A quick guide to visiting Bethells Beach, West Auckland

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Along with gorgeous views, West Auckland beaches like Piha, Muriwai and Karekare. attract visitors for different reasons.  The black sand beaches offer surfing, horse riding and picnicking opportunities. 

That is all thanks to the Tasman Sea or the "Ditch", how both Australians and New Zealanders like to call it.  The Tasman Sea is mid-ocean ridge with a strong underwater or sub-surface waves and currents.  It is very rough and wild, and yet it makes most beautiful stone sculptures on the shore. 

Bethells beach is the other popular West Coast beach, located North of Piha and South of Muriwai beach.

If you want to visit two or three of them on the same day, you might need to carefully choose what beaches to visit.  Their distance and the roads leading towards them can be tricky so you can spend quite a lot of time in the car driving from one to another.

From downtown Auckland, the drive is around 45 minutes or 40km.  There is a huge free car park before the beach entrance.  The expansive beach and often fairly quiet.  On the right-hand side is the Waitakere River mouth, and on the left is a nice cave. 

Whether you are into surfing, swimming or doing any other water activity the Tasman is tricky and unpredictable, especially if you don't know the beach. Therefore, talk to the lifeguards and they will help you with useful information. Also, note that the water can be very cold even in the summer.  

Practical Information
  • Directions from Auckland - Take SH 16 to Taupaki Road, then take Bethells Road to the beach. 
  • Bring your own food and lots of water
  • Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and flip flops as the sand can get very hot
  • If you are planning on hiking, bring comfortable shoes
  • Don't miss the sunset if possible

Photos by Maja Krstic.