Piha, Auckland’s Wild West Coast Beach
We spent so much time visiting beaches on our recent trip to New Zealand, which let’s face it, isn’t hard to do when they are everywhere. Most beaches in NZ consist of white sand, but on Auckland’s west coast you will find a small beach town called Piha, with a picturesque black sand surf beach.
The weather had taken a turn for the worst for a couple of days and I was feeling kinda irritated with the lack of summer sun, until my dad suggested we visit Piha beach, because it’s always good on an overcast day, giving it a moody feel to the area. It’s all very ‘La Push Beach’ for those Twilight fans amongst us ;o)
Piha is around a 40 minute drive from Auckland’s CBD, yet it seems like a world away when you’re standing on the black sand, with just the sound of the crashing waves, the chatter of the surfers and the buzzing of cicadas (very loud, flying insects if you’re wondering).
We arrived late morning and took a walk along the beach, exploring caves and rock pools, and watching surfers brave the choppy waves. The water isn’t the type for paddling, with strong currents, you’ll usually find a flagged safe swimming area patrolled by surf life savers which is always the smart option.
At one end of the beach is Lion Rock, which gives you amazing views over Piha if you walk to the top. We did exactly that, before driving over to the entrance to Kite Kite Falls. The track to the falls takes around twenty minutes and it’s a beautiful walk through native forest.
It was snack-o’clock by the time we returned from the falls so we made our way back down towards the beach, for Nice Blocks and an iconic Kiwi Lime Milkshake, TBND’s first and he’s officially hooked!
Windswept and rugged, Piha surprised me. I’d visited many years ago, so I knew I’d like it. I just wasn’t expecting to love it. Which I did. It’s so different to my other favourite white sand NZ beach spots, yet I could’ve stayed there for days, one one of the many beautiful beach houses, reading a book, taking a walk, and maybe even taking a surf lesson or two. It’s a special place, and one you should most definitely add to your must-visit list.