Looking for a day trip destination with spectacular views when in Auckland? Look no further then Piha. Piha, the settlement and beach, are along the wild, rugged west coast of the North Island just west of the CBD. It’s a popular tourist and local destination for those in the city, especially in the summer months. It’s a scenic, winding and narrow ride over.
You’ll see Piha’s beauty as you reach the settlement and beach from up in the hills.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the natural formation known as Lion Rock. It separates North and South Piha Beach. The rock resembles a large male lion and you can climb it to get great views. Lion Rock is the remains of a volcano which erupted sixteen million years ago.
The beach and settlement sit along the Tasman Sea remotely within the Waitakere range. Its sand is black consisting of iron of volcanic origin. Its the most popular and famous place to surf in New Zealand due to the large waves, having hosted domestic and international competitions over the years. Swimming is not advised due to those hard waves.
Piha Beach and Lion Rock is a scenic destination along the Tasman Sea. It’s definitely worth a day trip when in Auckland. What beaches have you been in awe with over the view? What beaches would you recommend seeing in New Zealand?
Posted in day trip, New Zealand, Road Trip, travel
Tagged Auckland, beach, Lion Rock, New Zealand, North Island, Piha, Piha Beach, surfing, Tasman Sea
Just west of Auckland along the wild, rugged coast on the North Island is Te Henga (Bethells Beach). It sits where the Waitakere River flows into the Tasman Sea. The Maori named this beach Te Henga for the way the sand dunes are shaped.
It’s a bit of a walk to the beach and sea from the parking area. As your walking you’ll notice the volcanic sand right away. The beach sand gets its color from the black titanomangenite in the volcanic rocks that are carried by the coastal currents. When your walking you’ll see sand dudes along with quicksand danger signs. Wasn’t going to see if it really was quicksand and kept moving. 🙂
As soon as you reach the beach and coastline you’re in awe.
It was a quiet summer afternoon during the week, but this is the time of year when people from Auckland flock to the area. It’s near the big city, but has the feeling of being remote. Taking windy, narrow roads to get to it adds to the feeling of going somewhere secluded.
Surfing is the most popular activity here. When swimming do so between the flags as the waters are a little rough. There are lifeguards in the summer months.
I became fascinated with all the green clams along the beach.
Some additional travel tips for planning a visit there: There are no gas stations in Bethells Beach so plan accordingly. Also, cell phone service is virtually non-existent.
It was a great afternoon trip over to Te Henga (Bethells Beach). It’s definitely a recommended stop when in and around Auckland. What coastal spots do you like around Auckland? In New Zealand?
Posted in New Zealand, Road Trip, travel
Tagged Auckland, beach, Bethells Beach, New Zealand, North Island, surfing, Tasman Sea, Te Henga, volcanic sand