The road descending down into Piha village is very steep from its apex the expanse of Piha bay is visible with Lion Rock the prominent feature set in the middle of the beach. Just an hours drive over twisting roads climbing up out of Auckland’s suburbs, Piha is reached by the Piha Road which traverses the mountainous Waitakere Range on New Zealand’s western coastline.
We have taken the Scenic drive road stopping at the Arataki Visitor Centre on the way. This is the rugged side of the North Island, so close to Auckland, the west coast is a quick escape for people from Auckland to the coastline, this side of the Island is however often bashed by strong winds and rain. The Arataki Visitor Centre is the starting point for a number of walks along the coast and provides information for the whole area. Outside the visitors centre we stand on the viewing platform overlooking the forested hills framing the river estuary of Symonds Bay in the distance.
Facing out into the Tasman Sea, Lion Rock. We wander along the shoreline breathing in the fresh air, blowing in off the sea. The black sand is so hot under our feet it’s better to keep our shoes on to prevent them burning.
Check out the visitors website : Arataki Visitor Centre, Scenic Drive / Arataki Visitors Centre
Where : Piha Beach, New Zealand.
Travelling : Take the twisty narrow Scenic Drive Road up to Arataki Visitors Centre from Aucklands eastern suburb Hillsbourgh , then onto the wider Piha Road over the Waitakere Range and down the steep decent into Piha village. Only really an hours drive from Auckland.
Camping : Piha Domain Motor Camp. A short walk to the beach, Lion Rock is visible from the campsite. Very relaxed, off the beaten track, Piha is Auckland’s stress getaway.
Ice cream : Blair’s on the Beach, Piha
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