Clarks Beach – Quiet seaside playgrounds and white sands at high tide

It’s a long way from the CBD, but Clarks Beach is worth it on a high tide – perfect for long, lazy family days in and out of the water.

Following the road will take you past several access ways to the beach before ending at a carpark and Clarks Beach Holiday Park.

Any of the access points will drop you onto white sand, often alongside amenities like picnic tables, public toilets and showers. When the tide is out, like all the Manukau Harbour, mud flats predominate.

Right at the end of the road, you’ll find a boat ramp, playground as well as the largest carpark.

When I visited mid-week, just a few families were enjoying the shade of pohutukawa trees. A handful of boaties were out fishing or paddle boarding – the estuary waters are perfect for it.

Sprats were jumping from the water, and I saw kingfishers and herons as well as gulls.

This quiet coastal community is seeing a big boom of subdivision starting to head back to Waiau Pa and Karaka, but along the waterfront, houses are well established with a combo of kids and retirees playing in the front yards.

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Clarks Beach at High Tide

Clarks Beach is perfect for long, lazy family days in and out of the water. The tidal pull goes sideways across the beach, and it’s a popular spot for swimming, paddle boarding, and a launching place for small boats.

It’s quiet. Too quiet? It’s certainly not so good for cafes. Your best bet is Clarks Beach Golf course, which has good social club food (sandwiches, pies and sausage rolls), Kowhai coffee, and their own lager at $5 a mug.

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