Granny’s Bay

Granny’s Bay on the outgoing tide

A slightly more interesting name than Taylor’s Bay, yet still relatively uninspiring, Granny’s Bay is a quiet little private beach accessible only via a walkway down from Bagley Street or from the walkway down from Hillsborough Cemetery.

The privacy of this beach is what sets it apart – the beach itself isn’t the nicest, with the gas pipeline running from Whangarei to Wiri to the right-hand side of the beach.

Historically, this was an important spot – old maps have it as a ‘sheep landing’ point and many locals moored their boats here.

New Zealand must be one of the few places in the world that has sheep on its maps.

This painting from the 1850’s is believed to be set at Granny’s Bay judging by the cliff-face behind it, and you could arguably recreate this today. You could hire a kayak from Taylor’s Bay and paddle round to Granny’s, cook up a feed and have a swim. Delightful!

Granny’s Bay Ranking:


Have to be honest, Granny’s Bay isn’t the most beautiful. The “Warning- Pipeline” signs, the accumulated seaweed, the pebbled beach…. its not quite the classic kiwi postcard beach.



Fortunately, Granny’s Bay is one of the tested spots on and is usually clean. Its isolation means people don’t usually go there to dump rubbish. The seaweed buildup can get a big much as the tide goes out – its definitely a high-tide beach.



Whichever way you choose to get here, you will be walking. The ‘quicker’ way is from Bagley Street but the walk through Hillsborough cemetery is more enjoyable.



Not much going on here.


The ‘feel’

If you feel like a private swim, Granny’s is one of the best spots. If you want amenities, cleanliness and beauty, pick somewhere else.


Total score:


Seems a bit ruthless -Granny’s Bay isn’t that bad, but it definitely rates lower than the other beaches. Nice for a dip at high tide, maybe not the best place for a first date.

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