Venue Types: Beach, Nature reserve

Suitable for Ages: Families

A windswept rugged coastline and rolling dunes of black sand characterise Muriwai Beach, one of Auckland's most popular beaches.

Muriwai Beach is approximately 42 kilometres Northwest of Auckland city. It is unique because of its black sand, caused by the iron content derived from the ancient volcanoes in the area.

Some popular pastimes at Muriwai include surfing, parasailing and hang gliding, especially when the prevailing westerly wind provides favourable conditions.

Fishing is also popular, although dangerous in many places.

Much of the land at the southern end of the beach is part of the Muriwai Beach Regional Park. The steep cliffs and rocky areas are home to one of only three mainland gannet colonies in New Zealand. The best time to visit the gannets is between October and February.

Muriwai Regional Park was established in 1969 and extends from Maori Bay in the south up Muriwai Beach for 8km.

Inland there are a number of picnic areas and walking tracks set in native bush that provide a contrast to the harsh coastline.

Are you responsible for Muriwai Beach? Claim it