Piha Beach, Auckland New Zealand virtual tour - Accommodation and hotel booking, NZ tourism, travel, vacation and holiday information.

Auckland Beaches: Piha

Piha, Lion Rock
Piha: The surf rolls in around Lion Rock, once crowned by the Whakaari pa. - Gerri Eller/NZ.Com 1998

The dramatic Piha lagoon is a traditional retreat for city people.

Centrestage is the hulk of Lion Rock, once a key pa from which the Kawerau people defended the shoreline. They named the beach for the way the waves break around the rock. You can still mount your own assault on the summit up the steep track around the rockface.
Piha, Child at play
Piha: Casper makes a break for the surf. - Gerri Eller/NZ.Com 1998

A lazy seaside settlement has grown up here, and there are stunning walks through the encircling hills.
Piha, Family exploring rockpools
Piha: Phoebe and Heeni with Dad in the rockpools. - Gerri Eller/NZ.Com 1998

In heavy seas the surf erupts through gaps in the rocks to the south, and the water has worn a theatrical, keyhole-shaped fissure through one outcrop.
Piha, Surfing
Piha: Boogie boarders at play in the Keyhole. - Gerri Eller/NZ.Com 1998


The Way

60 minutes drive from central Auckland. From the suburb of Glen Eden take West Coast Road and turn right onto Scenic Drive. Turn left onto Piha Road. The option is through Titirangi to Scenic Drive and Piha Road.

Nearby

The Arataki Visitors Centre provides maps, advice and education on the walks, natural and historic attractions in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. The park takes in Karekare and Piha, but the centre can also help people heading for Bethells-Te Henga or Muriwai. On Scenic Drive, 5kms outside Titirangi. Phone 09 817-8470.

The region's parks are administered by the Auckland Regional Council. Check out their site at www.arc.govt.nz for basic information, and reservations for camp and picnic sites, and guided walks. Or phone Parksline on 09 303-1530

There's info about vineyards, adventure tours, arts and crafts and other attractions on the way to the beach at Enterprise Waitakere. Phone 09 837-1855 weekdays. Check out Waitakere City happenings at www.waitakere.govt.nz..

Near Piha, Rose Hellaby House displays artefacts from the coast's Maori and settler past, and there are spectacular views back across the Waitakeres to the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours. Rose, who donated the former guest-house, was known for her generous nature and for mixing killer cocktails. On Scenic Drive, 1km beyond the Piha turnoff Check the Visitors Centre for opening hours.

If sun and surf don't chill you out completely, try yoga at Piha. On every Saturday and daily in high summer. Phone Melodie on 09 812-8652.

Reading Up

A great new guide to the Auckland region includes in-depth coverage of the western coast: all laid out in a series of walks to key places. "A Field Guide to Auckland Exploring the Region's Natural and Historic Heritage" is by Cameron, Hayward and Murdoch (Godwit Press). There are plans to make it available through www.amazon.com shortly.

Weather and Surf

There are MetService forecasts at the metservice website  and on 0900 999-09. Check out surf conditions and happenings at www.surf.co.nz or on 0900 99-777.

Creature Comforts

All beaches offer patrolled swimming in summer, surfing, fishing, walks, picnic and byo barbecue spots, toilets and parking. Piha and Muriwai are more developed than the other beaches, and there are basic shops and motorcamps. Muriwai also has a built-in barbecue site and an environmental history display.


A caution: These beaches are inviting but rough. Be careful in the water and on the rocks - see The Rules.



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