Long Bay features the Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve, part of which is a 1 km long swimming beach edging rural surrounds. There has been some controversy with proposals for building on the farmland near the beach.
There are a few scattered shops, but the nearest group of shops is in nearby Torbay. Long Bay has a primary school and a college. The urban area of Long Bay is very small and is generally considered to be part of Torbay, with the name Long Bay referring to the beach and park.
From Auckland, head north on State Highway 1 (Northern Motorway) and take the Oteha Valley Rd off-ramp. Turn right and follow Oteha Valley Rd to the traffic lights. Go straight ahead into Carlisle Rd and follow the AA signs through Torbay to Long Bay. The park access road leads off Beach Rd. Distance from Auckland CBD: 30 km.
From north of Auckland, use the same exit on the Northern Motorway continuing onto Oteha Valley Rd to your left.
From the west, State Highway 18 (Upper Harbour Drive) will connect to the Northern Motorway.
During the summer months of January and February, the beach is very busy and it can be extremely difficult to find parking nearby. It is advisable to arrive early to get parking, or to park further away and finish the journey by bus (see below).
Auckland Transport is the local bus operator.
There is ample parking in the park if you have a car, otherwise walking is the preferred method. There is a bus stop at the entry to the park, but buses do not operate within.
- Long Bay Regional Park. Pedestrians 24 hours; vehicles 6am-9pm. Long Bay Beach provides 1 km of white sand, safe swimming as well as a tree-lined park environment which makes it a popular family attraction. The sea off Long Bay is in the Long Bay-Okura Marine Reserve. Multiple park areas on the verge of the beach provide: playgrounds with equipment suitable for preschoolers and older children; flying fox; miniature ride-on train; restaurant; picnic and BBQ areas (which can also be booked for private functions via the Auckland Council) and walking tracks. The park and beach are monitored by park rangers who enforce park rules including dog exclusion areas, no fishing and no littering.
Park activities include: Boating, Diving, Dog walking, Kayaking, Orienteering, Paragliding, Picnics, Surfing, Swimming, Walks - nature and coastal.
There are no shops in the park, with exception of temporary ice cream stalls in summer. Torbay shops are just up the hill on Beach Road. For retail shopping, Browns Bay or the Albany Westfield are the closest.
- Long Bay Restaurant, Long Bay Regional Park, ☎ . One of Auckland's only beachside restaurants. Closed until late 2014 for renovation.
There are no places to buy drinks in the park, except Long Bay Restaurant. The nearest pubs are in Browns Bay.
- Vaughan Park, 1043 Beach Rd, ☎ . There are 18 single and 10 twin share rooms. Rooms are within four lodges and an Thomas Vaughan Lodge accommodation wing. Each opens to a courtyard or garden and provides a desk, comfortable chair, hand basin and wardrobe. The lodges also provide a lounge, kitchenette and quality bathroom facilities. Additional people can be accommodated as day guests.
There are no internet facilities available at the park, but there are various scattered phone booths available for personal use (at cost) or for emergency calls (free).
If the tide is out, it is possible to walk around the rocks to the south to Waiake Beach, continuing to Browns Bay. Those who are especially keen can take this route all the way to Takapuna.