Piha beach

Photos

Piha beach
Photo: © Fyletto
Lion Rock, Piha beach
Surfers at Piha beach
Photo: © Simon Clancy / CC BY
Wave at Piha beach
Photo: © Avenue / CC BY

Video

Video

Piha is possibly New Zealand's best known beach and for good reason. Not only is the scenery stunning but this is the birthplace of surfing in New Zealand. In addition, Piha is less than an hour's drive from the centre of Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city.

Despite being so close to the North Island's main city Piha remains relatively unspoilt. The beach backs onto the rugged and heavily forested coastline of the Waitakere Ranges which is a national park meaning the area hasn't been over-developed.

The sand along this stretch of coast is quite unusual in that not only is it black but is also magnetic. This is due to the high iron content which in turn relates to its volcanic origins. Piha's black sand was produced by the eruption of the mighty Taupo volcano many milenia ago and is deposited along this coast by the Waikato River.

There are other hints to New Zealand's volcanic past at Piha. Set towards the southern end of the beach is the towering, iconic Lion Rock or Whakaari in Maori. It gets its name from the fact it looks a little like a lying lion from some angles although it is actually "volcanic plug" which dates back 16 million years.

As the original and one of New Zealand's best surfing beaches you can expect the sea to often be anything but calm. However, even on the calm days care should be taken as there can be strong, unpredictable rip currents at Piha. Despite being home to two of the country's premiere surf lifesaving clubs the sea here has still claimed several lives over the years. During the summer months the bathing is generally safe and as long as swimmers stay between the flags put out by the lifeguards there should be no danger.

Piha is big enough to soak up the summer crowds. There is beachfront parking, public toilets, changing rooms and a takeaway serving food and drinks on the beach.

More North Island beaches in New Zealand

Piha beach Weather Info

5 Day Piha beach UV Index

UV Index scale

A UV Index reading of 3 or more means some precautions should be taken. For more information visit our guide to the UV Index.

Temperature Averages

Average Water Temp

Piha beach tide times & sea state

Wed 17/07 »

Surf report for Wed 17/07
  Swell Period Swell direction Wind direction Wind speed
  Swell Wind
6:00 13ft 11s  °  ° 28mph
12:00 13ft 11s  °  ° 24mph
18:00 14ft 12s  °  ° 25mph
Tide times
Low 5:00am (0.58m)
High 10:59am (2.97m)
Low 5:16pm (0.60m)
High 11:17pm (3.05m)
Daylight
First light07:03
Sunrise07:31
Sunset17:24
Dark17:53

Thu 18/07 »

Surf report for Thu 18/07
  Swell Period Swell direction Wind direction Wind speed
  Swell Wind
6:00 12ft 12s  °  ° 17mph
15:00 10ft 12s  °  ° 11mph
Tide times
Low 5:37am (0.59m)
High 11:35am (2.95m)
Low 5:51pm (0.62m)
High 11:52pm (3.02m)
Daylight
First light07:02
Sunrise07:31
Sunset17:25
Dark17:53

Fri 19/07 »

Surf report for Fri 19/07
  Swell Period Swell direction Wind direction Wind speed
  Swell Wind
12:00 8ft 12s  °  ° 17mph
21:00 8ft 11s  °  ° 17mph
Tide times
Low 6:10am (0.61m)
High 12:09pm (2.92m)
Low 6:23pm (0.65m)
Daylight
First light07:02
Sunrise07:30
Sunset17:26
Dark17:54

Sat 20/07 »

Surf report for Sat 20/07
  Swell Period Swell direction Wind direction Wind speed
  Swell Wind
6:00 12ft 11s  °  ° 29mph
18:00 10ft 10s  °  ° 17mph
Tide times
High 12:25am (2.97m)
Low 6:42am (0.64m)
High 12:43pm (2.86m)
Low 6:56pm (0.69m)
Daylight
First light07:01
Sunrise07:29
Sunset17:26
Dark17:55

Sun 21/07 »

Surf report for Sun 21/07
  Swell Period Swell direction Wind direction Wind speed
  Swell Wind
9:00 11ft 10s  °  ° 16mph
18:00 10ft 10s  °  ° 17mph
Tide times
High 12:58am (2.89m)
Low 7:15am (0.68m)
High 1:18pm (2.79m)
Low 7:30pm (0.75m)
Daylight
First light07:01
Sunrise07:29
Sunset17:27
Dark17:55

Mon 22/07 »

Surf report for Mon 22/07
  Swell Period Swell direction Wind direction Wind speed
  Swell Wind
3:00 9ft 13s  °  ° 14mph
15:00 7ft 12s  °  ° 10mph
Tide times
High 1:33am (2.79m)
Low 7:50am (0.73m)
High 1:55pm (2.70m)
Low 8:09pm (0.83m)
Daylight
First light07:00
Sunrise07:28
Sunset17:28
Dark17:56

Today's weather

Fair

12 °C
(53 °F)

Fresh breeze, 37.4 km/h from W

Sea temperature

16.1°C / 60.9°F

Rating

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