The west coast of Auckland stretches for miles and miles of unreal beauty. If you feel like a change from the blue sky and white sand of our east coast beaches, explore the untouched beauty of the wild west. Dan and Maggie Chierighini share their tried and tested hit list.
Auckland’s wild west is famous for its rugged beautiful coastline. The place where the Tasman Sea’s mighty surf crashes onto unique black sand beaches.
First Stop: Karekare
This spot hosts magnificent landscapes that have inspired filmmakers, writers and photographers. Made famous in 1993 by the Oscar winning movie The Piano. To top it all off, the Karekare Falls are just a short walk from the main beach.
Second Stop: Piha
Probably THE most famous beach in New Zealand. Renowned for its powerful surf, it’s also a great spot for nature lovers as it offers relaxing walks, swimming and great views from the top of the Lion Rock, a natural formation that divides North and South Piha beaches.
Near Piha, Kitekite Falls are one of the most popular falls in Waitakere Ranges. The falls have six drops into a large, lake-like pool at the bottom and accessible rock pools at the top. They can be reached by walking tracks at the end of Glen Esk Road.
Third Stop: Anawhata
One of the best-kept secrets in the area. Slightly north of Piha and south of Bethells, sits the unbelievably peaceful Anawhata Beach. Accessible via a 10 km gravel road that descends through the forest and out towards the coast, it’s the perfect place to just chill on the beach or maybe at the top of the lonely bench overlooking the beach, swim, explore the secret rock pools, or even head out for a surf. This beach was hands down our personal favourite.
Fourth Stop: Bethells
Also known as Te Henga, Bethells is a bit smaller and more sheltered than the other beaches, making it a great swimming spot. A short walk away you will find Lake Wainamu, an alternative and less rough spot to swim. If tramping is your thing you should venture out and do the famous Te Henga walk that is part of the Hillary Trail. The trek starts at Bethells and finishes at Muriwai and takes roughly 4 hours one way with amazing coastal views throughout the whole trek.
Fifth Stop: Muriwai
Pobably the easiest to access on this coast; it hosts a stunning coastline with cliff-top trails to a huge gannet colony with convenient viewing platforms that let you get up close. You can only see these amazing birds from August to March. The beach is unbroken for 50km and extends from Muriwai to the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour. It covers such a big area so there’s loads to do: surfing, paragliding, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and more!
You, Me & the Sea is a humble space in the cyber world where Dan and Maggie share their adventures, knowledge and photos of the around the world travels.