Piha is a popular region of Auckland’s “wild” West Coast. The enormous Waitākare Mountain Range provides an excellent buffer from the light pollution of the city giving us an incredible galactic view. 

Piha’s high northern cliffs served as an important location in the history of Astronomy. Piha’s WW2 radar station contributed to the discovery of the “Norfolk Island Effect” and hosted the “Cosmic Noise Expedition” which began the science of Radio Astronomy. The discovery of Radio Astronomy allowed us to see beyond the “visible light” band of the electromagnetic spectrum.


Piha is a world famous as a surf beach that has resisted efforts at excessive development preserving it’s untamed spirit.  A local general store, an RSA restaurant, a bowls club pub, a host of holiday homes, and of course a surf lifesavers club complete this sheltered community. Piha is also a favourite destination for Aucklanders to take a special day trip. The elements are all present here, steep cliffs lean over the coast, clouds roll rapidly overhead toward the horizon, sunsets spread psychedelic rays reaching out into the immense Pacific ocean.


Those looking for a full day trip will find plenty to do including:


  • Climbing Te Piha “Lion Rock” [above] (allow for at least 30 mins)
    Take in the entire beach atop this ancient volcano plug.

  • Visiting the Kitekite Waterfall [below] (allow for at least 60 mins)
    Beautiful boardwalk through native forrest that leads to a picturesque scene for a picnic. Bring along togs and a towel for the whole experience.

  • Hiking the Mercer Bay Loop Track [below] (allow for at least 90 mins)
    Magnificent sea views all the way along the highest cliffs in Auckland. Visit the site of a bygone fortified marae. At low tide you can venture off the beaten path in search for the magical sea caves.