Aucklanders are some of the most fortunate urban dwellers in the world because of their city’s proximity to beaches and natural sites. At any point in time when an Aucklander feels nauseated with the skyscrapers, bustling traffic and unlimited flow of commuters, they can hop into a car and drive their way to a countryside destination or a beach.

One of their favorite destinations – Piha Beach, which is not your typical white or golden sandy paradise. Located on the west coast region of Auckland, Piha possesses the rare black sand, but believe us when we say that this makes this beach more distinct and special. The dark hue is a result of a volcanic eruption on Lake Taupo, thousands of years ago.

The majestic beauty of Piha Beach, New Zealandn photo courtesy of Janice Pasila

The majestic beauty of Piha Beach, New Zealandn
photo courtesy of Janice Pasilan

 

People who are looking for some weekend fun are not the only ones drawn to Piha. Avid surfers also flock to the beach for its powerful rips coming from the Tasman Sea. For surfing fanatics, they will forever regard Piha as the place where Malibu board riding was introduced to the world in 1956. Why the name Malibu instead of Piha, well the sport was actually the invention of two lifeguards from California USA. Nonetheless, the surfing tradition on Piha Beach will always shine bright for years to come. However, the beach is not ideal for surfing novices as the rips can be too powerful and wild.  That is why, it is also important for swimmers to take extra precaution, and to always swim in safe areas.

The prominent Lion Rock guarding the coast

The prominent Lion Rock guarding the coast
photo courtesy of Janice Pasilan

Piha with its huge swells, rugged limestone cliffs, is like a fairy gone rogue and wild, but nonetheless remains beautiful and haunting. The Waitakere Range, a regional forested park provides the background for Piha, perfecting the look of the beach; great enough to be the setting of the popular New Zealand T.V. show:  Piha Rescue.

Travel Guide: Piha Beach, New Zealand

Strolling on Piha Beach relaxes the mind
photo courtesy of Janice Pasilan

Travel Guide: Piha Beach, New Zealand

The haunting beauty of Piha Beach
photo courtesy of Janice Pasilan

A relaxing stroll on Piha Beach rejuvenates the mind and calms the spirit. Despite being close to a metropolis, Piha gives off a vibe that is exactly the opposite. It is relaxing and serene with no large grand resorts dominating the natural scenery. What you will notice near the beach is a small and friendly community. Amenities like toilets, picnic and campgrounds are available. There are also a couple of shops, restaurants and cafes near the beach, but don’t expect them to be as built-up as the beaches in the Caribbean. The common accommodation options in the area are simple lodges, whose design blends well with the surroundings.

Travel Guide: Piha Beach, New Zealand

Love on Piha Beach, New Zealand
photo courtesy of Janice Pasilan

After sun bathing, beach strolling and swimming, consider other activities that will keep you active and happy while in Piha. Some of the favorites include fishing, and hiking various tracks, including those that lead to natural attractions like the Waitakere forests, Kitekite Falls and Pararaha Valley. The Beach of Piha is only about a 50-minute drive from the New Zealand capital of Auckland, and can be reached via the Twin Coast Discovery Route. The drive to the beach is quite picturesque as you will be cruising through the West Coast, getting ample views of the gorgeous Waitakere Ranges.

Travel Guide: Piha Beach, New Zealand

Footprints on the Piha Beach sand
photo courtesy of Janice Pasilan

Finding the best room near Piha. Suggestions.

Since many tourists visiting Piha Beach tend to visit as a day trip from Auckland, you will have to make a decision as to whether you want to stay in the city or near the beach. Regardless, try to use a large, reputable room provider to read over verified guest reviews and the location of the available properties prior to booking.  Here are a few examples:

www.hotelscombined.com – this is our favourite price comparison site.  Sure to save you cash over an extended trip to New Zealand.  Here are links to their price comparison searches for rooms near Piha and in Auckland:

 Price Comparison – rooms near Piha                    Price Comparison – rooms in Auckland

www.agoda.com – this is one of the largest booking sites in the world.  They have almost 400 properties listed in Auckland and the surrounding area.  Here is a link to their properties in this region of New Zealand:

Rooms in/near Auckland – www.agoda.com

www.booking.com – this site is perfect if you’r booking rooms in advance. They have superb cancellation policies, meal options and customer service.  Great if you want to secure discounted, free-cancellation rooms early. Please see the link below to their property list:

Rooms in/near Auckland – www.booking.com