A windswept rugged coastline, 47km of surf beach and rolling dunes of black sand characterise Muriwai Beach, making it one of Auckland's most popular west coast beaches.
Muriwai Beach is unique because of its black sand, caused by the iron content derived from the ancient volcanoes in the area. The majority of the black mineral sand is carried up the west coast from Mt Taranaki through the process of longshore drift.
Muriwai Beach includes the spectacular Takapu (Gannet) Refuge at Otakamiro Point, one of only three mainland Gannet colonies in New Zealand. The best time to visit the gannets is between October and February. The chicks hatch in November then leave for Australia at 15 weeks old returning to breed when they are 3 and 7 years old.
Maukatia (Maori Bay) is a great place to see unique pillow lava. This is the result of the Waitakere Volcano, which erupted off the coast of Muriwai some 17-50 million years ago.
THERE IS PLENTY TO DO IN MURIWAI
Welcome to Muriwai Regional Park, surfing is the main pastime at Maukatia (Maori Bay), Muriwai. Other pastimes enjoyed include paragliding, hang gliding and kite surfing.
Bush walking is encouraged, and maps can be obtained from the Information Kiosk next to the Rangers Station.
Fishing is also popular, although dangerous in many places.
Driving along the beach is popular, but you need a 4 wheel drive and please avoid being on the beach at high tide.
There are also many mountain bike trails up in the pines, mainly downhill and freeride trails.
Horse riding and motor biking are popular in specified areas of Woodhill Forest to the North.
There are lots of great attractions for the adventurous in the area.
There are two cafes/shops open daily (Sand Dunz), both located on Motutara Rd.
Muriwai has a great camping ground, as well as many other types of accommodation.
Muriwai is patrolled each weekend by volunteer guards throughout the summer months from Labour weekend until Easter. From December, paid lifeguards watch over the beach during the weekdays, ensuring beach users are safe.
Auckland Council has a Rangers Station located Motutara Rd and an Information Kiosk.