Judges Bay is located at the bottom of the Parnell Rose Gardens. Named after 3 magistrates who built houses there in early colonial days, it became a tidal lagoon in the 1920s following the construction of Tamaki Drive.

Having undergone a major replenishment project in 2011, the bay is a popular swimming spot featuring a small beach, jetty, pontoons and picnic tables. There is a also 1.6km walk covering the surrounding land taking you through the rose gardens past St Stephens chapel and up to Point Resolution.

Head there at high tide to make the most of this little inner city haven.

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One of Auckland City's secret (and very best) inner-city swim spots, Judges Bay is one of my favourite places to swim because it's got pool steps down into the water. After stripping down to your togs and then dipping your big toe in, you can walk like a lady into the water and transport yourself back to 1914 when the nearby salt water Parnell Baths were first built and when this little hidden gem of an inlet was at its most popular as a bathing spot. And if you're like me and love to have lots of fun in the water, there's also a wooden diving platform out in the bay that's perfect for doing bombs off. In the height of summer, the water in Judges Bay can sometimes become contaminated so it pays to check the Auckland Council website before taking a day out here in early January/February.

I love this place for the secret factor - it is hidden down an unsuspecting road in Parnell which you would not expect to reveal a beautiful bay whilst driving down it. There are huge trees for you to keep shaded and recently there has been some big sundeck type loungers put in onto some wooden decking just by the water for you to bask in the sun on. The pontoons are super fun to swim out to and relax and tan on with your friends, and the jetty is fun to jump off. This place is Auckland’s best kept secret! It is right by a train track and I love to smugly lay on a pontoon and stare at the people commuting past to work as I enjoy my university break.

Safe swimming spot close to the CBD. Another ‘slice of kiwi life’ as peeps of all creeds co-habitat on blankets, weaved flax mats and picnic tarps.

The weather is heating up and summer is nearly here, it’s time to pack the picnic basket and head to one of my favourite little spots, Judges Bay. Now don’t all head there at once because part of its charm is that it can be the middle of summer on a hot weekend day and you can be the only people there to soak up the sun. Sit on the grass and unpack that cheese and crackers, you may be here a while. Bliss.

I sadly only discovered this place towards the end of summer or I would of gone here every day. This place is just perfect - it’s slightly secluded. It is a bay as opposed to a beach which means it is quite muddy in the water which freaked me out a bit (i.e. a lot) but you get over that pretty quick once you swim out to the pontoons! There is a weird sense of achievement I get from swimming out to them, then getting to lay there and tan in the sun then swimming back onto the beach. Probably because I can barely swim. There is an eclectic mix of people here all the time including a guy taking his dog on a paddle board, an adorable little naked boy that wouldn’t leave us alone and a family of loud and boisterous Polynesians. All in all this is definitely a place anyone could enjoy.

Love this beach! Its such a beautiful location and has everything you could ever need! Theres 3 swimming platforms you can swim out to, bbq's for cooking up a feast, fresh water showers (to rinse off before the feast) and a beautiful park! I think one of the coolest things about it is that you can really go there in any weather cause its protected from the sea!

This is an awesome spot to come and chill as the sun goes down. Safe swimming and free BBQ’s make it a no brainer of a place to come and have a cheap afternoon/evening picnic.

Fish&chips and beer in judges bay. Perfect summer spot.