The weather in Auckland is grey and cold, but I recharged my energy thanks to a little escape to Piha Beach, one of New Zealand most famous surf beach (at least according to their website), Piha Beach definitely will struck you with an amazing outlook out on the ocean, beautiful black sand and stunning and powerful waves.
We drove about 50 minutes from Auckland to get to this corner of paradise, situated 39km out of the city, on the west coast of New Zealand. The drive is all right, the street goes up quite some hills and then down to the coast line, is quite a winding street, and many cars will cross the line on the sharpest turns, so drive slow and pay attention at least the first time (sorry, dad mode off now).
Once you get on Piha road you keep following it for around 15km and just before the last settlement on, just on the beach, there is a crossing that brings you to different sides of the beach. Take a left turn (Beach Valley rd) you go to the main surf area (at least it looked like it today), just in between Lion Rock and Taitomo Island, probably the bigger settlement of the area, and with access to the Tasman lookout (didn’t make it there today because it started raining and we drove back). If you keep straight you are on Seaview rd and then Marine Parade, with a really long beach that is part of the Waitakere Rangers Regional Park. It’s a black and long strip of sand, nice for a walk and to breath in the ocean spray. From here, on a low tide you can access the stairs to climb on the Lion Rock, a landmark of great importance to the Te Kawerau a Maki People (see the pic –>). There aren’t many steps to do and the view going up is really nice. From here you can spot surfers in the water, you can enjoy the massive waves breaking on both side of the rock and the strong and refreshing (or freezing, I guess it depends on the season) wind. On the highest point you can reach, a statue guards the sacred land of Lion Rock.
The rain stopped our exploration, but we’ll be back to Piha Beach soon, hopefully with surfboard and wetsuit!