I recently spent a mid-winter day at Cooks Beach with 3 children and they loved it here. Cooks Beach is a shallow, white sand, clear blue water beach with no surf, and it's perfect for families and young children. The estuary at the south end of the beach is fantastic fun for all ages & it's here were we spent most of our time while the kids played. Also great for river kayaking & paddling. For extra fun, drive 5 mins to Ferry Landing & leave the car while you take the little ferry across to Whitianga, and grab some fish & chips for a picnic in the park while the kids enjoy the great playground beside the harbour. Easy to do, cheap, & fun for all ages.