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Published: October 19th 2012
After leaving Northland, we decided to head towards West Auckland and stay at Piha beach. The main reason that we wanted to come to this place was because it is where our travelling buddies Troy and Kylie (that we met in South America) call home. Unfortunately Troy was currently working in England and Kylie was away on business however we still wanted to check out this place that we had heard so much about from the pair of them.
On our way down in the van, we stopped off in a little town named Helensville where we thought we may have been able to get some information as to where we could stay when we got into the Piha and the Waitakere ranges. Unfortunately the friendly lady didn’t have much in the way of information about that area, however she made up for that by telling us everything and anything about Helensville and was one of the friendliest people we had come across so far. This is really saying something too as apart from all the wonderful places there are to go and see in NZ, the people really help to make it the amazing place we have already fallen
in love with.
One of the many things that the lady in the information place told us was that unfortunately we were out of season for seeing Gannets at the colony in Muriwai. Disappointed but not put off, we decided to head there anyway as apparently there were a couple of nice walks to do and a great beach that could be viewed from the top of some cliffs.
Having made the slight detour to Muriwai, we were rewarded with precisely as we were promised and we enjoyed a couple of short walks around a very windy cliff top. In exchange for Gannets we watched several crazy guys on the beach kite surfing and one complete nutter who actually looked like he was contemplating trying to surf the huge crashing waves of this windy beach. Rather him than me!
After our brief stop in Muriwai we headed for the visitors centre in the Waitakere ranges and searched for potential walks around the area. It seemed that we wasn’t going to have a problem finding any as we were given several possibilities ranging from a 10 minute walk on flat land to a 5/6 day monster tramp named
after NZ’s hero Edmond Hillary.
For the remainder of the day however, we just wanted to find the campsite we had heard about from Kylie in Piha and take a look around the place. Once there, we parked up and started to take a wander towards the beach. Along the way we got chatting to a friendly local who also gave us some tips about the area and even kept us up to date on some local gossip which is always nice! Having got to know more about Piha’s locals and politics, we then set off to climb Lion rock which is a huge rock island based on the beach where the views of the beach and the nearing sunset were fantastic.
After a great first day here in Piha, we settled in the van for the night, watched a film on the laptop and fell straight to sleep ready for some exploring and walking in the Waitakere ranges over the next few days.
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