Are you thinking about taking a break from the daily stress of life in Auckland and hitting the road? Well, then, you’re in luck! The Eastern Bays of Auckland are just the place for you to cool off and relax, whether it’s summer or winter.
Located on the eastern coastline of the North Shore of Auckland, the Eastern Bays of Auckland include Kohimarama, Saint Heliers, Orakei, Mission Bay, Glendowie, and Tamaki Drive. This part of the city offers breathtaking views, great beaches, spectacular coastal lines, various water sports activities, and multiple options of cafes, restaurants, and bars to choose from.
Before you turn on the engine, you need to know about the place you’re going to. This article covers all the necessary information about the Eastern Bays of Auckland and what to do there. Hang on tight to explore more!
If you want to learn more about the suburbs of Auckland, read our guide on Auckland’s bad and good areas.
What areas are included in Eastern Bays and East Auckland?
Auckland is the largest and most populous city in New Zealand. With a population of about 1,673,000 people, the city has been divided into four parts, namely South Auckland, East Auckland, West Auckland, and North Shore.
East Auckland is the area of Auckland known for its socio-economic urban environment featuring a diverse, multicultural population. Although the name East Auckland has not been made official by the government of New Zealand, however, it is commonly used by locals, people from neighboring areas, and some organizations.
Going in deeper and exploring more, we come to the Eastern Bays of Auckland. The Eastern Bays of Auckland are located on the eastern coastline of the North Shore of Auckland, starting from Long Bay and going on to Castor Bay.
While living on the Bay in Auckland, you most certainly will want a boat! Check out how much boats cost in New Zealand.
Most of the suburbs along this area form the Eastern Bays of Auckland. With breathtaking views and picture-perfect locations, the Eastern Bays include Kohimarama, Saint Heliers, Orakei, Mission Bay, Glendowie, and Tamaki Drive.
Let us dive deeper into what each place has to offer!
Kohimarama is a coastal suburb in the eastern part of Auckland situated between St. Heliers and Mission Bay. This place has a popular beachside walkway offering a pleasant view of the suburb back to downtown Auckland.
The suburb has a population of about 6,000 people and covers 1.51 kilmoteres2. It is a small, quiet bay with fewer people; nonetheless, it is renowned for its small boat yacht club, where many of New Zealand’s world-champion sailors have practiced.
The name Kohimarama has been derived from the word ‘Kohimaramara,’ meaning gathering scattered wood chips from the ruins of canoes, also known as Waka.
Kohimarama Bay has recreational spaces alongside the walkway, with a variety of cafes, bars, and snack huts to choose from. The local government body of this area comes under the responsibility of the Orakei Local Board.
Mission Bay is an inner eastern suburb of Auckland at a distance of 15 minutes from Central Auckland by car, and if you enjoy a nice walk, then it is a 45-minute trek from Auckland.
It is one of the highly sought-after beach options with stretches of golden sand and busy dining scenes. An all-time available location, from morning to night, it promises beautiful views of Rangitoto Island.
In the morning, it’s calm and pleasant and that’s the best chance to catch a sunrise. By day, it’s best to enjoy a swim in the ocean, brunch, cafes, and ice cream. And at night, it’s dinner parties with family and friends or a film at the cinema.
There is plenty for everyone here. From watersports and swimming to sand parks for the kids, and cafes, restaurants, and bars lining the walkway — everything is here! Customer parking, movies at Berkeley Cinema, and The Trevor Davis Memorial Fountain are some of the tourist attraction sites of Mission Bay.
Orakei, also known as Orakei Village Bay, is an old-school suburb of east Auckland. It lies on the coast of Waitemata Harbour and is sandwiched between the shores of Mission Bay and Hobson Bay.
A great thing about Orakei and also the cause of its fame is that it is situated only five kilometers east of the city center. It’s home to a diverse group of locals, individuals and families, and even people from the wealthy elite class.
Besides having beautiful beaches and a spectacular coastal line, this eastern bay of Auckland has all the amenities you can think of — cafes, bakeries, supermarkets, bookstores, snack bars, florists, and whatnot. This makes for the convenience and benefit of living so close to both the other Eastern Bays and the CBD.
Saint Heliers, or St. Heliers, is another inner eastern bay of Auckland with a population of 11,520 residents as of June 2022. It’s a prosperous location and the most desirable one to settle in, according to the locals.
The bay of Saint Heliers is liked by visitors for its beaches, views, cafes, restaurants, and the volcano island of Hauraki Gulf. Close by the renowned Tamaki estuary, St. Heliers features iconic landmarks such as Achilles Point, Dingle Dell Reserve, and Glover Park.
Located at the eastern end of Tamaki Drive, St. Heliers is a 10 km drive east of downtown Auckland. The Orakei Local Board has control over the local government of St. Heliers along with the other Eastern Bays of Auckland.
Glendowie is one of the top-listed affluent suburbs of east Auckland. It had an estimated population of 8,920 people as of June 2022. It’s located on the northeastern extent of the Tamaki isthmus and is surrounded by Waitemata Harbour on the northern side and Tamaki Estuary on its eastern boundary.
