If sand running is your jam, don’t miss Takapuna Beach, a lovely stretch of flat sand with unbeatable views of Rangitoto Island and the Hauraki Gulf, on the Pacific. This loop of Auckland’s North Shore will take you from the Takapuna boat ramp over a mostly sandy beach (although at times you may have to wind through paths between rocks or even over rocks). If the tide is high, or you tire of sand running, you can double back on a nice concrete walkway that spans the length of the beach. But don’t worry, the sand here is so perfectly firm, and the views so unique that Harcourts Cooper and Co. hold a Beach Series run here almost every week in the summertime. The beach is just short of 1 mile long.