In the hunt for adventures, we often find ‘secrets’ in the busy Auckland area. Most of them are with an hour of Auckland and yet are hidden from the most of its citizens and tourists.
Peaceful Anawhata beach is located between North Piha and Bethells beach. The impossibility to drive to the beach keeps Anawhata quiet even in a busy summer season. About 10 km of gravel road, passing few remote houses in the forest and you will need to leave your car in a car park with an amazing view over Anawhata beach itself.
The sign says that in 20 min walk downhill you will see the beauty of the beach and will be rewarded with spectacular view on the way down there.
Secret number one on this way down to the beach is hidden Anawhata rock pools. To reach them, you may be trespassing private property and that is the reason, you hardly find any information on how to reach them. However, in the past when there was no Internet and Google, people still used to explore and search for the ‘secrets’.
So, if you really wish to climb to the pools and not being a peeping Tom, just choose a pass on your right hand on the gravel road down to the beach and you will see the lookout place with a bench. From this spot, turned back from the beach, see the pools secreted in the black rocks, and guess the way to them just by considering how to get there… I am sure you will be able to sort out this puzzle. It took 5 minutes for us to understand which way to go.
There be very quiet, quick and take all your rubbish with you, as the pools are the lone drinking water sources for the private property.
Formed by volcanic activity, this place is divine, especially at the sunset.
Best luck on your way to find it!
Continuing on the gravel road you will face a sign to Keddle house, which is the property of Auckland Council and can be booked in advance for your stay. The house looks very rustic and raw and may offer an unforgettable weekend escape not far from the city. It is a solar-powered bungalow, built in 1930’s and has a cozy swing with exceptional view and atmosphere.
If you don’t have a booking in Keddle house, turn right and follow the pass through the bushes. May be muddy after rains so take care on your way.
When you reach the final steps, you will be surprised to see a small village and a carved stump greeting you silently.
The moon’ craters like rock lies just in the middle of the beach and is very easy to climb inside of the ‘craters’ which is joyful for kids.
You may follow the stream and reach the riverbank veiled in the rocks where is not so windy and good for hiding from the rain and having a lunch.
Returning to the beach, play with the dark-blue volcanic sand and if it is a low-tide, be brave to go towards Piha beach. Climbing on the beach rocks, covered by the sea in a high-tide, you will be able to touch and study starfishes, crabs and sea urchins as well as different kinds of seaweed and other small ocean creatures.
All the beaches on your rocky way are wild with impressive and grotesque rocks spread around.
Stunning Keyhole rock will be the second ‘secret’ you see on the way. Stop for a minute and enjoy the waves crashing on its base.
When you consider you cannot go further, just imagine that we saw a 10 years old kid who has done it so carry on and find yourself in the middle of Paikea Bay – another small remote beach with crazy waves and lovely emerald mossy rocks.
Draw a breath and jump on a volcanic surface once again. Explore the dark cave and cozy pool secreted in the platform on the cliff. If the high-tide begins to happen you are lucky to be blessed by the ocean waves few meters high.
Then turn back and climb the third ‘secret’ that calls Fishermens Rock Point if you have a good sense of balance. Remember to keep your camera charged, as you really need to take dozens of photos from that point.
Climbing may be difficult and slippery but the view toward the Whites beach worth your effort.
From this point, you can choose between two options of how to go back whether the same way you came there or by finding a grassy narrow pass up the hill that leads you to the car park through the big loop on Whites Beach.
Being such a remote, cozy and spectacular, Anawhata beach and its surroundings are one of our favourite places within an hour drive from Auckland CBD.
Wish you best luck on finding all the ‘secrets’ of the place!