Muriwai Beach is located on the rugged and relatively undeveloped west coast of the region around Auckland. Atmospherically if not physically far from the sights and sounds of New Zealand’s biggest city 42 kilometres north west, it offers visitors a wide, flat expanse of volcanic black sand. Part of a chain of continuous beaches running for around 50 kilometres, its name is said to mean ‘water’s end’.
Prevailing offshore breezes attract surfers most days, while you’ll often see paragliders hanging effortlessly above the scene on weekends. The Muriwai Surf School can provide lessons and rent out equipment. The beach is also a popular spot for sea anglers, although some places can be treacherous and you shouldn’t cast out a line without checking locally first.
Between September and April, the largest crowds come in the form of a chattering gannet colony of around 1000 individual birds which fly in from Australia for their own break. A short footpath leads to viewing platforms where they can be watched. Muriwai Beach also forms part of The Hilary Trail, a four-day ‘trampers’ path no serious walker is going to want to miss.
- Good fishing
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