Piha is one of those beaches that has a character all of it’s own.
We were staying for a day in Aukland so made the 40km trip to the west of the North Island.
Hardly a chore. You travel down ‘Scenic Drive’ where surprisingly tropical plants surround you. There is hardly a patch of bare ground. Boy oh boy is this land fertile!
Every now and then you get a peak through the ‘jungle’ to the most spectacular views.
Finally our first look at Piha.
We timed it perfectly (quite by chance) and got the tide out, leaving a vast black iron-sand beach.
This beach is known for being moody, misty and mysterious, wild, wet and wind-swept.
We have lucked out with bright sunshine and just enough wind to made it feel a little rugged.
You know when you want that perfect Instagram photo, but your Dad thinks he’s hilarious…
Today the gentle waves lap over themselves reflecting the environment.
Piha is New Zealand’s most famous surf beach and has a reputation for awesome surf which rolls in over the Tasman Sea.
But not today.
Instead, we sit mesmerised at the movements of the sands, the lapping sea water and the floating clouds above.
Every now and then the sea settles like a glass mirror and reflects the timeless Piha rock.
Now, the men in my life are very maverick.
So, when my son suggests they should climb said rock, hubby turns to me expecting (and hoping for) me to do my normal thing and act as the family Health and Safety Officer.
Much to his nonplus I suggested he changed out of his flip flops.
Slightly stupefied, he sets off with our unflappable James.
This is not to be recommended. In fact, it’s highly dangerous. I breathed in deeply the fresh sea air and set off with Charlotte down the beach secretly praying to the God of Common-sense that they will get no higher than a step ladder and change their minds.
The beauty of the clouds reflected in the retreating tide had a calming effect as we strolled on.
Glancing back, we were unsure how long it would take to reach the top and how on earth they even could.
The beauty of this beach is astounding. It sparkles. And all the colours of the rainbow bounce off the stream beyond.
It’s as if the place is blessed. Actually, it’s a rather hardcore place to live with fierce weather.
But not today.
A very joyful poodle joined us and splashed carefree in the stream.
Like much of New Zealand, the seemingly calm and gorgeous environment hides a riskier side (honestly – it was deeper and more turbulent than it looked!) and we are unable to pass.
The wind really did give this beach a mysterious edge. It was bewitching.
Beyond you can see Taitomo Island was called various things by early settlers, such as Rabbit Island and Camel Rock.
Windswept within an inch of our lives, but loving this incredible place we settle near to the start and turn our attention back to the boys.
We had spotted a man and woman at the top, up on their toes, pointing at various views in a casual, ‘Hark there, my love’ manner.
Difficult to see in these photos, but as the daredevil couple strolled casually down (raising so many questions) they would have passed our intrepid men gripping native weeds on their hands and knees calling words of love and encouragement.
Despite all our natural anxiety (and perhaps because of it) Charlotte and I were doubled over in hysteria. Tears streaming, snot threatening laughter that only got worse each time we tried to talk or spotted them crawling along dangerously close to a mountainous drop.
Finally we hear their unmistakable sound of their laughter. They sound none the worse off and a little like Frodo and Sam in the final scene of the Lord of the Rings.
Here are their set of photos from their first Kiwi adventure.
Turning back towards the sand dunes, I wonder what the locals make of it all. I shudder at what they may have witnessed.
With one more glance at the beach I wonder if there is in fact a God of Common-sense, or perhaps these men of ours do indeed have some of their own.
Mainly still belly laughing at the ridiculousness of it all we head off,
catching more breathtaking beauty from this rugged land.