Suitable for all ages
Most Hawkes’ Bay beaches are quite dangerous for kids due to the undercurrent but beaches both north and south of Napier sometimes have a lagoon at a river mouth which can be safer for family swimming. This is the case at Waipatiki beach although kids will still need to be actively supervised even in the lagoon. Further up the river, there’s a wee pulley platform to cross to the other side which kids love and a rope swing attached to a nearby tree. Some years the lagoon and stream have poor water quality that deem it unsuitable for swimming. Check here for current water quality.
A section of Waipatiki beach is patrolled by life guards from just before Christmas to the end of January, at the weekends only. Keep your family safe in the sea by always swimming between the flags.
Waipatiki is a typical east coast, sandy beach, good for boogie boarding but with rips and a particularly steep drop off that can make it extremely dangerous for swimmers of all ages. It’s not as wide as other Hawkes’ Bay beaches but it’s also not as popular as some of the more well known beaches like Waimarama. There’s plenty of bucket and spade opportunities on the beach if the sea is too wild.
There is a small shop at the camping ground at Waipatiki Holiday Park and a toilet between the carpark and beach.