There we are, scaling rock and cliff like coasteering is an everyday regular occurrence. Two in running shoes, one in jandals like it aint no thing. Such a squad.
Below the sections of rock we’re traversing I can hear thousands of tiny fragments being pulverized into sand amongst each other. Chattering, crumbling, swirling in the pools beneath my feet. My mind runs away with the thoughts of me being amongst it should this cliff give way, but that just adds to the thrill.
Chances of falling and being crushed to dust: 5%
There’s nothing quite like returning to the wild seaside to remind you that you’re a mere mortal built from exactly the same matter as everything that surrounds you.
We’ve walked over to Anawhata from North Piha and since it’s low tide – why not scale the seacliffs to get back to base via other means. There’s nothing like testing our luck with an off-piste mission. We scramble, hop and goof-about through this maze like the idiots we are.
But as luck would have it, after 2 hours of journeying between rockpools and seacliffs, the land drops away beneath us with no hope of progressing. It’s backtrack 2 hours or go straight upwards.
Cue the Amazonian jungle people among us. Bush bashing for miles through flax, tussock and native flora. Taking a moment on the clifftops to rest and gather our breath. The cool air drying the sweat and chilling our steaming bones. This is what we’re born for!
Located just one hour from Auckland’s CBD, you’d imagine a place as beautiful as this would be teeming with people, right? But actually Anawhata is one of Auckland’s best-kept secrets since you can’t access the beach by car. Get outdoors and find it if you dare. Perhaps take the loop track home though…
Our route care of nztramper.com. 10km, 4hrs return
From the North Piha carpark, take Laird Thomson Track on the Kuhunui Bay after you’ve passed north beach and the caves. From the ridgeline you can look back up the coastline to Piha from Te Waha Point before shooting stunning photos of Whites Beach on the other side.
Heading back from Te Waha lookout, take a sharp left and head down to Whites Beach instead of taking Rose Track. There’s a very good fishing spot off the cliff here known as Fishermans Rock Point which is a test of bravery when the wild west-coast beckons. From here you can view Keyhole Rock which is the next landmark on this walk. Views are mirrored by raw cliffs and sparkling black-sand beaches. Hear the power of the waves as they crack like lightening on the rocks around you.
From the other side of Whites you’ll head up and over the hill to Anwhata. How could this quiet beach not be worth the trip?
The air is cool and fresh at this time of year. Pack a picnic and enjoy the silence.
To get home, take the Anawhata Beach Track up to the carpark on the hill. Walk along the gravel Anawhata Road and enjoy gorgeous farm views with ocean backdrops. Go down the Rose Track until meet the Laird Thomson Track which takes you back to the North Piha carpark.