The beauty of residing in Auckland is the ability to experience the city vibes of New Zealand’s largest metro and its main attractions. A variety of shopping and dining options are available for city seekers in search of a easy going nightlife, cafes and live music. But there’s more to Auckland than the cosmopolitan city that its known for. The major hub is within driving distance to stunning beaches and scenic hikes all within an hour or two. If you are in need of an escape from the city, here are three west coast beaches that we highlight recommend!
Piha is a scenic black-sand surf beach on the rugged west coast of Auckland. There are several walks through forests in the surrounding hills and numerous places on the beach for the perfect afternoon lunch. For those with an adventurerous spirit, be sure to climb the Lion Rock, a small island that stands directly in the middle of the beach for a breathtaking view.
Bethel is said to be a cozier, more intimate beach however we thought the very opposite considering the hidden beaches within a beach. The sand begins well before reaching the waterfront as a robust stream leads you to the sea. When the tide is low, walk around the cliff to discover another beach front that is rarely occupied by beach goers. A little further up the hill, a walking trail brings you to a popular Wests coast surfing and fishing spot called O’Neill Beach which can only be reached on foot from Bethells. Since surfers are busy catching the waves, you will have no trouble having the secluded beach to yourself. It may be worth noting that there are no facilities because sunbathers rarely visit this part of the beach and you should exercise caution as it is not patrolled. If you’d like to take a swim, be sure to stick to the patrolled parts of Bethells and you should be fine.
While KiteKite isn’t necessarily a beach, it is easily accessible from Piha campgrounds if you decide to turn your trip into a two-day getaway.The walking trail to Kitekite Falls is the first taste of the Waitakere Ranges which combine wildlife, coastal views and native forests. At the beginning of the trail, from the parking area, follow the Glen Esk Stream towards the falls. The trail, consisting of loose gravel and dirt, is a scenic hike- suitable for reasonable fitness levels with benches along the way to catch your breath. As you descend to the base of the falls, be sure to watch your step as it can be a bit slippery as the rocks serve as a makeshift staircase. Once at the falls, take in the beauty of your surroundings! You may be tempted to jump into the lagoon for a quick swim but as we soon found out, you may spot an eel or two like we did, changing your mind altogether.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of beautiful beaches that are guaranteed to unleash your inner beach bum. Watch our breathtaking day trip with new friends on our YouTube channel!