Best Engagement Shoot Locations in Auckland

By Maria Yeonhee Ji

If you’re looking for dreamy locations for your Auckland-based engagement shoot, look no further than this curated list. Sourced from some of New Zealand’s most experienced professional photographers, this is a list of the most photogenic locations our region has to offer (and some information about what it is that makes them ideal backdrops for that perfect romantic image). From natural landscapes that capture the magic of faraway lands to urban areas that evoke a grungier, metropolitan aesthetic, there’s a place for every kind of dream aesthetic - read on to find out more. 

1/ AMBURY REGIONAL PARK

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Image by Lionel Tan Photography

If you’re looking for a charming spot that’s not as common a go-to for engagement photography, try Ambury Regional Park. 

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Image by Lionel Tan Photography

You can easily apply for a permit through the ranger to access all that Ambury Regional Park has to offer. Some of its best features include: a 45-minute walk overlooking the water to the Manukau Heads and the Waitakere Ranges; and a Farm Animal Walk that winds through animal enclosures for a relaxed, countryside vibe. 

2/ BETHELLS BEACH

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Image by Diana V Photography

The west coast is a treasure trove of backdrops for engagement shoots. And Bethells Beach is one of its prize jewels, consistently topping professional photographers’ lists of favourite spots to capture couples. 

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Image by Fluro Grey

Bethells Beach and the surrounding area has a diverse range of romantic settings including a breathtaking beach and interesting rock formations. The beachside itself, of course, provides some great photo opportunities for capturing the intimacy of your relationship with your partner. 

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Image by Trilby and Lace 

Not to mention the sand dunes of Bethells. These beauties will make it seem like you’ve eloped to some faraway desert land like Morocco, and add some grandeur to the image that only the dreamiest of landscapes can bring. 

3/ CORNWALL PARK

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Images by Chromatica 

If you’re looking for a location that’s easily accessible and in the heart of Auckland, look no further than Cornwall Park. Majestic towering trees, plenty of interesting spots among the gardens and stone walls, and even cherry blossoms if you’re in the right season… Cornwall Park has many features to make your engagement shoot photographs come alive. 

4/ DEVONPORT/NORTH HEAD

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Image by Chromatica 

The photography team at Chromatica recommend the North Head / Devonport area as a fantastic spot for engagement shoots - “[it has] rocks, water, great views across Auckland, and a pretty seaside walk.” 

5/ DOWNTOWN, AUCKLAND

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Images by Chromatica 

Just because it’s an engagement shoot in New Zealand doesn’t mean you’re obliged to frolic through green pastures or run around on a beach for the sake of it. If you and your partner are city-folk at heart, have particular cherished memories associated with Auckland’s central areas, or just feel that the streets of Auckland may be better to reflect your personal styles, consider Downtown Auckland as a location for your engagement shoot. The Chromatica team says it’s “great for interesting or grungy urban spots with a wide range of different colours and textures.

6/ KAREKARE BEACH & FALLS

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Image by Ralph Bella Photography 

Nestled between the Waitakere ranges and a black sandy surf beach is Karekare. 

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Image by Ralph Bella Photography

Karekare is a picturesque spot with many diverse features such as a wide black sand beach, nice rocky backdrops, sand dunes, and greenery. 

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Image by Ralph Bella Photography

There’s also one of New Zealand’s most stunning waterfalls, though unfortunately the track to Karekare falls is currently closed to prevent the spread of Kauri dieback disease in the area. 

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Image by Ralph Bella Photography 

And to top it all off, this is an area with reliably fantastic lighting which can really make or break an engagement session. 

7/ LITTLE SHOAL BAY, BIRKENHEAD

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Image by Lydia Rachel Photography 

Little Shoal Bay in Birkenhead is another option for those wanting a more central location. The coming together of park, beach, and city (with views of the Harbour Bridge and the Sky Tower)… it’s a great little spot for showcasing Auckland. 

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Image by Lydia Rachel Photography

8/ MURIWAI BEACH

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Image by Zahn 

Muriwai is another West Coast beauty that is many photographers’ most favourite location for engagement shoots. 

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Image by Zahn 

Unmatched in its sublime landscapes, at Muriwai you’ll find it all - cliffs, rocky outcrops, dunes, and a glassy waterline. 

Muriwai, best, engagement, shoot, locations, auckland, new zealand, couples, photography

Image by Zahn 

If you time your shoot to coincide with low tide, there’s even a cave that you can access (after clambering over some rocks). It’s a high, deep cave that always fills with what Zahn describes as the most beautiful light quality. Just don’t try to get there if the tide isn’t at its absolute lowest otherwise you and your partner will risk getting soaked. 

9/ NORTH PIHA  

North Piha, best, engagement, shoot, locations, auckland, new zealand, couples, photography

Image by Diana V Photography

Only a short drive out from Auckland, an area to check out is definitely North Piha. The sand dunes of North Piha are regarded as some of the most lovely along the coast. If you make your way to the more remote Kohunui Bay you’ll find yourself enthralled by the tall, pohutukawa-covered cliffs, dunes, and wildlife including numerous bird species including oyster catchers, pippits, petrels, and even penguins.

10/ THE RIVERHEAD/KUMEU AREA

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Image by Lydia Rachel Photography 

Lydia Rachel from Lydia Rachel Photography loves the Riverhead/Kumeu area, particularly in the summer, due to its beautiful dirt roads, forest, orchards and long grass fields (used with permission of course!) - “You still get that beautiful western sunset light and it's close enough to pop out to the nearby beaches also.”

11/ TAWHARANUI NATIONAL PARK

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Image by Fay Carey Photographer

Make the most of the spectacular unspoilt natural environments to be found at Tawharanui Regional Park. 

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Image by Fay Carey Photographer

Located on a peninsula in Matakana, Tawharanui Regional Park has some of Auckland’s most gorgeous white sandy beaches. 

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Image by Fay Carey Photographer

There are many rolling pastures and beautiful native coastal forest should you want more greenery in your backdrop. 

12/ WESTERN SPRINGS

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Image by Lionel Tan Photography

A scenic wildlife sanctuary, Western Springs has many areas that make for a perfect romantic backdrop, such as this waterside spot under the gently draping leaves of a willow tree. The grounds of the park are also full of many waterfowl species and a bevy of black swans that help establish that tranquil, romantic atmosphere in your photographs (should they feel inclined to grace you with their presence). 

13/ THE WINTER GARDENS

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Image by Diana V Photography

The Winter Garden at the Auckland Domain is a fantastic all-year engagement shoot location. No matter the weather you’ll be able to find lush botanical backdrops in the Victorian style glass houses that are bursting with an ever-changing display of spectacular plant species. The two courtyards open out onto a courtyard and sunken pool, and there is even a fernery in a sunken scoria quarry. 

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