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Len Lye: Rainbow Dance Exhibition 14 Aug 2021 - 31 Jul 2022 Join the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in celebrating 120 years of Len Lye. 'Rainbow Dance' surveys Len Lye’s multimedia practice over his fifty-year ... More ►
The best place to find locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as baked goods, fish, prepared meals, honey, and so much more! The market operates year-round rain or shine. Free parking on Sundays at the Centre City ... More ►

Back Beach

Back Beach is a popular location for locals and visitors to the area. A good view of the beach can be gained from the car park and there are several other grassy reserve areas where people park and watch the beach from. Surfing, swimming and walking along the beach are the most popular activities for beach goers. Most surfers are confident with the conditions but swimmers often get in trouble with powerful rips and waves. There is no Surf Life Saving patrol at Back Beach but beach goers can travel north to Paritutu Beach where East End Surf Life Saving Club run patrols on summer weekends.

Rate this beach


Family friendly

A good beach for families however limited facilities and can be dangerous in poor conditions.


Back Beach is popular for swimming during the summer months. The water is too cold during winter. The beach can be dangerous on all tides. There is a stream mouth that crosses the beach at the same point as users access the beach and this stream creates a strong rip. Rips, currents and holes are common anywhere on the beach and swimmers are advised to use extreme caution if swimming here. East End Surf Life Saving Club patrols Paritutu Beach 500 metres north towards the port. Swimmers are advised to swim here during patrolling hours.


Back Beach is well known for having very good surfing bars. The bars change here frequently and the beach needs to be checked regularly to get the best waves. The beach can be surfed on all tides but is usually best from mid to high tide. Back Beach is offshore in an easterly wind. Surfers at this beach are wise to be careful of the wave size as it can be quite deceptive.


Fishing at Back Beach is not popular as the beach commonly has some kind of wave which makes surf casting difficult. Fishing slightly north around the islands and around the port is much more popular.

Activities and facilities


  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Dog walking
  • Horse riding
  • Wind/kite surfing


  • Car parking
  • Public toilets


The beach is our favourite playground, but it can also be a dangerous place. Learn about the hazards at Back 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

Showers with clear spells
Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Poor. 1/10
Poor. 2/10



Safety at Back Beach

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Back 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 Back 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


Back Beach is located four kilometres from the central business District of New Plymouth, just to the southwest of the New Plymouth Port. The beach faces directly west and like most of Taranaki’s beaches, is made up of iron sand and scattered with rocks and boulders. There are two parking areas, the upper car park elevated around 20 metres above the beach (a good view of the whole beach, rips, currents, etc can be gained from here) and the lower car park that gives beach users more direct access to the beach. The area directly around the beach is a combination of residential and industrial zones mainly due to the beaches close locality to the port. There are no buildings built directly on the beach.


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Beach Water Quality

Many councils 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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