The other day we decided to go for a drive to Piha Beach, a gorgeous beach with rough waters, where they previously recorded the New Zealand version of Bondi Rescue. Famous for being a surf beach, don’t despair if you want to go there without any surf skills.
As a non-surfer myself (many years ago I managed to catch waves and do very basic turns, but a lack of training for the past decade I would say that my skills are non-existing at the moment), I decided to compile a list of five things you can do at Piha Beach if you don’t surf!
1. Enjoy the scenery
The landscape is absolutely stunning, and the drive there is breathtaking. It’s amazing that this place is only one hour (approx. 37km) from the city!
The sand on Piha Beach and along much of the west coast is black, due to the nearby volcanoes, which is pretty cool to see.
2. Climb up to Lion Rock
Lion Rock is an eroded 16-million-year-old volcanic formation, iconic for Piha Beach. From the beach you can follow some stairs up, and get some gorgeous views over both north and south Piha Beaches.
You can no longer climb to the top as it is deemed to dangerous, but you still get fantastic views from where you are allowed to go.
3. Look at the sea life
At least when we were there, we could see heaps of star fish and shell fish.
4. Go for a swim
Piha is well-known for having rough waters and strong currents, which is why it is so famous for surfing. If you decide to go for a swim be sure to do so between the flags, and listen to instructions from the lifeguards. On average 150-200 people are rescued at Piha each year, with some of it being captured in the reality TV show Piha Rescue (which now however have stopped production).
5. Take surf lessons
And look, if you don’t want to feel left out when your buddies go surfing you can of course also take surfing lessons from any of the local surfing schools in Piha. I didn’t try any of them so I can’t recommend either of them, but a quick search on Google gives you plenty of options if you wish to head out and learn how to catch some waves. Have fun! 😃