Piha and Karekare
Piha and Karekare are the closest west coast beaches to Central Auckland.
Piha is short by west coast standards, but with large headlands at either end and Lion Rock in the middle, it is a huge sand trap. Low tide goes out a long way, exposing vast quantities of well-packed sand. Piha is the busiest beach in NZ! Still, there is not much of a clash as most pedestrians hang out on Little Piha, whereas Big Piha beach, north of Lion Rock, provides the best conditions for blokarting. Be aware, however, that you could have people around you all the time.
Karekare is very similar to Piha with its broad beach bounded by rocky headlands. It is much more secluded, with a good walk from the carpark down the estuary. Isolation and awe inspiring scenery are the rewards. Sunsets are particularly good from here.
How to get there
Click on the map for an enlargement.