Karekare beach

 on 

Karekare beach must be one of the most memorable places on Earth. It is located in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, and only an hour west of Auckland. Its black beaches are simply spectacular.

We only explored a small part of the northern end of Karekere and it is on my list of places to revisit and explore further. It is in quite isolated location but the drive there is relatively easy albeit the roads are very narrow and zigzag through Waitakere Ranges.

What struck me most is the vastness of the black sand. What I remember most is burning my feet. Yes, I am one of these people who leave the sandals in the car when I am going to a beach. True to habits I did exactly the same at Karekere – major mistake. The black sand gets hot, incredibly hot. By the time I passed enough sand to reach the wet strip near the ocean my feet were on fire.

One more tourist warning: this is a tourist attraction but think of it as wilderness and not a serviced location. There are no “pit stops” anywhere near. Make sure to bring plenty of fluids to drink and bring your own lunch. One more note: the weather can be very capricious and a sunny day can turn into a summer storm on moment’s notice. We got soked.