Te Henga or Bethells Beach

About the place:

Te Henga or Bethells Beach is an awe-inspiring gem of a beach in the Waitakere Ranges.  Te Henga means sand in Māori. There a ton of photo opportunities at numerous spots along the beach on the wild west coast of Auckland. This beach represents the iconic landscapes of the Auckland region and is home to many rare and threatened ecosystems and native species. Here one can also find expansive sand dunes and Lake Wainamu – a popular swimming destination.


The beach is located at the mouth of the Waitakere River where it flows into the Tasman Sea.

View of the Waitakere river before it enters the Tasman sea

How to get here?

The beach is located at a distance of approximately 35 kilometres west of Auckland City. It takes around 40min to get to the beach by car.

Cool facts:

  • Te Henga Valley shows evidence of human settlement dating back over 1000 years.
  • Shania Twain single “Forever and for Always”(2003) and “Out of the Woods” for Taylor Swift was shot at this location.(Now that says a lot about the place.


  • Tramping and coastal walks – The Te Henga Walkway follows the coastline from Bethells to Muriwai Beach and is just one of the numerous walkways in the area.
  • Surfing and other water sports – Bethells Beach has undoubtedly some of the best surf on the west coast. Other water sports include parasailing and hand gliding. Skimboarding is popular with the youth.
  • Other fun and relaxing activities are sunbathing, swimming, picnics, running etc.
Little Black Mussels

What do we like about the place?

  • It’s a wild west coast beach that refreshes the mind with all its magnificence and beauty.
  • We enjoy long strolls along the beach and watching the waves crash.
  • This place brings out the inner child in us as we dip ourselves in the water and hop skip across the Waitakere River, it’s just sheer fun.
  • It’s a good spot for people and dog watching too.

We always enjoy our visit to this beach and keep returning to this place of wild beauty. Kindly exercise caution when you are in the water as the waves can get rough. Hope you have a pleasant time when you visit this beach.

Happy travels








8 thoughts

    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful comment. With regard to what the name “Te Henga” stands for, it was originally used for the beach area. It refers to what the fore dunes look like when you are out at sea. When paddling up the coast Te Henga looks quite different from the other beaches. The shape of the dunes were said to resemble an upturned waka. The word “Henga” refers to the top side boards or gunwale of a waka. (ref: TKITA-2013-0062 Edward Ashby, & Rewi Spraggon, Te Kawerau a Maki)


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