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West Coast Beaches

Black-sand beaches & surf

Sun Down Piha

There’s a stunning line-up of black-sand West Coast beaches that are all within easy reach of Auckland for a daytrip if you have your own wheels. If you only have time to visit one, head to Piha Beach (this entry’s map location). From south to north:

  • Karekare Beach - this undeveloped beauty is known for strong surf and rips. Don’t swim unless the lifeguards are out. Accessed by Karekare Rd, signposted off Piha Rd.

  • Piha Beach - well-known surf beach, popular with Aucklanders escaping the city; dangerous enough that it has its own reality TV show called Piha Rescue. Swim between the flags at this rugged, ruly beach. Accessed on Piha Rd.

  • Te Hanga / Bethells Beach - this windswept beach offers the Te Henga Walkway, which links it with Muriwai Beach.

  • Muriwai Beach - this black-sand beach is popular with surfers, parapenters and hang-gliders. There are a number of short walks, including to the Takapu refuge Gannet Colony.

You’ll want your own wheels to get to any of these.

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West Coast Beaches


Out West

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by Kiwi Flickr