The American news giant CNN has included Karekare on Auckland's west coast on a list of the world's best beaches.
Karekare, 40 minutes' drive from downtown Auckland, is listed at 38 on the top 100 beaches list on CNN's summer travel website.
CNN noted the beach was immortalised in Jane Campion's 1993 movie The Piano.
The article described "a grandiose sweep of black sand (that) stretches before bush-clad hills".
"Karekare tends to be less touristy than nearby Piha. If you prefer a quieter beach, this is the one."
Two other New Zealand beaches made the list - Nelson's Kaiteriteri and Coromandel's Hot Water Beach.
Carole Roscoe, owner of the Karekare Beach Lodge, wasn't surprised the beach came in above any other in New Zealand.
"I think it has a lot to do with New Zealand's clean, green image.
"The place itself has no commercial development. What you're looking at is just nature."
Tourism New Zealand's general manager of corporate affairs, Chris Roberts, said: "It is fantastic to see that three New Zealand beaches made it into CNN's world's 100 best beaches list. To have three New Zealand beaches ranked alongside some of the world's most well known is a great endorsement."
Mrs Roscoe said part of Karekare's appeal was that it was so close to thecity.
"It has that remoteness so close, right at your back door. We are all so caught up with our lives, with traffic, with deadlines, but with Karekare you can just step away from it all."
1. Grande Anse Beach, Seychelles
2. Rabbit Beach, Italy
3. Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos Islands
4. Anse Source d'Argent, Seychelles
5. Anse de Grande Saline, St Barths
6. Cabbage Beach, Bahamas
7. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
8. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, Tahiti
9. Champagne Beach, Vanuatu
10. Palaui Island, Philippines
11. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland
20. Rarotonga, Cook Islands
33. Margaret River Beach, Western Australia
44. Bondi Beach, Sydney
46. Natadola Beach, Fiji
68. Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson
88. Byron Bay, northern NSW
94. Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula