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Lion Rock (centre) and Piha Beach

Piha is a beachside settlement of about 600 people on the west coast of the Auckland Region of New Zealand, near West Auckland. It is a popular summertime retreat for Aucklanders and others from further afield. The beach is divided in two by a stream and Lion Rock, a large outcrop that looks like a resting lion.

Get in[edit]

  • Piha Shuttle Bus (Trippy), 229 Queen Street, Auckland (Meet at Pick up location), +64 210874779, toll-free: 0508874779, . 8.00am till 7.00pm. Bus Transport Service between Auckland City and Piha Beach. A free tiki tour around Piha is included. $30.

Get around[edit]


  • 1 Lion Rock. The large rock that divides the two parts of the beach.
  • North Piha Beach is north of Lion Rock and is a long, wild beach filled with numerous tidal rips and holes. As with the more popular Piha Beach, swim only where the surf club recommends.
  • Piha Beach (or South Piha Beach) is New Zealand's premier surf beach. Its black iron sand, pounding surf and rugged natural beauty are a favourite with local, national and international surfing communities. It has strong tidal rips, so follow the directions of the surf life saving club, which often places flags on the beach to indicate where it is safe to swim. If you are a novice to intermediate strength swimmer, it is recommended that you do not swim if surf life saving guards are not on patrol.


  • 1 Piha Surf School, 138 Seaview Rd, +64 9 8128123. Coaches beginners but also has a special program for intermediate and competitive surfers. It has given lessons to people from all over the world, from 5 years of age to 65 years old. Surfing is now a serious sport that offers opportunities to children at local, provincial, national and international levels. Piha Surf School's technical approach and use of video analysis for experienced surfers assists surfers of all levels to improve.
  • AWOL Adventures. Offers rainforest canyon climbing and is very popular and loads of fun.


The rugged natural beauty has attracted numerous artists into the community over the years. A great piece of art can be purchased during your stay. Given its local surf culture, you can stock up on the latest (and sometimes exotic) surf gear. Fishing gear is available so that you can try your hand at catching that big one!


The RSA (Returned Services Assn) and the Bowling Club are private clubs but welcome guests who just have to sign the visitors book.

  • 1 Piha Cafe, 20 Seaview Rd (opposite Piha Domain Camp), +64 9 812-8808. Open daylight hours. Menu, counter food, coffee, ice creams, takeaways etc. Eat inside or on the deck with spectacular views of Lion Rock.
  • 2 Piha Store, 26 Seaview Rd. Daily 8:30AM-5:30PM or later. Food from the bakery, coffee, ice creams, soft drinks.


Guests who sign in can drink at the RSA or the Bowling Club.


  • 1 Black Sands Lodge, 9 Sylvan Glade (just off Beach Valley Rd), +64 21 969924. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Very short walk to Piha Beach. A choice of three self-contained accommodations in a large, private native garden: twin, queen or king. Off-street parking and Wi-Fi.

Stay safe[edit]

If you decide to go swimming or surfing at Piha Beach, do so with caution and follow any safety instructions posted by lifeguards. The surf at Piha is known for being incredibly strong, even with minimal wind. A strong swell and powerful rip currents have led to a number of drownings over recent years. The rip currents are strongest with the outgoing tide.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Piha is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.