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Nestled along the eastern part of the South Head peninsula at the bottom of a forested area (Shelly Beach Reserve), the waters of this beach are part of the Kawau Parua Inlet. There has a concrete pier leading to a square platform that is used for fishing (you will need to be extra careful as there are no rails, especially as it can get very windy). You will get a full 360 degree view of the area from here. There is also a boat ramp if you want to go fishing on your own boat.
Swimming is not recommended in this beach since water currents can be very strong.
The Shelly Beach Jetty cafe is the only cafe located at the beachfront and offers a nice view of the sea. The menu includes coffee, fish and chips, burgers, mussel fritters, salads and pies. Since this is a licensed cafe, take a sip of your favourite wine or a beer while watching the birds feeding on a low tide, or people walking or fishing.
There is plenty of parking near the beach. A little further down the road, there is a campsite where you can park your campervan. You will need to contact the reception of the cafe for keys to the parking spot. There are public toilets and shower facilities.
In front of the campsite is a small playground for children. There are two coin operated barbeques and a wooden table for you to sit down and enjoy your own food. However, you will need to come here prepared as there are no shops in the area. The closest shops are at the Parakai town about 18 mins drive or 20 km from the beach. This small town lies on your way to the beach if you are coming from the usual route of Parkhurst Rd from Helensville or Kumeu.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous, on your way back from the Shelly Beach Rd, turn right at the South Head Rd and head north for 25 mins (22 km) to have a look out of the Mosquito Beach. Along the rural landscapes past deer and cow farms, the countryside drive is worth a go if you have come this far. The last 7-8 kilometers are unsealed and winding. If you are lucky, you will encounter some peacocks crossing the road during the last 2-3 kms.
You will need your own car to get here as there is no public transport.
Shelly Beach Rd, Auckland WestView Larger Map