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Located on the western coast of the Waitakere Ranges, 40 kilometres from Auckland, the dramatic Piha Beach is framed by looming cliffs and subtropical rainforest. The village of Piha is small, consisting of just a library, camping grounds, a shop and a café. During the holidays, visitors flock to the area, meaning that accommodation, whether in the form of a B&B or a pitch in the local campsite, is at a premium, so it's best to book well in advance if you plan to visit during these periods. As you might expect, there aren't many dining options in Piha, but Henderson Valley, with its vineyards and restaurants, is just a short drive away.
Piha Beach, often referred to as the country's most famous surf beach, is where Malibu board riding was first introduced to New Zealand by two visiting Californian lifeguards. There is a local surf school that will introduce you gently to the local waves. Be warned – the surf can be quite wild here, so you are encouraged to stick to patrolled areas and check with local clubs before heading out onto the waters.
If you're more comfortable on solid ground, there are a variety of walking trails along coastal headlands and through the nearby rainforest. While here you can take the opportunity to wander amid the area's ancient kauri trees, once threatened by logging activities. Make sure to pack your camera and swimming gear if you're heading for Kitekite Falls. The water of the falls tumbles down 40 metres over the course of 3 tiers and makes for a wonderfully picturesque photo opportunity.
The easiest way to access Piha Beach is by car, with a scenic drive through the Waitakere Ranges. It's advisable to make a pit stop at Titirangi along the way as there are no petrol stations in Piha.
It's worth giving yourself lots of time at Piha Beach. Below are some of the top activities:
When planning your trip, you might want to consider buying a Full-Day Piha and Waitakere Small Group Tour from Auckland and a Full-Day Piha and Waitakere Tour with Surf Lesson, Auckland.
If you'd like even more activities, take a look at our Auckland things to do page.
Situated by the ocean, this hostel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Piha Surf School and Piha Beach. Waitakere Ranges and Karekare Beach are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated in Piha, this beach apartment building is 0.8 mi (1.4 km) from Piha Surf School and 2 mi (3.2 km) from Piha Beach. Waitakere Ranges and Karekare Falls are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Situated by the ocean, this holiday home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Bethells Beach and within 12 miles (20 km) of Waitakere Golf Club and Babich Wines. Kerr Farm Wine is 12.2 mi (19.7 km) away.
Situated by the sea, this guesthouse is within 9 miles (15 km) of Bethells Beach, Waitakere Golf Club and Kerr Farm Wine. Babich Wines and Soljans Estate are also within 12 miles (20 km).
Situated in Waiatarua, this holiday home is within 9 miles (15 km) of Waitakere Ranges, Trusts Stadium and Waitakere Golf Club. Karekare Beach and Piha Surf School are also within 9 miles (15 km).
Situated in Swanson, this apartment building is 2 mi (3.3 km) from Waitakere Golf Club and within 6 miles (10 km) of Babich Wines and Trusts Stadium. Bethells Beach and Soljans Estate are also within 9 miles (15 km).
Situated in Waiatarua, this bed & breakfast is within 12 miles (20 km) of Waitakere Ranges, Auckland Zoo and Piha Beach. Trusts Stadium and Waitakere Golf Club are also within 12 miles (20 km).
Situated in Henderson, this bed & breakfast is 3 mi (4.9 km) from Trusts Stadium and within 9 miles (15 km) of Auckland Zoo and Waitakere Golf Club. Unitec Institute of Technology and Western Springs Park are also within 9 miles (15 km). Henderson Sturges Road Station is 25 minutes by foot.