How are you doing today?
Today I’d like to share another wicked destination to enjoy for a day in the outdoors of New Zealand. This spot is not too far from the city of Auckland, with a car, it is reachable in less than one hour. This trip requires you to have private transport as there is no public bus that is destined for Karekare beach. So grab a friend, a car and hit the road to enjoy the stellar views as you embark on a road trip west into the Waitakere Ranges.
Here are some tips for what you should have prepared before you go:
- Private transport + plenty of fuel
- Lunch + Snacks
- Sunglasses + Sunhat + Sunscreen
- A friend
- Rain Jacket
- Hiking boots
Now that you have checked that you have all you need, it’s time to hit the road!
The drive over to the west is gorgeous. Ascending to some great heights you will enjoy these grand views looking over Auckland City, with the iconic buildings making silhouettes on the horizon. The tight corners make for a thrilling experience following the bends up and over this large hill. The drive also offers opportunities to stop and relax above the metropolis of the Auckland region. During the section of the road, there are many chances to pull over to capture the sights from different lookouts. As the road begins to wind its way down, closer to sea level, small residential dwellings will appear on either side of the road. Soon the road will end and you will stop at the Karekare car park.
Stepping out of the car now and then onto the track, you can embark on this great adventure hiking the Mercer Bay loop. It is approximately a 10km circuit that steadily climbs this maintained track that summits the wind-battered cliff faces of the west coast.
On the track one can find man-made steps to assist in the climb and several opportunities to stop to take a breather and take in the far-reaching horizon views. As you reach the top, I would recommend for you to celebrate by having a bite to eat, well as long as the wind does not blow you off your feet.
With your stomach settled, you can head even further north and catch a glimpse of Piha beach, a gorgeous sand-swept beach that is well worth visiting on another day out. Here is a link with more information on things to do in Piha.
Slowing descending these heights, one will immerse themselves in the wild native bush that the west coast of the upper north island is renowned for. During this walk, it is also important to help protect the spread of invasive plants by spraying your boots and scrubbing them to prevent seeds from making their way onto this native forest floor. There are stations set up along the track, in order to follow these protection measures.
Walking back into the car park now means the loop is complete and the trip over! For those who would like to experience a little more of these Wild West, take a short walk along the Karekare beach to where to beach meets battered rocks. Here you can climb the rocks and sit above the waves as they crash in splashing all over you if you get too close!
That’s all for now, feel free to leave a question or a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible!