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Piha

(4.9/5 based on 750+ reviews for 6 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, nature, adventure
Piha is a coastal settlement on the west coast of the Auckland Region in New Zealand with a population of 600. It is one of the most popular beaches in the area and a major day-trip destination for Aucklanders throughout the year, and especially in summer.Piha is 39 kilometres west of Auckland city centre, on the Tasman Sea coast to the north of the Manukau Harbour, on the western edge of the Waitakere Ranges. Immediately to the north of Piha is Whites Beach, and immediately to the south is Mercer Bay; land access to both is only by foot. The nearest beaches accessible by road are Karekare to the south, and Anawhata to the north.Features and geologyThe area has retained much of its natural beauty and isolation. As well as two surf beaches there are also a sheltered lagoon and several streams. The rugged coastline and forested Waitakere Ranges offer a number of walks, or tramps, ranging from easy to very difficult. Piha is a well known black sand beach, due to the high iron content, which is of volcanic origin.Lion Rock is a natural formation dividing North and South Piha beaches. It is an eroded 16-million-year-old volcanic neck, named for its similarity to a lying male lion when viewed from the rear (shore side), Lion Rock is immediately visible to visitors as they descend along the only access road. Lion Rock has become iconic not only of Piha, but of Auckland's West Coast in general. It was featured on stamps as well as an Auckland phone book. In December 1919 a memorial to local sawmillers who served in World War One was unveiled on Lion Rock.
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