From the tranquillity of the inland forest of the Waitakere Ranges you will witness the raw power of pounding surf on Piha Beach, situated on Auckland’s West Coast.
Rugged majestic cliffs are on either side of the iconic Lion Rock which juts out from the black sand, between Piha and North Piha beaches. People who climb Lion Rock will have spectacular views in all directions.
There are several cafés close to the beach if you just want to relax, get a drink and a bite to eat, there is also a very good art gallery close by that sells local art and has exhibitions regularly. The laid-back seaside village of Piha is just 45 minutes drive from Auckland’s CBD.
At Ihumâtao, north of Auckland International Airport there is an ancient Kauri forest that was buried by tuff from the Maungataketake volcano which erupted thousands of years ago.
The fossilised forest has since been hollowed out by wave action from the Manukau Harbour and is now exposed at low tide. In the mudflats you will see the remains of these huge kauri trees, and other fossilised tree trunks are clearly visible standing upright in the adjacent eroding cliffs.
It is well worth a look if you are staying close to the airport and it is easily accessible at low tide.