Piha is a magnet for adventurers and anyone seeking an escape from city life. But if you’ve never been here, you’re probably wondering: What is Piha so famous for?
Piha is famous for its world-class surfing conditions, scenic beauty, hikes, and the reality show Piha Rescue.
Join us as we take a closer look at each of the things that have brought fame to Piha.
Piha is a popular surfing destination
North and South Piha are filled with surf spots catering to different skill levels, making it an inclusive surfing destination. The beach break setup at Piha ensures consistent surf conditions throughout the year, thanks to its southwest-facing location that catches plenty of swells.
One of the unique features of Piha is Lion Rock. It adds an element of thrill to the surfing experience because the waves around the rock tend to be more gnarly.
On the other hand, South Piha often boasts a good left-hander off Camel Rock, making it a favourite among surfers.
Piha is renowned for its scenic hikes
Piha has several trails that even beginners can enjoy. Here are two hikes in Piha famous among Kiwis and tourists alike:
The Tasman Lookout Track is a short but sweet walking track that starts at the end of Marina Parade South. It’s a roughly mild 1.2 kilometre looped trail with breathtaking views of the vast landscape of Piha Beach, Lion’s Rock and the Tasman Sea.
From the Tasman Lookout, watch experienced surfers ride the thrilling breaks on the beach’s outer bar or simply marvel at the scenery.
Mercer Bay Loop Walk
The Mercer Bay Loop Track has one of the most scenic coastal pathways in the Waitakere Ranges. While it has some steep inclines, the hike is well worth the effort and generally only takes around 35 minutes to complete.
The loop starts at the end of Log Race Road, leading you to the Te Ahua headland, the site of an important Māori pā. As you traverse the loop, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Piha’s towering sea cliffs and the vast expanse of the west coast.
In addition to the main track, there’s a trail that leads down to Karekare beach for those wishing to explore more.
Piha is known for its scenic beauty
The crowning jewel of Piha is undoubtedly its iconic black sand beach and the mesmerizing views of the Tasman Sea. The sight of the sun setting over the water, casting a golden hue over the black sand, is a photographer’s delight and one of the many reasons for Piha’s fame.
Aside from the beach, Piha boasts rugged and dramatic coastlines, family-friendly walks, and a hipster vibe, thanks to its plethora of natural gems.
Piha is famous for its reality show “Piha Rescue”
In recent years, Piha has gained international recognition for something entirely different—its renowned reality show, “Piha Rescue”. “Piha Rescue” was a reality series that aired from 2001 to 2017, focusing on the lifeguards’ daily lives and heroic efforts at the Piha Surf Life Saving Club.
From dramatic rescues to heart-warming moments of camaraderie, “Piha Rescue” showcased the real-life drama unfolding daily on Piha’s iconic black sand beach.
The impact of “Piha Rescue” was not limited to its entertainment value. The show played a significant role in promoting beach safety, with its popularity contributing to increased awareness among swimmers at Piha Beach.
Piha is famous for its small-town charm
Piha is more than just a coastal settlement — it’s a town with a unique charm, a sense of community and an undying love for the outdoors. Brimming with local Kiwi culture and surrounded by natural beauty, Piha’s beach village vibes make it a must-visit destination.
Piha’s appeal extends beyond its iconic beach. Adjacent to the gorgeous rainforest of the Waitakere Ranges and just south of the small town of Karekare, Piha is enveloped by lush green landscapes that offer numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The village vibe is further enhanced by the local establishments. Whether it’s the Piha Cafe with its delicious offerings or the Piha RSA, where locals gather for a drink, these places add to the community feel of the village.