With 3200km of coastline and harbours in Northland it is no surprise three bays are in the running for New Zealand's best beach.

The NZ Herald has been searching for the country's best beach and three expert judges have narrowed the list of 26 contenders down to 10 finalists.

Maitai Bay in the Karikari Peninsula, Matapouri Bay in Tutukaka, and Taupo Bay in Mangonui have all made the cut.

Matt Williams, chief executive of Surf Life Saving New Zealand's northern region and a competition judge, said Taupo Bay was "a worthy golden ticket".


"You go there early in the morning and you see the cloud just flow down the hill like a waterfall. It's just amazing. It just sheets down there.

"You've got a lagoon up the north end which, if it's not polluted, is very good to swim in.

"The campsite is very egalitarian, anyone can stay there."

Punters can vote for their favourite beach by clicking here.

Other finalists on the list are:
• Castlepoint, Wairarapa
• Hahei, Coromandel
• Kaiteriteri, Tasman
• New Chums, Coromandel
• Opito Bay, Coromandel
• Te Arai, Auckland
• Whangamata, Coromandel

It's hard enough to get two Kiwis to agree on which is the best beach in the country - everyone has their favourite and won't hear a word against it.

So the Northern Advocate took to Facebook to ask readers what their favourite Northland beaches are.

Here are some of your picks:

• Moureeses Bay, Whananaki
• Oakura Bay, Whangaruru
• Otamure Bay, Whananaki
• Whale Bay, Tutukaka
• Wharekaho, Whitianga
• Ocean Beach, Whangarei Heads
• Kapowairua (Spirits Bay), Aupouri Peninsula (near Cape Reinga)
• Waipu Cove
• Shipwreck Bay, Ahipara
• Matauri Bay, Bay of Islands
• Whangaumu (Wellingtons Bay), Tutukaka