Only a 45-minute drive from the Auckland CBD, Piha Beach is a sight to behold. In this article, we take a look at some of the best things to do at Piha Beach in 2020.
A twisting drive through dense native bush has you feeling like you’re venturing far from civilisation, but round the last big bend and you’ll see the small community of Piha, bordering the ocean which stretches as far as the eye can see.
This quiet, cosy hub may just have it all; good food, great walks, a charming community spirit and one of the most unique and stunning beaches in New Zealand. There’s enough to do that you can easily spend a whole weekend in Piha, but if you aren’t sure where to start, here are 4 ideas.
Things to do at Piha Beach
1. Surf and Sand
A visit to Piha wouldn’t be complete without a walk on the beach. Featuring the West Coast’s famous black sand and the iconic Lion Rock, Piha Beach is small and wild.
Like nearby West Coast beaches Muriwai and Bethells, the surf is usually strong and weak swimmers are advised to take extra care.
If you’re a surfer looking for big waves, you’re bound to have a good time.
To the right of Piha Beach is North Piha, which is much longer than the former and flanked by huge bush-covered hills at the far end. This is the perfect spot for sunbathing, picnics and photo opportunities.
2. The Piha Food Scene
Piha’s food offerings are limited but exceptional. The Piha Cafe serves organic Fairtrade Kokako coffee, homemade pizzas, fresh baking and a range of delicious salads and cabinet food.
Next door at the Piha General Store, a range of on-the-go items are available for purchase, and guilt-free Nice Blocks provide a cooling snack in summer.
Down by the water, Murray serves fresh tacos, chips, rolled ice cream and delicious drinks. You won’t go hungry in Piha – just take your pick from the available food vendors.
3. Bush Walks
With tons of bushwalks at different difficulty levels in Piha, there’s something for everyone. If it’s a short walk with stunning views you’re after, a climb to the Piha Lookout is just the ticket.
If you want more of a challenge, try one of the longer walks that ventures deep into the bush above North Piha.
For a real workout, put on your hiking boots and head to Whites Beach. Wherever you choose to go, you’re bound to see vibrant native plants and trees, impressive ocean or stream views and plenty of birdlife.
Always check the Department of Conservation website for latest updates on tracks, as some are closed due to Kauri dieback.
Piha is home to the impressive Kitekite Falls, which is easily accessed by a brief nature walk.
The Kitekite Falls is 40 metres high and features six drops, which end in a large pool suitable for swimming. A lookout shortly before reaching the falls provides great views of this untouched setting. You can also climb up above some of the pools by straying from the main track.
For another breathtaking waterfall, make the drive to neighbouring Karekare, which has its own 30 metre horsetail waterfall.