Below are some of our favorite locations. We do other locations including more Black Sand Beaches, Waterfalls and the like, all over the Waitakere ranges. If you have a spot not listed below that you really wanna see, don't panic and ask us.
Every BlackSand tour includes (2) of the locations below. Group's preferences are a major factor in determining our route for the day.
Kitekite falls is a beautiful 140 foot waterfall in Auckland's Waitakere Ranges.
BlackSand Tours takes you on a 30-minute easy grade hike, exploring native plants, birds and ferns, finishing at the spectacular waterfall where you can have a refreshing swim, if you like. We'll even take you swimming underneath the waterfall.
For the adventurous amongst you, we will take you on a further epic hike to the mid-section of the waterfall which is much more secluded. Or to the top section where you can leap off the rocks into the quiet pools above.
Then we will finish with a nice 30-minute rain forest stroll out.
A favorite amongst locals, of the BlackSand beaches, a day at Anawhata is always an adventure.
It may be the most empty, perfect, untouched beach in the entire world. Black sand (of course), decent surf, the monolithic Keyhole rock, amazing quiet lagoons and rock pools, fun low-level cliff jumps, beautiful sand dunes for running / rolling / sliding down, and a quiet, safe river for a lazy swim.
Activities at Anawhata will vary according to conditions on the day. We have to keep you all safe!
Even if we did none of those activities, it is maybe the most beautiful empty place in the world. Seldom more than 20 people there.
Piha is a staple of our tour. It is a spectacular, popular Black Sand surf beach.
Activities are tailored to suit the group's desire, but include hikes, cave exploration, lagoon swimming, cave swimming (dependant on conditions), cliff diving (depending on conditions), sunbathing, rock scrambling, amazing photography opportunities and lots of tidal pool exploration and relaxation.
Piha can be as chilled and relaxed or as epic and adventurous as the group wants it to be making it a very fun place to spend some time.
One thing is for sure - you will see more of Piha if you go with Black Sand Tours. Piha is our backyard. We know the best spots!
Whatipu Beach is literally like arriving at Jurrasic park. Minus the dinosaurs. It is a vast, empty, Black Sand beach with amazing dunes, caves, the safest swimming on the West Coast, and a beautiful combination of lush vegetation, harsh grey rock, and the clear turquoise waters of the Tasman sea. Sometimes we find penguins (little Blues) and sometimes seals. Once even a whale and an Orca.
Whatipu really is a spot most tourists never get to. Very few groups operate out here, and it is one of our favorite summer spots. It is a more chilled location, but we can still find some adventure in dune climbs, caving, rock scrambling and snorkeling around the rocks (conditions permitting).
On a windy day, Whatipu can impress you purely with the force of the wind, screaming through the windy cliffs into the Manukau harbour.
It's also a great option to camp for a couple of days at a very low cost. If you want, we can take you out there, show you around, and leave you for a few days, and collect you later, to drop you back to the city. Message us if this is an option for you!
The Te Henga (Bethells) Black Sand Dunes
Another of our favorite spots. The sand dunes at Bethells are perfect for adventurous teens, younger families (4-5 year old kids love this spot) and anyone who loves lake swims, dune runs, slides, rolls, etc.
In winter time there is a windy river with quicksand (don't worry - it's safe) to play in. And massive (100 ft+) dunes to scale down in whatever way seems best to you. Amazing photos. In summer time, we finish at the beautiful Lake Wainamu for a swim, leap off the wharf like crazy people and generally have a giant laugh.
For fun and games, it is hard to go past Bethells dunes!
Muriwai beach is where we go to chill. It is a 60km Black Sand beach (it actually has the darkest sand of all the beaches).
The 60km sandline is actually a registered road (with a speed limit and everything) and if we have smaller groups, we take the 4WD so we can take you for a drive along the sand.
At the south end, huge cliffs with hundreds of nesting gannets are an amazing photography opportunity between September and April.
The wild waters, massive waves, dark black sand, and gaping caves make for fun exploration as well.
It is one of our more laid back locations.