Have you ever been on a black lava-sand beach with a massive rock right in the middle, rough sea, and awesome scenery? Then check out Piha Beach! It’s just 45 min by car from the Auckland city center.
Just head to the west through the beautiful Waitakere Ranges and you will find yourself in a fairy tale landscape.
The lush green of the exotic fern trees on the way warm you up for the exciting part where you suddenly come out of the forest.
Standing on top of the hill you can enjoy the awesome view down to the beach with the massive lion rock in the middle.
The little village Piha was the birthplace for surfing in New Zealand, when two Californian lifeguards started riding there in 1956. But beware of Piha’s rips and currents. They are dangerous for inexperienced swimmers or surfers. These rough conditions though, make up the charm of this beach.
Rugged cliffs to explore and climbing the majestic lion rock to enjoy a breathtaking view of the beach will give you a non-forgettable experience. If you are not so adventurous you could walk along the wide beach or lay in the sun watching the surfers.
If you get hungry you can just go to the parking lot where you will find a little snack bar with the best fish and chips around. Believe me, I had my dinner there and after a long day in the sun there is nothing better than a big portion of fish and chips.
When the high tide is coming back and the water is slowly rushing in, the beach is covered with a thin water film which makes a beautiful mirroring of the sky and the scenery.
When the sun goes down, walk up the lion rock and sit on the edge of the cliff to watch the sunset high above ground. With orange lit waves rushing on the shore and surfers out on the sea trying to catch the last waves of the day you could almost forget that you are only 40km away from the heart of Auckland.
Check out some more photographs from New Zealand in my gallery!
Copyright 2008 - Müller Gernot