Not far from Auckland, about 45 minutes by car, lies the black sand of the Piha beach. The site is frequented by surfers who defy the force of the waves on the West coast of New Zealand. Also, this beautiful enclave is surrounded by the natural park “Waitakere Ranges”, which has countless trails that get lost among the nature. There are many who frequented several of the park falls. On the other hand, very few know one of its most prized Secrets: the Piha Canyon.
The path to the beginning of the Canyon can be a little confusing and difficult to find. So it is advisable to carry a map to not get lost among the many trails in the Park. The route begins at the end of Glenesk Road, where there is a car park and from where several paths start. The chosen one is located to the left of all of them, the “Piha Valley Trek”. Follow the directions and never leave the “Piha Valley Trek”.
The track follows a small river at the beginning, which you stop seeing it after you start climbing several steps. About 40 minutes from the beginning, you start to go down the stairs until you get back to the river. Right at this junction, there is a large trunk over the water crossed from side to side. That is the beginning of the canyon. Just jump over!
Where is the Piha Canyon?
What We Liked The Most
- Pure gorgeous wilderness with nobody around. You have the whole canyon for yourself.
- Jumping and swimming at every pool and waterfall you find.
What We Didn´t Like That Much
- It can be cold, specially in winter time.
- Finding the start of the canyon can be a bit tricky!
It takes about 1 hour and a half to complete the canyon without any stops. But at some jumps you can climb back and do them several times.
You will enjoy it more on a sunny day, but you will get wet anyway. So it can be done anytime.
You have to get to Piha Beach. See the map above for details. Once you are at the car park, the canyon is at walking distance.
Bring a wetsuit. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or you don’t get cold easily. You will appreciate it.
Watch Video: Adventure in the Piha Canyon, New Zealand.
Piha Canyon is one of those hidden gems of New Zealand the travel guidebooks haven´t found yet. Take your time and enjoy it. It is not a race. Many travelers know about Piha beach but not many people know about the canyon. You will have place for yourself. Relax in the pools or try different jumps in the falls. Enjoy one of the most beautiful sites of New Zealand, free and in absolute solitude.
Location: Piha, Waitakere Ranges. New Zealand
Useful Notes: We highly recommend to bring a wetsuit with you. Even in summer the water temperature can be cold. You can rent one at the surf shop in Piha.