If you are not heading north from Auckland, at least spend a day on west coast driving towards Piha Beach. Not only is it an introduction to the single lane, windy roads of New Zealand but you get to see some amazing waterfalls and beach views of the west coast of the North Island.
We left early in the morning and bet most of the traffic and was back in Auckland by early afternoon, basically because we were hungry and there was no where to purchase food on the day we visited (a Monday).
KARE KARE FALLS
After negotiating a single lane, windy road filled with blind corners, the falls are a short walk from the Kare Kare Beach carpark across the single lane bridge and up the road a little. In summer the pools would be an awesome cool down spot, and we had it completely to ourselves on our visit.
Kite Kite Falls
Back up the hill (going up the single lane is just as anxious as coming down) you are given the first view of Piha Beach. I personally think the view from above is better than from the beach itself. Just make sure it’s safe to pull over.
Just before you get to Piha Beach there is a turn off to Kite Kite Falls. It’s just under 3km loop which is on good tracks and paths with a couple of tricky sections to keep things interestin. What we weren’t prepared for were the steep inclines which will get the heart rate racing and result in a few days of saw legs.
Piha Beach was the end of the line for us, and the sweeping views are amazing, even on the windy gloomy day we visited. Lion Rock is the prominent focal point on the beach, would the beach be as epic without it?
There is a local café where you can grab some food to enjoy seaside which was the plan, however it wasn’t open during our visit so we didn’t stay long as the hunger started to hit.