Due to being less accessible than it's more popular neighbours, Anawhata is one of the best kept secrets on the west coast.
If you come on a week day it’s very likely you will see few people and may even have the place to yourself. Tucked in it’s own little corner away from the crowds, Anawhata is remarkably quiet and being surrounded by it’s majestic cliffs and powerful ocean waves is truly awe-inspiring.
There is heaps to explore including the estuary, rock pools crawling with interesting little critters and Keyhole rock. It’s also fun to climb the big rock in the middle of the bay filled with mini caves with unique views of the beach.
38km from Auckland CBD No lifeguards Little to no reception No cafes, pack snacks
From Auckland central take the SH16/North Western motorway and turn left at the Te Atatu exit. At the first roundabout take the second exit onto Edmonton Rd, follow this to another roundabout. Turn right at the first, left at the second and then take the second exit at the third roundabout (effectively going straight through). Keep following the road straight ahead as it takes you down Henderson Valley Rd. From here, follow the signs to Piha Rd, following Forest Hill Rd, Scenic Drive and Piha Road.
Drive down Piha Rd until about 5 minutes in you’ll see the sign for Anawhata Road on the right. From here on it’s a narrow, gravel road for about 20 minutes through dense forest. You’ll know you're close once you’re hit with the stunning views overlooking the coast of North Piha. There is a small parking lot at the top of your climb down with a spectacular view of your destination. A 20-30 min walk (depending on how keen you are) downhill through the bush will take you to the beach.
There is a secret spot that you can find off the beaten track with 3 cascading rock pools high above the beach. Taking your kids to this particular spot is not recommended due to open cliff faces but if you’re up for an adventure it’s definitely worth finding.