Welcome to Karekare


From the car park the quickest route to the black-sand beach involves wading through a stream. Karekare rates as one of the most dangerous beaches in the country, with strong surf and ever-present rips, so don’t even think about swimming unless the beach is being patrolled by lifeguards (usually only in summer). Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder nearly drowned here while visiting Neil Finn’s Karekare pad.


Top experiences in Karekare

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

Image for

Karekare activities

$170.71 Day Trips & Excursions

Wild West Coast Photo and Nature Tour from Auckland with Lunch

The day starts at 9am with a free pickup from your central city accommodation . We head out approximately 40minutes from the ctiy towards the West Coast . Situated at the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges we drive through Titirangi, an area rich in culture and with many galleries and outdoor Cafes it is a favorite spot for artists of many kinds.We then head up the aptly named Scenic Drive where our first stop is the Arataki Visitor Center. Perched high on the ridge there are some amazing views of both coasts from the lookouts. Inside there are many interactive displays showcasing animals, plant life and early settlers lives in the ranges.From here we head out to see a pristine area of native rainforest with many trees over 1000 years old. We also walk through the bush which is a relatively flat 1.5 km loop. If you would rather you can just do a section of the walk.After some morning tea we head over to see two of our more famous west coast beaches Piha and Karekare. Although right next to each other on the Coast they are worlds apart in nature and ambience. Piha has the epic views , the iconic Lion Rock and is famous for its surf , many people call Piha home. Karekare by contrast has a different character, it is more brooding and isolated in nature and very few people live there. We walk on both beaches as well as seeing some beautiful waterfalls and walking through some enchanting Pohutakawa glades.Karekare is also the site of our barbecue and while the barbecue is cooking some people stroll along the beach while others are happy to sit and relax by the river, the choice is yours. Feeling refreshed and invigorated  from your day in the fresh air we drop you back at your central city accommodation around 4.30-5.00pm.

$169.05 Day Trips & Excursions

Piha and Karekare Rainforest Wine Tour from Auckland

Enjoy a morning pickup at your central Auckland hotel then, at 9:30am, take a seat in your vehicle and head into the Henderson Valley — the heartland of Auckland’s wine industry — to begin your tour. First, visit Babich Wines with your guide, and sample a range of reisling and sauvignon blanc wines produced on their vineyards in Hawkes Bay. As you taste the wines, gain insight into the process the grapes undergo from vineyard to glass.Then, continue on into the beautiful Waitakere Ranges to the Arataki visitors’ center. On arrival, enjoy panoramic views over the rainforest reserve and learn of the diverse flora and fauna thriving below the leafy canopy. Continue on to top natural attractions including the remote black-sand beach of Piha and the New Zealand native forest setting of Karekare, and admire the beautiful Karekare waterfalls. Then, enjoy a 50-minute drive through the dense rainforest and open farmland to a local cafe for lunch. After lunch, travel through the Ararimu Valley to West Brook Wines and Kumeu River Wines, and sample some of the diverse chardonnay, pinot gris, and pinot noir wines in production. When your final winery tour comes to an end, return in comfort to your Auckland hotel to conclude your 7.5-hour tour.

$167.22 Private & Custom Tours

Private Tour: Auckland City and Countryside Tour

Start your personalized tour of Auckland with pickup at your hotel in the central business district (CBD). Get settled inside your private vehicle and be whisked away through the 'City of Sails.' Please note that any admission fees to area attractions are your own expense.After a look at the city center, head to Mission Bay Beach for views of Rangitoto Island. Pay a brief visit to M.J. Memorial Park with its sweeping views of Waitemata Harbour and then pass through the charming village of Parnell and its rose garden en route to Auckland Domain. Other highlights include Onepoto Lake, West Haven Marina, American Village, St. Heliers, and Achilles Point.More panoramic vistas greet your arrival atop Mt. Eden, the second highest point in the region. After a heritage walk with your guide, continue in your vehicle to the West Coast, past the rainforest and into Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. You'll drive through Titirangi to Karekare, known for its volcanic black-sand beach, the filming location of the 1993 movie The Piano. Marvel at the rugged cliffs and raging surf amid a backdrop of native flora. Due to these remote natural surroundings, the region is a magnet for craftsmen and other artisans. Take time at a waterfall before the return trip to Auckland.There is tremendous flexibility with this tour too, as a guide can be provided in the following languages for an additional flat rate: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish.

$159.56 Cultural & Theme Tours

Nature Day Tour - The Wicked West Tour

Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of West Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges. Explore the crystalline black sand of Piha beach, the wild isolation of Karekare beach and the cascading Karekare waterfall. Travel in our luxurious SUVs through ancient native forests and be Depart hotel 13:00 – Tours run for approximately 5 hours. Driving in our luxurious SUVs we head west to the Arataki Visitor Centre, the entry to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. Take in sweeping views of the Waitakere Ranges and gain some insight on the New Zealand flora, fauna and Māori culture. Travel through beautiful ancient native bush to Piha beach, one of Auckland’s famous wild surf beaches. Walk along the stunning black sands taking in the endless natural beauty, before visiting fascinating caves that will have you hearing, seeing and feeling the natural wonders this beach has to offer. We make our way to Karekare beach to experience one of Auckland’s enchantingly wild and isolated black sand beaches. A short stroll leads us to the gorgeous cascading water of Karekare Falls. Stopping high up in the Waitakere Ranges, we will experience sweeping views of the entire Auckland region and beyond. We then return to the city to conclude the tour at your hotel, cruise ship terminal or central location of your choosing. *You can book a private tour for up to 6 people. By selecting this option, you pay for 4 travellers and 2 seats are complimentary. We offer this option as the view from the rear seats do not offer the same level of viewing pleasure as elsewhere in the vehicle. A moderate level of fitness is required for this tour, and we suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket.

$191.61 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Waterfalls & Wines sightseeing & wine tasting combination day tour

We pick you up at your Auckland City accommodation around 9.30ish and head out to the amazing Waitakere Ranges covered in lush sub-tropical rainforest and sitting on the wild West Coast, Tasman Sea. On the way we take in the Arataki Visitor Center where the park rangers manage the Waitakere Regional Park. Amazing views over the forest canopy and loads of information about Maori and European settlement of the area. A short drive then to magical Karekare where we take a 15 minute walk to the magnetic, volcanic, black iron-sand beach and surf followed by a close up look at the two sets of waterfalls. You'll see native Kauri, Rimu & Pohutokawa trees, Manuka (honey) bush, Nikau palms and Punga 'Silver Fern' trees. Next a visit to a hilltop lookout point where it's possible on most days to see both sides of the country in an amazing 360 deg' panorama. After all that fresh air & exercise next stop is lunch. Time to sit, relax & enjoy your 'open menu main course' lunch (included) along with wine tasting at a small, family run, award wining winery restaurant. In the afternoon sample your choice of gold medal and trophy winning wines on a personalised wine tasting tour of an interesting mix of three family owned & operated winery/vineyards. Because we don't all like the same wines this tour does not always visit the same wineries in the afternoon. We do our best to use our nearly 20 years of experience to select these wineries based on your tastes and interests. We drop you at your hotel around 5.00ish... Please note this tour involves approx' 40 minutes beach & track walking suitable for people with an average fitness level. Please wear comfortable shoes or sandals and appropriate clothes for the weather on the day, 'layers' is a good idea. Sun block and hat are a must in summer. Auckland Wine Trail Tours is an official Auckland Regional Parks Approved Operator.

Karekare in detail