Do you want to escape from the ‘concrete’ jungle of Auckland?
Piha Beach and Waitakere Ranges National Park is the perfect getaway for a day. It’s a tranquil spot away from the busy city’s hustle and bustle.
Piha Beach and Waitakere Ranges Tours
The tour’s meeting point was under the Sky Tower of Auckland.
The SkyTower is an excellent ‘reference point’ whenever you exploring Auckland. No matter where in town you stand you can notice the Sky Tower with its 328 meters robustious heights. You can easily calibrate your sightseeing tour in town without having a map, just look up the sky.It’s also worth going up to the Skydeck to admire the view of Auckland. Try sky jump, walking or some exquisite fine dining above the town.
Our tour guide welcomed us with a warm smile. It was a private tour sharing the experience with two German girls. The tour guide was super entertaining and the 30 minutes drive flew like a minute. We headed to reach our first stop the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. I began to feel relaxed, peaceful and more awakened as I sipped in the ocean breeze. Fresh air, evergreen subtropical jungle, hidden waterfalls waiting for you when you explore the breathtaking West Coast of New Zeland. This eco -region is full of vibrant natural sights, wildlife and astonishing viewpoints to Auckland city and it harbours.
Our first stop was at the Arataki Visitor Centre where we learnt more about the Maori culture and witness a spectacular view of Auckland City.
After the short stop at the museum followed a guided easy walking tour into the jungle where we found out more about local wildlife including the ‘weta’ insect and the sky-high ‘Kauri’ trees.
After a short walk in the thick lush, we reached the magical Piha waterfalls.
During our walks, we also could see some wildlife such as long fin eels, Kereru gasp into the breathtaking wonders of the spectacular landscape. The tour guide reassured us New Zealand nature is entirely safe, not as the big brother Australia. Here you can touch the trees and bush without getting poisoned. New Zealand has a strict policy for protecting its natural heritage and beauty – the Kauri trees and the jungles – to keep pure the eco-system. We were asked to spray with special cleaning our shoes.
The last stop of our tour was Piha’s famous black sand beach.
We had some free time to discover the beach. I love walking bare feet. Feeling the sand and ocean stroking and disappearing between my toes.
Walking bare feet makes me connected to mother earth. Don’t get surprised, all across New Zealand; you will find many locals not wearing shoes at all.
Dipped my feet in the fresh ocean water and felt freedom. Began to realised that I’m here ( at the moment) – half across the world and a new chapter of my life just about to start. My mind wonders the tour guide’s voice breaks off. “We got lunch, guys, come on”.
Lunch was at the Piha Cafe. We tried some local delicates. Meat pies
We sat and while enjoyed our food chat about the lifestyle in New Zealand, Maori culture and watched the waves crashing and disappearing in the giant rocks. Watched the surfers trying to ride those enormous waves. It was high tide, so the tour guide suggested not to get into the water unless we are experienced surfers.
Surfing is one of the ‘harders sports’ (at least for me!).
I believe you need to start an early age, so you can truly master the skill of riding those waves. I still end up ‘washing away’ way too many times, but keep admiring the ones who can surf and make it look so easy!
The rest of the day we had few hour free time to wander around the Piha Beach, dip into the water and explore the caves.
Check here my first impressions on Auckland, New Zealand!
Best voted trip on Tripadvisor – check here: Full day Piha Beach and Waitakere Eco Tour. The tour not to be missed!
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