Top things to do in Piha!
Piha is one of the most rugged and picturesque beach towns found on the West Coast of Auckland. Made famous for it’s wild surf, rugged and dramatic coastline, family-friendly walks, hipster vibe and a plethora of natural gems, Piha makes for a perfect getaway.
To help you plan this adventure, we’ve put together a Piha itinerary including the five must-do’s…
How to get to Piha from Auckland
First, let’s discuss how to get to Piha from Auckland. Don’t worry, it’s pretty easy, making Piha all the more appealing for your next getaway. A 45-minute drive from Auckland CBD will bring you through the lush Waitakere Ranges and over the hill to Piha.
The ride there has plenty of scenic stop-offs for photo opportunities and will be a real contrast to the concrete jungle of the Auckland CBD. If your keen to stay in the bustling metropolis of Auckland, check out our free things to do in Auckland article here.
What to do in Piha
There are five quintessential things that you must do in Piha to ensure that you get the full experience.
Go surfing & catch some waves
Piha surf is world renowned. So it’s no surprise that there will pretty much always be surfers out if the swell is decent. But surfing in Piha is not just for the experienced. It’s a great place to take some lessons from the locals, where you can do either private sessions or group lessons. Piha Surf School will hook you up with all the equipment you need, along with the perfect instructor for your day out on the waves.
Eat some really good food
is an absolute must for brekkie or lunch. Offering a range of delicious plated meals, along with a range of cabinet foods and super-charged smoothies to get you through the day. In our opinion, nothing goes better with a day of surf and sand than their craft beer and pizza.
Get Food at Piha Cafe
Surely, after a long day of surfing, hiking, and gazing into the sky, it helps to have a great place to grab a meal like Piha Cafe. Piha Cafe has outdoor seating and is accessible for those in wheelchairs.
Their menu includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. So, all are welcome! They only serve breakfast, lunch, and brunch, so that is something to keep in mind when travelling to Piha Beach for the day!
Picnic on the Beach
A trip to Piha Beach is a quiet escape from the metropolitan city of Auckland, and many visitors travel there to return to some kind of inner peace. One popular activity when visiting Piha is to pack a delicious, homemade picnic that can be eaten on the beach’s black sands.
While there are more vigorous things to do in Piha, sometimes all one needs is to sit back and relax. Eating food, being around company, or taking in the strong currents of the coast might just be the simplest yet most meaningful thing to do.
Enjoy the Sunrise and Sunset
Piha Beach is known for its views, particularly when the sun is rising or setting. The colours of the sky are jaw-dropping with different shades of orange, pink, and red. These views can be enjoyed either right from the black beach or at other spots, such as Lion Rock or the lookout on your drive by or from the beach.
A lovely sunset is a perfect way to end the day at Piha Beach and will leave you eager to come back for more. What’s more, Pina Beach is an ideal destination for stargazing!
Chase some waterfalls
Hike to Kitekite Falls
Since the West Auckland beach is a part of the Waitakere Ranges, one of the top things to do in Piha Beach is to trek its many hiking trails and see astonishing views of nature. One spot, in particular, that is a must-visit is Kitekite Falls. It is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by greenery. This peaceful refuge can make you feel at one with nature and has become one of the most famous waterfalls in the Waitakere Ranges.
Kitekite Falls is about a 40-minute walk along the trails to get to this destination. Still, it’s worth every second of the hike! If you want to continue your adventure, you can check out other trails within the forest or even enjoy a nice, long walk on the beach right along the water. With so much greenspace, it will be up to you how little or how much you want to explore.
itekite Falls – the perfect place to cool off on a hot day out and about in nature.
Go for a hike
Kitekite Falls isn’t the only must-do walk. There are a whole range of excellent Piha walks that are not to be missed! Whether it be a leisurely stroll along the beachfront or a half-day hike through the Waitakere Ranges, you won’t be short of options to get your steps in. Be sure to check out the Mercer Bay Loop for some epic coastal scenes!
Check Out the Art at West Coast Gallery
West Coast Gallery is a place where community is emphasised. This quaint art gallery holds multiple events and exhibitions throughout the year. Since 2000, the West Coast Gallery has showcased and sold more than 200 works by local artists.
These creators are based in the Auckland area and play a significant role in building community spirit. What could be better than supporting a local artist after a day of taking in the beauty Piha Beach has to offer?
Climb Lion Rock
Lion Rock is one of New Zealand’s most remarkable natural landmarks. The volcanic rock was known to the Te Kawerau ā Maki tribe as Te Piha. It gets its English name thanks to the formation resembling a lion’s profile lying down in the middle of the Tasman Sea.
Those visiting Piha Beach are able to climb Lion Rock and will be amazed by the stunning views that are high up.
However, since Lion Rock has a rockfall issue, visitors cannot travel all the way up the landmark. As tempting as climbing the rock might seem, it is best to avoid doing so as there is the potential for injury.
Still, it only takes about ten to 15 minutes to walk as high up as people are allowed. There is a lookout on the road to Piha Beach for more gorgeous scenery that offers excellent views. As well, you can see numerous plaques at the base, some of which date to the two world wars.
Sand, surf and jaw dropping scenic walks – what are you waiting for? Piha has everything you’d want for a Kiwi holiday! Check out our Piha holiday homes and start planning now!