Last Saturday started overcast with rain in the morning, undeterred, we thought we’d head out West of Auckland to Piha? Why, somebody, somewhere at some point since we arrived, said it was ‘nice’.

NICE? It was awesome, awe inspiring, amazing, I could go on…! Even better, the sun came out in its full glory!

Piha, is about 30-40 minutes drive from where we live in Campbells Bay on the North Shore (see location of Piha here: http://www.wises.co.nz/l/piha/#c/-36.851604/174.738235/11/), and situated on the Tasman Sea coast, to the north of Auckland’s massive Manukau harbour. To get there, you also have to drive through another wonder of the North Island (one of the many) , the Waitakere Ranges a chain of hills about 15 miles long running North to South, and situated to the West of Auckland.

These are the views that greeted us, as we started to descend towards Piha. The big rock in the middle is Lions rock, with South Piha beach to Lion Rock. North Piha beach is visible beyond.

Once we got to the beach, here are the views that greeted us (apologies, but I think the pictures are better doing the talking in this instance – they speak for themselves)! The waves were of epic proportion and the cliffs were huge, and these photos do not convey the enormitity of everything around us. Everything was humongous (consider the the cliffs and rocks being several storeys high).

Liz and I had a lovely relaxing day here, reading, paddling, and just taking in the views.

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And here  is a pic the lovely Mrs. E having fun in the waves! I love this pic, it shows what NZ does for us.

Piha has pretty dangerous rip currents, which pull unsuspecting swimmers out to sea  – in fact Piha beach is reknown for being the most dangerous beach in NZ (it’s okay, we were sensible….(ish). The signs to the beach, were pretty blunt in explaing the dangers (see below). As a result, there is a lifeguard station which keeps an eye out on everyone. The same lifeguard station is documented in a reality show over here – Piha Rescue, but also in the UK (I remember seeing it once before we arrived – and thought it was in Oz, oops).

At the end of the day we came home rejuvenated and refreshed. We had both started the day feeling pretty tired – but there was something about being on this beach which made us feel very alive and invigorated.

So, Yeehah to Piha – definitely, a must-do if you are ever in NZ. We’ll be back, next time, with body boards and The Spaniel!

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