Piha is a small area a little north of Auckland (less than 1 hour by car, if I remember it).
We took a very pretty rainforest walk here to Kite Kite falls (pictured).
The area is also not far from the famous West Coast beaches with their black sand....
It was all very nice and scenic.
On hot summer days, wear sandals or some footwear to protect your feet from the hot black sand. Only idiots try walking across it barefoot. The black sand is very fine and heavy due to its iron ore content. (Pick some up and feel the weight). Its colour causes it to get very hot in the sun, and its conductivity helps it to convey that heat to your feet.
GREAT beach, nice walks, and GREAT views.....:):)
10/10:):) (Good for taking photos)
West of Auckland, approx 1 hour + drive, is 'The Piano' country. Remember the movie? Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, HH in all her Victorian finery playing the piano on the beach. I can hear the Michael Nyman soundtrack as I write.....-:)
See separate page for more details
Piha is one of the most beautiful beach in Auckland and has a unique feature of a peak in the middle of the beach as you can see from the photo.
When I climbed up there sometime ago, I found a carved wooden Maori Statue there looking down at the surrounding areas. It give you a great view of the surrounding areas.
It's a surfing beach so the wind and surf can be quite strong. There is no cafe that I know of but there is a fish and chips shop selling drinks ,ice-cream, sausages near the main car park.
My recommendation buy some nice food and drinks in the city before you make the 30mins drive there.
If you have the time take a drive towards the west ,heading towards Kumeu where you can stop at a number of vineyards and head to Muriwai.
It is one of the nicest beach around and you get to see the Muriwai's gannet colony. It is a short walk from the beach car park to Takapu Wildlife refuge on Otakamiro Point. There are viewing platforms where you can get great views of the nesting birds.
Piha is Auckland's west coast beach and one of New Zealand's best surfing beaches. Only about 40 mins drive from the city, this beach is unique because of its black sand. There are bush tracks which lead to the Waitakere Ranges.
Our local West Coast Beach is great for some fresh air, a walk along this beach is fantastic! Always popular for swimming, surfing, picnicking and fishing but not as crowded as other West Coast Beaches. Please have a respect for the sea as when the surfs up rips work very well so remember always swim between the flags! This rugged West Coast location is also famous for quite a number of movies including some shoots from Lord of the Rings.... The cave also seems popular for many other movies!
To get you will need a car as there is no public transport, take Te Henga Rd off Scenic Dr Swanson then onto Bethells Rd, follow your nose, a great drive and day out!
My younger days being a local lifeguard at Piha has a lot of memories for me, but now Shirley & i enjoy just being here, wether it is just a walk along the beach, fishing, swimming, surfing or just having a good time hanging out, this is the place to come!! It is the hoast of many famous world surf competitions, including the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship. With it's ruggedness & beauty, would have to be one of the best west coast beach's in New Zealand. About a 45 minute drive from the CBD and worth it!. But do be carefull the rips are strong and unforgiving & the surf can get up to 20 foot plus!!!! i know!!!!!
If you were a fan of the scenery in the Jane Campion movie The Piano (with Holly Hunter) then head out to KareKare beach on Auckland's west coast. Its a beautiful spot, but the drive out can be a little hairy as some of the roads are gravel (not sealed).