We weren't sure where to go for the weekend or what the weather was going to be like but I had randomly searched up some cool trails to do outside of Auckland. Whatipu was one of the top things that came up.
Whatipu is a remote beach located on the west coast of Auckland and is also a scientific reserve. It's about a good hour and a half outside of the city. We met up with our good friends Shannan and Reka from our home and had another group of friends meet us there as well. Once we regrouped we headed out to the beach.
The roads to the beach were unsealed and there was poor signage. It was definitely different than what I expected for a west coast beach in Auckland. It was a lot more than just a beach and had many coastal dunes and wetlands. To the south of one of the main lookout points you can see Manukau Harbor and to the north you can see Karekare beach.
Manukau Harbor is the second largest harbor by area in New Zealand. You can see several rock formations jutting outside the Tasman Sea. Karekare is a small coastal settlement and beach area in New Zealand and is located in the Waitekere ranges. These beaches on the west coast of Auckland are also black sand beaches.
This type of black sand is called Iron Sand and was formed 2.5 million years ago from rocks deposited on the coast from by volcanic activity in the Taranaki region. This sand contains Ironsand and lime-soda feldspars. Over time this sand has been deposited across the west coast beaches and has helped build dunes on the west coast up to 90m high!
In Whatipu we hiked for about an hour to where you could see the wetlands and then we turned back. We went to explore some of the caves that were underneath some of the massive rock formations on the ground. After exploring caves, we made our way to the beach and ended up seeing some nudists.
Anyways if you're in the Auckland area and want to do something cool, definitely explore this gem! I think it's the most unique spot on the west coast!