Auckland's West Coast is home to a rugged windswept coastline, long, black-sand beaches and pristine native rainforest.
Spend the afternoon on the rugged black-sand beach of Piha. Climb Lion Rock and watch experienced surfers ride the waves. The lagoon at Bethalls Beach makes a great swimming spot or you can follow the trail that crosses the northern headland to secluded O'Neill Bay, another favourite with surfers.
Between August and March, Muriwai hosts a large gannet colony, viewing platforms allow you to get up close to these fascinating birds. This is also a good place to hire blokarts, bikes and kites and explore the long expanse of beach.