Wherever you go in the world, it's always a pleasure to take a few minutes and face west to watch the sun go down, and imagine that somewhere else, someone is facing east, watching it rise. There are thousands of great places to see the sun sink in and around Auckland. Here are three of our favourites.

1. Piha Beach
40km from the CBD. With its sweeping swathes of dark sand, thundering surf and those majestic rock formations, Piha is a classic spot to witness the closing of the day. When that ball of fire we call the sun descends into the sea, you almost expect it to hiss, like a recently used frying pan being placed under the tap.

2. Pt Chevalier Beach
Coyle Park or Harbour View Rd entrances. Winter or summer this beach, still feeling fresh after being re-sanded a few years ago, is a fine place to view the going down of the sun. Perhaps it's waxing a little too lyrical but sometimes, when the light is right, and the art department has arranged the umbrellas, picnics and people just so, it could almost pass for the Riviera. If you ask me.

3. Sunset Beach, Port Waikato
As its name suggests, this is a perfectly stunning place to be at the close of play. Time it right, grab the family, some mates and a steaming package fish 'n' chips and let the show begin. You can never have too many photos of sunset.