How to get to Piha, and why?

It’s another wild windy wet January morning in Auckland, New Zealand. A Thursday to be exact. Yet my bus is full. 23 energetic fun backpackers have jumped on board my bus to travel out to a real gem of Auckland.

The area is called Waitakere Regional Park, and is translated in Maori to ‘deep cascading waters’ due to its many waterfalls and natural reservoirs. It is pristine and relaxing compared to the relative hustle and bustle of city life.

But the Waitakere’s have one fault (depending on how you look at it). It is tricky to access for the traveling backpacker, and the real gems can only be found if you know where to look. This is because there is no regular cheap public transport to the area. A public bus will get you to Titirangi, a small artsy town on the edge of the park, but once there you are on your own, with most of the beautiful black sand beaches another 15 – 20 drive away.

The area is a must visit though, it is home to some amazing beaches (Piha, KareKare and Bethels to name a few), stunning waterfalls (50 m KiteKite falls is a the pick of the bunch) and fantastic volcanic rock formations.

So to get there you have a few options, you could:

– Public bus to Titirangi, then get your walking shoes on… a few hours you might make it to a beach.
– Hire a car, just be sure to get a map and chat to locals, some tracks are closed, others are in poor condition.

Or you could be like my 23 travelers the other day who jumped on the Stray Piha Tour in a rainy Auckland City only to be greeted by blue skies on the other side of the ranges. It’s a social way to see one of the most amazing and breath taking areas of Auckland otherwise known as Tamaki Makaurau – the maiden of a 100 lovers.




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