Karekare Beach


Karekare Beach: A Beautiful West Coast Destination

Nestled on Auckland’s rugged west coast lies a beach that is to be one of the most beautiful in all of New Zealand. Karekare Beach is a hidden gem that’s gained popularity over the years because of its raw beauty and laid-back vibe.

The beach is not as well-known as some of the other Auckland beaches, which means it’s the perfect spot for those seeking a peaceful, unspoiled getaway. In this blog post, we’ll give you a glimpse of what makes Karekare Beach special and why you should include it in your travel itinerary.

Untouched Beauty

Karekare Beach is a 2.5 km stretch of black sand that’s perfect for beachcombing, walking, and surfing. The beach is framed by spectacular cliffs and rugged rocks, which add to its dramatic charm. Unlike some of the more commercialised beaches in Auckland, Karekare remains largely unspoiled and has an authentic feel that speaks to the hearts of those who appreciate nature’s beauty.

Surfer’s Paradise

Karekare Beach is known to be a surfer’s paradise. The wild surf rolls in here, attracting surfers from around the world. The high waves here are thrilling to ride, and the beach’s remote location means it’s never crowded. You don’t have to be a surfer, though, to enjoy Karekare; the beach is just as wonderful to walk along and admire the stunning sea views.

Before you grab your board and sunscreen, make sure to check for those oh-so-important red and yellow flags. The surf lifeguards are only on patrol during certain times, so you’ll want to be sure you’re swimming in the safe zone. And if the flags aren’t up, stay on the sand. But fear not, even when the lifeguards aren’t present, Karekare Beach is tested daily for quality, so you can still enjoy that saltwater without worry. Hit the beach and soak up the sun at Karekare – where safety and fun go hand in hand.

Karekare Beach Blue Sea Waves

Natural Wonders

Karekare is not just a beach; it’s also home to some natural wonders. About 1 km inland from Karekare Beach lies the stunning Karekare waterfall. The cascading waterfall tumbles down the rocks, creating a natural pool that’s perfect for a refreshing dip. The waterfall can be accessed via an easy 30-minute walk through the lush rainforest.

A Movie Backdrop

This gem in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges became world-famous thanks to Jane Campion’s iconic film The Piano, which introduced us to the talented Anna Paquin. And it’s not hard to see why the beach stole the show – with its rugged, untamed beauty and crashing waves, Karekare is the kind of place that takes your breath away.

Perfect Picnic Spot

Karekare Beach has several picnic areas, making it a charming spot for a romantic picnic or a family outing. The nearby Karekare Village has a general store where you can stock up on picnic essentials. Bring a blanket, a basket of food, and enjoy the beach’s stunning views while you relax and soak up the west coast sunshine.

Trail Near Karekare – An Easy, Quick Hike

Looking for a short, sweet trail near Auckland to fulfil your hiking needs? Look no further than this 0.5-mile out-and-back route near Karekare. Taking just 10 minutes on average to complete, it’s perfect for a quick pick-me-up or an afternoon walk. And with its popularity, you won’t be lonely on the trail. Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!

Or if you’re feeling more energetic, you have plenty of options: Not suitable for prams or wheelchairs. You can check websites to see if the tracks are open. 

  • Odlin Timber Track – 120 minutes, 2.8 km
  • Ahu Ahu Track – 60 minutes, 2.2 km
  • Buck Taylor Track – 45 minutes, 1.8 km
  • Cave Rock Track – 45 minutes, 250 m
  • Comans Track – 60 minutes, 1.4 km
  • La Trobe Track – 90 minutes, 3 km
  • Mercer Bay Loop Walk – 60 minutes, 1.4 km
  • Pohutukawa Glade Walk – 15 minutes, 500 m
  • Taraire Track – 30 minutes, 0.9 km
  • Zion Hill Track – 80 minutes, 3.6 km
  • Zion Ridge Track – 45 minutes, 1.4 km




✅Ranger Phone

✅Walking Tracks


If you’re looking for a beautiful, wild, and unspoiled beach destination, then Karekare Beach is the perfect spot for you. The beach offers breathtaking natural beauty, thrilling surf, natural wonders, and ultimate relaxation. It’s perfect for families, couples, and solo travellers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and soak up nature’s tranquillity. When you visit Karekare Beach, you’ll fall in love with its untamed ambiance and never want to leave. So go ahead, pack your bags, and head to Karekare Beach today!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How do I get to Karekare Beach? 

  • Pedestrian access is open 24 hours.
  • Gate access summer – 8am to 9pm
  • Gate access winter – 8am to 7pm (Non-daylight saving)
  • Sealed access road – Access to the park is via Karekare Road which is sealed.

2. Is Karekare beach safe to swim in?

To stay safe and sound, you should always swim between the red and yellow flags. Those hilarious lifeguards are out there patrolling the beach at times over late spring, summer, and early autumn. If the flags aren’t up, it’s time to chill and catch some sun, bud. Karekare Beach may be sampled daily from January 1st to December 31st, but for your daily beach fix, the red and yellow flags are your new BFF. 

3. How long is the Karekare walk?

It is a 0.5-mile out-and-back route near Karekare. Taking just 10 minutes on average to complete, it’s perfect for a quick pick-me-up or an afternoon walk. 

4. Are dogs allowed at Karekare?

Yes. Dogs are allowed at Karekare falls, but they should be leashed if they have poor recall or are likely to run off. If your dog isn’t properly socialised or is naturally very anxious, you may want to keep that in mind if you’re taking them to the falls for a swim, as a lot of locals bring their dogs off-lead during summer.

In the Waitakere ranges, dogs are not permitted on all tracks due to an incurable tree disease spreading in the rainforest, which is destroying our native Kauri trees. The disease is transmitted by particles being transported through the dirt on boots/feet and down streams, so keeping your dog on the path and out of the bush will help prevent its spread.