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Hendersons Beach

Henderson Bay is a picturesque beach location that attracts a large number of patrons during the warmer summer months. Henderson Bay is good for swimming if the surf is small but strong rips and currents form when waves reach one metre and over. Surfing and fishing are popular year round and these two groups will usually know the best places to go on the day. There is no Lifeguarding Service and Henderson Bay is very isolated, so patrons should stay out of the water if they are in doubt.

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Family friendly

This beach is well suited for families, while not patrolled by Surf Lifeguards it is usually safe however has potential to be dangerous in poor conditions. Make sure your family is prepared for the beach conditions.


Swimming is good if the swell is small. The beach is very exposed and any swells from the north to the east will reach the Henderson shores. Swimmers need to ensure that they get past the rock formations as they are a hazard especially during higher tides when many of the rocks are covered by water. The swells that hit this beach are most common during the summer months and this is when the beach gets most of its swimmers. Strong rips and currents along with deep holes are all common at Henderson Bay when there are waves.


Surfing at the beach is best just to the south of the rock shelf where a good left hand wave breaks. There are a few rocks located under the surface around this area and good sand bars form around these. The beach break at Henderson Bay can also get some good swells but the bars need to be lined up well. The beach faces to the northeast and is offshore in a southwest wind.


Fishing at Henderson is best from the rocks at the northern end of the beach. Skin diving in this area is also good and surf casting is possible from anywhere along the beach. Diving at the beach is only recommended when there is no surf.

Activities and facilities


  • Horse riding
  • Motorbikes/4WD's
  • Scuba diving
  • Shell fish gathering
  • Snorkelling


  • Car parking


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



Unpatrolled Beach
Unpatrolled beach.
Never swim or surf alone.

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Average. 4/10
Poor. 1/10



Safety at Hendersons Beach

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

Unpatrolled Beach

Unpatrolled Beach
Unpatrolled beach.
Never swim or surf alone.


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 Hendersons 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


Henderson Bay is located 7 kilometres south of Ngataki on the east coast of Aupori Peninsula. Henderson Beach extends from Henderson Point 4800 metres south to Grenville Point and is at the southern end of the larger Great Exhibition Bay. The northern end in front of the car park is made up of rock and reef outcrops that run 300 metres towards the south. The remainder of the beach is golden sand that slopes quickly into the water and then flattens out into a terrace. Simmonds Island is located 2 kilometres offshore from the southern end of the beach. Access to the beach from the car park is a steep and difficult decent of 70 metres. For those with good 4WD, there is a trail down to the beach but this is steep and the sand is very soft and getting bogged is a real hazard for the inexperienced.

Public Transport

Sorry, we have no public transport information available for this beach.


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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.

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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