Just under an hour's drive from the heart of Auckland city centre, Piha beach attracts hundreds of people every weekend - especially when beautiful weather is combined with a high tide.
Starting from Victoria St West, head north and turn left on to Hobson St and follow it down until you bear right on to Auckland's North Western Motorway (SH16) which will point you in the direction of Helensville.
Follow SH16, then bear left to take Exit 14 and turn left on to Te Atatu Rd.
When you approach the roundabout, go straight on to Edmonton Rd before turning right on to Alderman Drive and follow this across Great North Rd and under the railway bridge.
After this point, Alderman Drive will become Henderson Valley Rd. Follow this for 2km and you will come to another roundabout, then take the first exit left on to Forest Hill Rd.
A twisting and turning piece of asphalt, it becomes West Coast Rd through Waiatarua. After 500m bear right on Piha Rd.
As the name suggests, follow this road for a further 12km through the Waitakere Ranges, before taking a left onto Seaview Rd, which will take you to Piha itself.
It is a good idea to stop at the lookout area and take pictures before you head down into Piha.
Although you can simply go back the way you came, there is a scenic alternative. When you reach Waiatarua, Piha Rd will link on to Scenic Drive. Instead of turning left on to West Coast Rd, stay on Scenic Drive.
Taking Scenic Drive will give you a change of scenery as you head through towards Titirangi.
After 9km you will approach a roundabout. Taking the third exit leads you on to Titirangi Rd. This then becomes Rata St, then Ash St and Great North Rd. Following this will take you back on to SH16 where you can follow it back to the Auckland city centre.
Some of the activities at Piha include:
Surfing and the Beach
Piha IS Auckland's beach. Keen surfers and beach-goers turn up in droves every summer to soak up the sun and surf. Next to the beach lies Lion Rock, Piha's landmark.
In the mood for a hike? Then the Kitekite track would be your next port of call. At 1.8km long, it should take 45 minutes to complete.
The Kitekite track will take you through the heart of the Waitakere Ranges and out to the Kitekite Falls. The beach and surrounding areas provide more opportunities for a nice walk.
Piha has a little village centred around the Piha store, post office, library and cafe. The Piha Domain also features a playground for the kids and camping facilities.