A Trip to Piha

My first month in New Zealand was shit. Absolute shit. From the stress of looking for a job, to one of the worst housing experiences one can have, I was not enjoying this so called ‘paradise’ at all. After a month though, I got a job, found a so-so car, and moved to a new place… it was time for a little trip to explore what NZ has to offer (more on that first month later).

Piha 1

A few weeks ago, I saw a picture of Piha on Reddit (I can’t believe I didn’t mention Reddit on this post) and realized it was just a 40 minute drive from my house. Clear skies, the sun shinning, oh yeah, the beach was calling.

North Piha
North Piha

Piha is more than just a good beach with nice waves, it is truly a geological spectacle to experience. As we approached from the road, here was the first view as you approach that clued us in to what was in store. It reminded me of the beach along Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Barabara to Santa Cruz.

Piha from above.
Piha from above.

As you arrive, there is one thing that is very much welcome, the complete lack of infrastructure. I like boardwalks as much as the next guy, but nothing really beats raw nature.

Piha 4

You can park your car almost at the sand, and for a weekend, it was fantastic how empty the beach was. Given that it is still spring and the water was much too cold without a wet suit, but it is refreshing to know we won’t be bumping elbows for a good spot.

 

Piha is a black sand beach which are notorious for their color (got you there didn’t I…okay fine, stupid joke). Anyways, the color comes from the west coast near Auckland being formed of broken down volcanic rock.

As you walk towards south Piha, you will notice a number of amazing natural structures. There is a waterfall which was trickling down on the sand, but unfortunately, it was difficult to get a good picture of it. One of the coolest parts though, was an arch where water flows through as it has over the millions of years (or thousands, the hell do I know) it took to form it.

This tunnel is pretty cool too.

The tunnel from a distance.
The tunnel from a distance.

At the very end was my favorite part. The seas smash into the rocks hard and you can see an amazing display if you climb up. An old guy who I met there was delighted that although Auckland has grown to over a million people since he was ‘a boy 40 years ago’ Piha has remained the same.

Piha from the Top

Sometimes, it is hard to accept that the places we have left as completely natural are few and far between in our world.

The old guy told me you can climb in there in the summer when the water is warmer.
The old guy told me you can climb in there in the summer when the water is warmer. 

We explored a bit of northern Piha but it got cold and we headed back. As always, New Zealand did treat us to a spectacular sunset. Every Kiwi so far that I have told about Piha laughs. “If you got impressed by that…” and I am glad to hear that this is only the beginning.

I am not going to sugarcoat it, life in NZ has been a lot harder than anticipated and Sid and I have had to make a lot of concessions and financial adjustments. It was way too cozy in SE Asia being able to eat out every day but alas, those days are over. However, things are starting to look up, and it is important to stay positive!

The sand is growing some hair!
The sand is growing some hair!
Follow Me

Julio Moreno

Julio is a California native who has lived abroad since 2009 as an expat in South Korea and New Zealand. He is especially passionate about experiencing other cultures and visiting as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible.
Follow Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge