Auckland Council manages 26 regional parks.  Isn't that incredible?  We chose to spend a long weekend over Waitangi at Muriwai Regional Park .  This beautiful area boasts 50km of surf beach.
Muriwai Regional Park
We stayed at Muriwai Beach B & B, a five minute walk from the beach accessed by a steep stairway on the Lookout Track.  After a morning cuppa at the popular Sand Dunz Beach Cafe we followed the Otakamiro Point trail which led us down to the beach and up a path to viewing platforms overlooking the gannet colony.

Muriwai Gannet Colony
Gannets come to nest from late July and chicks are born in the spring.  Each pair lays one egg and the parents take turns on the nest.  As the chicks mature, they grow juvenile feathers and begin to exercise their wings in preparation for the one-shot jump off the cliff.  Once airborne, the young gannets leave the colony and cross the Tasman Sea to Australia. 
Having a stretch!
There are other trails to take varying in length. Horse riding and 4WD beach driving are also popular.  We were excited to try a surfing lesson.  West coast beaches are renowned for being a bit rough but we felt quite safe in the hands of the instructors at Muriwai Surf School.  During our 2 hour lesson we learnt basic board skills and water safety including what to do if caught in a rip.  We had so much fun!!

Cowabunga dude!
In the evening we drove to nearby Kumeu and had dinner at The Tasting Shed.  This award winning restaurant was faultless from the food to the service.  For the wine connoisseurs out there, Kumeu is wine country and a lovely setting to spend the day wine tasting.

Sunset on Muriwai Beach
We drove back to Muriwai and admired the pillow lava in the cliffs above Maukatia (Maori Bay), taking in the sunset as the day came to an end.

Muriwai has so much to offer, whether taking a day trip from Auckland (an hour's drive) or for a quiet weekend break.

Muriwai Beach


Popular posts from this blog

A Visit to the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple

3 wacky tourist attractions in New Zealand

Circle of Influence