Piha is a spectacular lagoon, along one of the west coasts most popular black sand beaches. It is within easy driving distance from Auckland; you simply leave the city centre along the West Coast Road then right on to Scenic Drive, arriving at Piha just under one hour.
Pihas central landmark is the hulk of Lion Rock; this was once used as a strategic viewpoint by the Kawerau tribes, form where they safeguarded the coast against their enemies.
Time and the wear and tear of rough seas have shaped an unusual shaped hole through one of the ridges.
This area is now a peaceful sea resort, offering engaging paths for trekking in the surrounding hills.
Piha and Muriwai beaches are the more equipped amongst the many beaches in the area, although most beaches offer quite a few public facilities and patrolled swimming during the summer months.
If you are in quest of cultural entertainment you can head to the Rose Hellaby House, which exhibits Maoris and early settlers arts and crafts, this site also offers breathtaking view of the harbours of Manukau and Waitemata.
For any additional information, you may visit or call the Artaki Visitors Centre, phone 09 817-8470, they will have all you need including maps, locations of historical attraction sites, vineyard and trekking tours as well as organized excursions to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.
You may also find it useful to purchase, A Field Guide to Auckland Exploring the Regions Natural and Historic Heritage this guidebook gives detailed descriptions of the major sites and treks in the area.