Horses on beaches

A horse and rider on Ruakaka Beach.

Horses are allowed on most beaches in the District, including two year-round, all-day horse areas. Some special rules apply in summer, and there are some beaches where horses are banned. 

Year-round horse riding areas

There are two horse riding areas that the summertime ban does not apply to:

  • Ruakākā Beach from Mair Road to Karawai Street
  • Uretiti from the camping ground to Tip Road

Summer rules

In summer, from 20 December to 31 January, horses are allowed on most beaches from 9:00am to 5:00pm - the cooler and quieter parts of the day.

Horse ban areas

To protect wildlife, horses are banned at all times from:

  • Bland Bay including North Head Scenic Reserve
  • Bream Head Scenic Reserve and Ocean Beach, north of the main surf beach
  • Matapōuri estuary, upstream of both bridges
  • Mimiwhangata Coastal Park
  • Ngunguru sandspit, and south of the sandspit, including the HoraHora River
  • One Tree Point, from Marsden Point, past the marina to the end of the beach
  • Ruakākā River and estuary and south of the river to 215 metres past the Ruakākā Life Saving Club
  • Waipū River and estuary
  • Otamure Bay at Whananaki

Remember to keep horses 100 metres away from swimmers.

Protecting coastal areas

Horses are banned from Council reserves. However, you can ride or lead your horse over a reserve to access a beach providing you take the most direct, defined route, avoiding any grassed area. 

Reduce harm to the environment by riding below high tide, staying away from sand dunes and cleaning up after your horse.  

Click on the following link to see further guidelines on the Bridleways New Zealand website:

Bridleways New Zealand (nzridingclubsbridleways.nz)