around 20°C only. Lots of precipitation throughout the year in the Great Otway National Park. Warmer and "drier" conditions from November to April however, rain can always occur. Winter is the wettest and coldest season; rainy every second day. Day temps in winter around 12°C and nights are chilly around 8°C pretty cold for camping.
Don't miss out our entire Great Ocean Road Guide - 3 Days Itinerary - Top Tips - Where to Stay