As we said in our previous Auckland post, one of the thing that we enjoyed the most of living there is the location of the city, which is really near to beautiful places, you can easily escape the life in the city to go to a near beach and have a nice weekend trip.
From all the things that we did around Auckland what we definitely loved the most are the beaches on the west coast. The ones we visited are located at no more than 1 hour drive from the city, this black sand beaches are the perfect location to have a relax time and contact with the nature after a stressful week.
We both agreed that the west coast beaches of the north part of New Zealand give a very accurate representation of the beach you imagine to exist in this country. A huge beach sprinkled with black sand and surrounded by cliffs covered by a thick jungle.
On the way there you can observe better the nature and the trees that make the way down to the beach, you can notice lots of big ferns growing in the wild, making it a very pleasant drive.
These are popular beaches, especially on weekends when people use their free time to go there and have a family picnic, work on their tan or catch the perfect wave surfing, we are not trying to say that this are “crowded” beaches, but if you plan to go there you should expect to see people enjoying as well.
Whether you are going surfing or camping there (yes there are a camping areas around these beaches), we share with you the three of them that we liked the most.
The most dramatic and for sure our favourite from the list, a very popular surf location, maybe the most popular around Auckland, known for it’s big and sometimes dangerous waves,this is definetiley not the best place for beginners to go and try their luck for the first time. You also have surf lessons that you can find in the village just before coming into the beach if you are interested in learning surf.
When we visited piha beach it was a cloudy day, it actually rained for a couple minutes while we were going up to see the viewpoint of the Lion rock. We loved it, the mysterious aura the clouds gave to the cliffs, the colours of the rocks and the ocean, which by the way was agitated, made this stormy day the perfect one for our trip. We ended up completely wet and with several cool photos.
Found this beach by a recommendation of a host we stayed with in Auckland, when we arrived we quickly categorized the place as a family beach where people go together to have a nice weekend escape, we were a little mistaken, while yes, there is a lot of families you can also go as a couple or as a solo traveller and you will find this place amazing, covered with black sand this enormous beach extends a few kilometers, all the people usually just go straight ahead when they get there so the agglomeration of people concentrates in the middle, but you can walk right or left, either way you can find a rather peaceful and private spot where you can have a quieter time.
Popular surf spot, Muriwai is a relatively big beach where you can absolutely find enough space for everyone visiting the place to share the water and the black sand shore. You have a nice surf school with cool staff that will direct you to a part of the beach where there are easy waves for beginners to start practicing surf.
You can hike up the cliff through the marked track and watch the gannet colony in the rocks in front of you, we liked this spot for taking pictures, is well worth the way up.