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.

Kitekite Falls

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.

Anawhata, Auckland West Coast, Auckland, Anawhata beach
Anawhata hid­den pools

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.

Bethells beach

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!

Muri­wai Beach

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.


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