If you are into water sports activities, then this bay is excellent for surfing, swimming, kayaking, and boating. Although expensive, this suburb is popular with families for its excellent primary and secondary education, recreational activities, food areas, and proximity to Glendowie Bay.
Tamaki Drive Coastal Path is what makes and unites the Eastern Bays of Auckland. It’s a coastal road following the outline of Waitemata Harbour and links Mission Bay, Orakei, Saint Heliers, and Kohimarama.
Also known as the Waterfront Road, the route is 8 kilometers long and provides a scenic route to walkers, runners, skaters, and cyclers. Not only does it has a view of Auckland’s Eastern Bays, but also offers terrific scenes of Rangitoto, a volcanic island.
Besides the outlook towards the coastal lands, the driveway is aligned with pohutukawa, the iconic, brilliant red New Zealand Christmas tree. When visiting the Eastern Bays of Auckland, Kiwis make a detour to the Tamaki Drive to see pohutukawa in full bloom during summer.
Suburbs of East Auckland
East Auckland is the part of Auckland famous for its socio-economic and urban environment – but that’s not all. This part of Auckland features the fantastic Eastern Bays of Auckland and diverse communities.
Discovering and exploring more, we come to the suburbs of East Auckland. Suburbs of East Auckland are a string of small suburbs that form the larger part of the North Shore of Auckland from Long Bay and end in Castor Bay.
The suburbs of East Auckland are aligned along the northeast coast of the city from Hauraki Gulf to Ranitoto Channel. This includes Half Moon Bay, Panmure, Ormiston, Saint Heliers, Pakuranga, and St. Johns.
Popular bays alongside the suburbs of East Auckland include Half Moon Bay, Karaka Bay, Hobson Bay, Okahu Bay, Ladies Bay, Mission Bay, and the famous Tamaki Drive and Orakei Basin.
Best things to do in Eastern Bays
Eastern Bays of Auckland are a whole new world on their own. From dazzling sunsets to cool beaches and a chance at a getaway from all the stress of life, there is no limit to the things you can do in the Eastern Bays.
Here is a quick guide to some of the best things to do in the Eastern Bays:
- Going to the beach
Auckland is all about beaches, hence, the ultimate best thing to do in the Eastern Bays is to hit the sandy! If you’re visiting from central Auckland, then you are never too far away from the beach.
Spending a day on the warm, sunny, and sandy beach with the cool water up your toes and many outdoor activities available is the best thing you could do.
From water sports and beach day activities to just sunbathing or taking in a view of the spectacular coastal line, the beach offers a vibe like no other.
- Explore history and heritage
Who knew the Eastern Bays of Auckland also had something of historical and cultural value to offer? Well, they do.
Howick is an eastern suburb of Auckland forming part of East Auckland. All around Howick, you’ll find things to explore from long ago. Howick Historical Village showcases the 1800s, UXBRIDGE features a gallery, theatre, and workshop space, all in one, and The Apothecary displays 1950s Northern France — all are part of what forms the history and culture of New Zealand today.
- Walks and drives
Walks and drives along the coastal lines or beaches of the eastern suburbs are another great activity you can do. Enjoy a stroll on Tamaki Drive or from Half Moon Bay to Bucklands Beach.
The best part is that you can go for a walk or drive at any time of the day. Due to nearby coastal lands, the weather is often pleasant with cool winds, except in the afternoons during summer!
- Say yes to food
The Eastern Bays are filled with adventure and surprise. You don’t want to be encountering that without a full belly!
All across the Eastern Bays, from the local markets to the coastal lines, you’ll find various cafes, restaurants, bars, and snack huts offering affordable and delicious meals at all times of the day.
Best beaches in Eastern Bays
Have you been thinking about places to cool off and relax in the summer? The Eastern Bays of Auckland have some of the best beaches in all of New Zealand.
Great for all sorts of activities such as swimming, watersports, chilling, or just strolling along the walkways, they have the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and fun.
Here are the best beaches in the Eastern Bay of Auckland:
- Bucklands Beach
This is one of the preferred options of swimming lovers in eastern parts of Auckland. It’s a lovely beach with cool walks to pair up in summer – you can bike and scooter along this beach path too.
- St Heliers Beach
This gorgeous beach is convenient to reach from east and central Auckland. For the best experience, visit it at high tide. This beach reserve can be accessed from Tamaki Drive. Playgrounds, toilets, and all the basic amenities are available for a perfect family day out.
- Mission Bay beach
The waterfront of Mission Bay is a popular destination for all Aucklanders. Whether you are keen on eating, playing, shopping, or swimming, Mission Bay is the place to be.
Best restaurants in Eastern Bay of Auckland
If you are headed toward the Eastern Bays of Auckland, here are some highly recommended restaurants that you should definitely try:
- La Vista Café & Restaurant
- Picco Eatery
- Bodrum Kitchen Mission Bay
- Masa Japanese Restaurant & Bar
- Mood Kitchen
- Porch Bar & Eatery
- Azabu Mission Bay
- Oak Barrel Wine House
- Miku Japanese Restaurant