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Lyall Bay

Lyall Bay is one of Wellington’s most popular beaches. It is very accessible to all Wellington people and is on the main bus route. Surfers are the largest beach user at Lyall Bay and can be found here year round if there is a swell running. The beach is generally safe for swimming during summer although cold. Swimmers should remain around the centre of the beach where conditions are safest and the Lifeguarding Service is provided.

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Family friendly

This beach is well suited for families with great facilities and patrolled by Surf Lifeguards over the summer months. Make sure your family is prepared for the beach conditions.


Lyall Bay is a popular swimming spot during the summer months with local residents. The beach slopes gently into the ocean and swimmers can get some distance into the ocean before reaching water out of their depth. The beach is patrolled by Lifeguards over summer weekends from early November to late March. There is a Professional patrol for three weeks during January. The beach is generally safe for swimming but southerly swells can create dangerous waves. Rips and holes are not common on the central beach but do form around the headlands.


Surfing at Lyall Bay is popular. The entire beach is surfable during a southerly swell and good bars form from time to time along the beach. The breakwater along the eastern headland (“The Wall”) generally has good bars and a nice left hand wave that is popular. Surfers and bogie boarders form the majority of beach users at Lyall Bay. The beach has jet ski lane at the eastern end of the bay and is frequented by wind surfers in strong onshore winds.


Lyall Bay is not a popular fishing location. There is a boat ramp at the western end where small boats can be launched and good fishing and diving reached. Fishing is not popular. The eastern end from the rock wall is popular for fishing but this is very dangerous when there is a wave breaking.

Activities and facilities


  • Dog walking
  • Scuba diving
  • Shell fish gathering
  • Wind/kite surfing


  • Boat launching
  • Car parking
  • Changing facilities
  • Food and beverage kiosk
  • Playground
  • Public toilets
  • Shower


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



Patrolled Beach
Lyall Bay 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
Poor. 1/10
Poor. 2/10



Safety at Lyall Bay

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

Patrolled Beach

Patrolled Beach
Lyall Bay is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Patrol Hours

Lyall Bay will be patrolled by Surf Lifeguards every Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday from 12:00 pm to 6:00pm between 4 December 2021 until 6 March 2022. Week day patrols from 11:00am to 6:00pm from 20 December 2021 until 28 January 2022.


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 Lyall Bay. 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


Lyall Bay is located 5 kilometres south of central city Wellington. The bay is 1.6 kilometres in length with grey sand and the entire beach is backed by a seawall. Both Maranui and Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club are located at this beach. There is a large boulder seawall along the eastern headland and this is the location for the Wellington International and domestic airport. The bay is backed by residential housing and this extends around the western headland towards Houghton Bay. The beach has a large permanent residence and gets many beach users from the Wellington District. The beach is popular year round although the water remains relatively cold.

Public Transport

Bus: http://www.metlink.org.nz/


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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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