A day trip from Auckland : Discover Piha Beach, Kitekite and karekare waterfalls.

by Hélène
New- Zealand - Piha Auckland

If you are looking for a nice day trip from Auckland, discover some gorgeous waterfalls and beaches, don’t look further, I have the perfect trip for you :

This itinerary includes:

  • Kitekite waterfalls
  • Piha Beach/ Lion Rock
  • Karekare waterfalls

How long do you need ?

You will need a full day.

We left at 8 am, picked up the car at 9 am and came back at 5 pm on the same day.

How to get there? 

Doing a road trip is an excellent way to explore the country and discover some hidden places. So when my work told me I was going to Auckland for 3 days, I knew this trip would include a road trip.

To do this day trip, you will need to rent a car, because no public transportation is available (not that I’m aware of).  With a car, you can take the scenic route. By doing that, and you may be surprised how different and beautiful New-Zealand can be.


New- Zealand - Piha Auckland

> A day trip from Auckland: Discover Piha Beach, Kitekite and Karekare waterfalls.


First stop: Kitekite waterfalls:

Located in the Waitakere Ranges, Kitekite waterfalls (pronounced kittykitty) is approximatively 45 minutes to 1 hour away from downtown Auckland. These gorgeous falls are a great introduction to the area, you will find there hundreds of km of walking tracks. 

From the countryside to the mountains, the drive to get there is really pleasant and the scenery is gorgeous.

Once you arrive at the parking spot (at the end of Glenesk Rd) the walk to the waterfall takes 30 minutes depending on your fitness level. I found the hike to be easy and the trail is easily recognizable. 

When we arrived at the waterfall, the place was empty, which was perfect to take some cool pictures without anyone in it.

New- Zealand - Piha Auckland

New- Zealand - Piha Auckland

Second Stop: Piha Beach and Lion Rock

From Kitekite waterfall, it is only 10 minutes away. 

When you arrive there, you will be greeted by the sound of the waves. Stunningly dark, rugged but even more beautiful, this place is awesome to relax and have a picnic. 

Lion Rock is definitely Piha’s most famous landmark. Climb Lion Rock and you will be reward with an impregnable view on both sides of Piha Beach. It takes around 5 minutes to climb up to the legal point ( it’s not possible to get to the very top) This spot is perfect for a quick break, whether to take a selfie or have some fresh air. 

I enjoyed a lot the climb even if it was really slippery at that time. 

New- Zealand - Piha Auckland New- Zealand - Piha Auckland New- Zealand - Piha Auckland New- Zealand - Piha Auckland

New- Zealand - Piha Auckland

New- Zealand - Piha Auckland

If you are hungry I can’t recommend enough the “Piha Store“, they have a really nice selection of pies, bread, pastries and healthy drinks that come out of the Store kitchen. This place is an institution in the village. 

Last Stop: Karekare Waterfalls

Karekare Waterfall is only a short drive from Piha Beach and worth a visit. 

An easy walking trail leads directly to the waterfall lookout. It takes only 5/10 minutes to reach the falls. However, it is not suitable for wheelchairs/strollers since the trail has some stairs at the beginning.

During summer, you can swim under the waterfall.

Also, you can climb to the top of waterfall via the Taraire tramping track if you have a good level of fitness. When you make it to the top, the view is stunning and you will find a cool spot to swim. So don’t forget to bring a towel!

Tip: If you have time, go to Karekare beach (a volcanic black and sand beach), a breathtaking beach filmed in “the piano”. I regret not going there but we did not have enough time since we had to give back our car at 5pm.

New- Zealand - Piha Auckland New- Zealand - Piha Auckland


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1 comment

Mike August 10, 2020 - 3:40 pm

There is a bus that does run to Piha. It’s $40 each way and you can book it with Trippy. 😀 It looks like you have a great day out in Piha!


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