A new survey confirms New Zealand is a nation of beach-goers — with a new survey finding Kiwis on average plan to spend 13.6 days at the beach this summer.

Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough locals count themselves as the most beach-going people in New Zealand, planning to spend almost three weeks at the beach, according to the Coastal Restoration Trust.

Bay of Plenty and Taranaki round out the top three at 18.1 and 16.7 days respectively, while residents of the country's biggest city, Auckland, plan on spending 15.1 days at the beach.

Meanwhile, as Gisborne and Hawke's Bay endure drought conditions and perfect beach weather, locals appear less interested in hitting the sand and surf, with an average of 6.3 and 8.3 days resepectively.


Coastal Restoration Trust chair Greg Bennett said the fact that many New Zealanders wanted to spend as much time on the beach as possible wasn't a surprise.

"Going to the beach on a good summer's day is part of our national psyche. Generations of Kiwis have spent their summers enjoying themselves on some of the finest beaches in the world."

But he urged Kiwis not to get complacent and assume our beaches will be around forever.

"Our beaches face several threats which are being accelerated through human activity such as beachfront development and the construction of sea walls. Some beaches are already under enormous pressure and are at risk of disappearing.

"Understanding and working with natural processes, rather than fighting them, is the most effective way for maintaining our coastlines and beaches. For example, many degraded beaches can recover if coastal ecosystems — particularly sandy foredunes — are in a healthy, functioning state.

"Restoring our beaches and coastlines needn't cost the earth. If anything, it's an investment. But it requires a change in thinking on how we our beaches and indeed contribute positively to the whole coastal ecosystem."

Conducted by Horizon Research, 1775 people aged over 18 were surveyed.

People were also asked about erosion and almost two-thirds of Kiwis believed beach erosion was worse than it was 20 years ago, and most were worried that some New Zealand beaches might vanish forever.


Average days spent at the beach in summer

Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough 20.9
Bay of Plenty 18.1
Taranaki 16.7
Auckland 15.1
Wellington 15.1
Otago 13
West Coast 12.3
Wairarapa 12.2
Manawatu/Whanganui 11.8
Northland 11.7
Canterbury 10.2
Hawke's Bay 8.3
Southland 7.7
Gisborne 6.3