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Karekare is a great introduction to black sand surf beaches of Auckland’s wild west coast. The drive into Karekare is through forest green wrapped road embracing the steep winding route. There is even a hazard notice for a twisted truck that has grown up and over the road. This is bush magic Waitakere style. Karekare Beach is isolated and filled with the dark shadows of iron sands. Large breakers hit the black sands, at regular pounding intervals creating a shimmering glow on the wet iron sand. Light is silhouetted against The Watchman rock and your imagination goes into overdrive. Walk either side of the beach estuary listening for the steady increase of the roar of the ocean waves, perhaps passing a lifeguard coming off duty. This is best done with feet slipping into the warmth of the iron sands.

The bush provides a stark relief to the rugged beauty of the beach. The beach is backdropped against Pohutukawa Glades and Karekare Waterfalls. Track access is an easy walking track. On your return walk up the hill, past the car park to the clearly signposted Karekare waterfalls. While not a massive waterfall drop the easy fifteen minute walking track is a picture perfect poster for New Zealand coastal bush and forest. The pool of water at the end is a favourite instagrammer spot with the study in contrast between the waterfall, the bush and glade of green foliage.

The bush provides a stark contrast to the rugged beauty of the beach. Bush magic Waitakere style.

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