Be prepared for the perfect beach day

    15 Feb 2016

    Even though the summer holidays are over, there’s still lots more glorious weather to come and plenty more beach adventures to be had. Making sure that you have everything the family needs on hand for a day at the beach can be challenging. Here are a few tips to help you pack the ultimate beach bag – you’ll never have another argument about who forgot the sunscreen/water/picnic!

    Slip, slop, slap and wrap!  

    Packing your essentials the night before can help prevent important things being overlooked. If you’re more a spur-of-the-moment beach goer, it could be worth permanently stashing some ‘must-haves’ like sunscreen in the car boot.

    • Slipping into shirts or the shade means packing long-sleeved clothing for the whole family, or a substantial umbrella. Make sure to keep track of where the sun is, and shift the umbrella accordingly!
    • Slop on some broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapply every two hours. It’s important to wait at least 20 minutes between putting on the sunscreen and heading into the sunshine. Water-resistant sunblock will work a treat for the water babies!
    • Slap a hat on everyone – either wide-brimmed or a cap with a neck flap.
    • Wrap those eyes in a pair of shades! Sunglasses should be close-fitting and a good general rule is ‘the bigger the better’.


    Family feasting 

    Fun in the sun is thirsty work and can leave adults and kids with hearty appetites. Bring along plenty of water to make sure nobody gets dehydrated. It’s worth investing in BPA-free water bottles – the water won’t take on that funny taste and you’ll be avoiding contamination by nasty chemicals. Pack plenty of food – fruit and nuts come ready-wrapped for a healthy snack. 

    Safety first 

    As well as keeping sun-safe, there’s the regular risks of running-about to consider. A first-aid kit is a vital part of any well-packed parent’s beach bag; include tweezers for extracting splinters from tree-climbers’ feet and hands, plasters for run-ins with ragged oyster shells and antiseptic cream for minor scratches and grazes.

    Emergency extras 

    You can never be too prepared. Extra clothing and towels are a good idea because you never know when paddling will turn into a water-logged tumble. If you’ve got older kids who are able to be more independent, make sure you’ve got something to relax with. A summer read can be the perfect way to while away some sunny hours and paperbacks can handle a lot more sand than electronics! If you keep some kid-friendly Earthwise body wash in your beach bag, you might even get the kids properly rinsed off and sand-free for the ride home.

    Time to hit the beach! 

    All your bags are packed, you’re ready to go… but where to? No matter where in the country you live, there are many beautiful beaches to choose from. We’ve done the digging for you (with a little help from our Facebook fans) to find out which are New Zealand’s favourite beaches.

    From Whatuwhiwhi in the Far North to Mt Maunganui, Ohope Beach to Piha; the recommendations came in thick and fast. Perhaps you’ve been keeping an eye on the news surrounding the crowd-funding campaign to preserve Awaroa Inlet Beach for public use? We weren’t surprised to see beaches from that area pop up as frequent favourites – another Abel Tasman National Park beach, Kaiteriteri, was among the top sandy-spots. All worth a look!

    Orewa, Waihi Beach and Papamoa were also popular picks and Kiwis shared their own special reasons for their attachment to each particular piece of paradise. The beautiful scenery was a common theme, with people waxing lyrical about white sand, beautiful sunsets and gorgeous walking spots.

    Some locations were the destination of choice for childhood holidays and still hold strong memories from those fun-loving adventures – the good ole days!  Other places were chosen for sheer peace-of-mind for parents; knowing their little ones could safely enjoy sand and sea.

    Sorry to set you off – we’ve been daydreaming of beach adventures ever since… Some of these beaches might be old favourites of yours, others could be new places to discover.  No matter which beach you choose, you can be confident heading to any of them with your well-stocked beach bag - everyone is sure to have a good – and safe - time.


    Top 10 Beaches as voted by Earthwise fans:
    1. Mt Maunganui Beach
    2. Kaiteriteri Beach, Abel Tasman 
    3. Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty
    4. Orewa Beach, Hibiscus Coast
    5. Waihi Beach
    6. Papamoa Beach
    7. Piha, West Auckland
    8. Raglan Beach
    9. Whangamata, Coromandel 
    10. Sumner Beach, Christchurch