Our Auckland day trip to the West Coast!
March 24, 2018
After spending our first week in New Zealand visiting with friends in Hamilton, it was time to head to Auckland. In search of a place to live we wanted to see what the surrounding area of Auckland had on offer. So we had arranged to meet up with one of our good friends Liam. He had planned an Auckland day trip that would make us want to stay forever.
We met Liam in Brazil about a year prior and traveled with him for a few months in South America. I was excited to get back to where we left off after our sudden goodbye at a Bolivian/Peru border where Liam was refused entry. As it turns out they forgot to put his departure in the system when he visited Peru 3 years ago. Liam didn’t think the $1500 USD fine was fair so he escaped to the nearest Chilean border, but that’s another story for another day.
Liam had arranged to take us to the west coast just outside of Auckland. I was unsure what we would find because of everything that had been going on. Setting up our life in New Zealand didn’t leave us much time to do any research on the area. What we found, however, far exceeded all our expectations and I was absolutely blown away by New Zealand’s breathtaking landscapes.
Auckland Day Trip
Our first stop was Karekare Beach. Located only 30 minutes from Auckland this Jurassic-style landscape blew us away. Looking out at the ocean, perfect barrels crashed on the shore break and washed up with the black sand. Behind us, the huge rock formations formed giant cliffs. Covered in lush green vegetation we were without words.
Walking the beach we crossed a small river and continued to explore. We soaked up the beautiful sky and reminisced with Liam about all the crazy stories from our time traveling together and life was good!
With lunchtime approaching it was time to move on to New Zealand’s own version of Bondi Beach, Piha!
The surf was pumping at Piha and double-overhead waves filled the coastline for kilometers. Wanting a better view we decided to climb Lion Rock.
Lion Rock is a huge Rock that stands alone in the middle of the beach. At 45m high the views from the top are spectacular! You can easily hike halfway up using the stairs and marked pathway. However, if you’re not afraid to break a few rules, you can climb over the barrier at the halfway point and continue up a small path (with a straight drop to your death) and make it to the top.
Once you make it to the top of Lion Rock you’re rewarded with 360-degree views of the area. From there we watched surfers wipe out on the huge surf and just took in some of the best views I have ever seen!
Piha Beach is one place that I will be returning to. Next time though, I plan to stay a few nights at the nearby campground so I can truly soak it all in.
Enjoying Beers over Auckland
Once we made the treacherous climb back down we decided to grab some beers and enjoy the rest of the day in style. We ventured back towards the city and headed to a lookout that offered amazing views of the whole city.
The lookout is also home to the Mount Eden Crater. The crater which is a dormant volcano is an interesting sight to see, however, enjoying the beers overlooking the city was the highlight!
Sitting there enjoying those beers is where I got a sudden realization of where I was. I get them every now and then. It seems in life we forget how amazing some of the things we do are, and every now and then I get hit with this huge “wow moment.” It’s like I can’t believe where I am or how I got there.
I sat there and starred out at the city and realized that New Zealand was on and it was our newest adventure to own, to travel far and wide, and live out our dreams!