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Bethells/Te Henga Beach

Bethells Beach is a popular West Coast surfing, swimming and fishing spot with good facilities including a surf club. Given its exposed and turbulent nature swimmers are advised to stick to patrolled areas. The beach is accessed via a 300 meter walk along the edge of a lagoon from the carpark and surf club building. A large recreational reserve is currently under development at the rear of the beach.

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Family friendly

A good beach for families with some facilities and is patrolled by Surf Lifeguards over summer months. It does have the potential to be dangerous in poor conditions so ensure your family is well prepared.


Bethells Beach is an open ocean beach with an uneven ocean floor as well as topographical rips near its headlands. Given its large prevailing surf and the potentially dangerous nature of this beach swimming should be confined to times and areas patrolled by the Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving Club.


Bethells Beach is fairly exposed and receives a good range of swell from southerly through to westerly. It offers excellent beach and bar breaks, including a good bar break off its northern headland during westerly swells.


Rock fishing is popular from the various headlands and outcrops in and around Bethells Beach, although surfcasting would be marginal due to its gentle gradient.

Activities and facilities


  • Dog walking
  • Horse riding
  • Shell fish gathering
  • Wind/kite surfing
  • Wind-powered vehicles


  • Car parking


The beach is our favourite playground, but it can also be a dangerous place. Learn about the hazards at Bethells/Te Henga Beach and be prepared so you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer.



Patrolled Beach
Bethells/Te Henga Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Mainly fine with possible showers
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Average. 6/10
Good. 9/10



Safety at Bethells/Te Henga Beach

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Bethells/Te Henga Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand Beaches. More ►

Patrolled Beach

Patrolled Beach
Bethells/Te Henga Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Patrol Hours

Bethells Beach is patrolled on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 11:00am to 4:00pm between 26 October 2019 and 30 November 2019. These hours are extended to 11:00am to 5:00pm between 1 December 2019 and 23 February 2020. Hours return to 11:00am to 4:00pm from 29 February 2020 to 13 April 2020.
A Regional Lifeguard Service is provided Monday to Friday from 10 December 2019 to 23 January 2020 between 11:00am and 7:00pm.


Click a safety symbol for more information on the risk

4 simple rules to keep you safe

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Bethells/Te Henga Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand beaches and looking out for each other. More ►

The Water Safety Code:

  • Be prepared
  • Watch out for yourself and others
  • Be aware of the dangers
  • Know your limits
DIAL 111 in the event of an emergency


Bethells Beach/ Te Henga is located approximately 35 kilometres north west of Auckland, on the West Coast. It is an open ocean beach with headlands at either end and is punctuated by Ihumoana Island. Bethells Beach is a popular surfing, swimming and fishing spot with a modest resident population. It has good facilities including the Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving Club and plenty of carparking.

Public Transport

Bus: http://www.maxx.co.nz/


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Beach Water Quality

The Overall Recreation Risk is a guide to give a general picture of water quality at a site. Updated annually, it is calculated from bacteria (enterococci) data collected over the last three years. The Overall Recreation Risk indicator is a precautionary approach to managing health risk and is not designed to represent health risk on a particular day. As such, a site can have an Overall Recreation Risk of ‘Caution’ but still be suitable for swimming some of the time.

Overall recreation risk

The long term risk status based on three years of data

Low Risk

Between 1 and 5% risk of illness

Many councils also provide the results of their weekly monitoring. This lets people know what the most recent bacteria levels were. Remember, even sites with low risk can be unsuitable to swim at from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.

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