Visit Karekare Beach from “The Piano” (1993) in West Auckland

Karekare is a small coastal town in Northern New Zealand’s Auckland area, sandwiched by a great black surfy beach from the Waitākère Ranges. The ideal and peaceful beach has tall cliff headlands, large black sand dunes and intense waves that make the spot so photogenic. The Karekare falls are about fifteen minutes walk from the beach, or about seven minutes to the Karekare Rd main car park. The La Trobe trail leads to the glorious drops on the path from the carpark. When you walk down the road, the stunning Opal Pool Stream Cascade will greet you first. You will be honoured with the glorious view of the Karekare Falls as you proceed a little farther down the road.

Why might I recognise Karekare Beach?

Karekare Beach was the iconic focal point of one of the most acclaimed films in New Zealand cinema history, The Piano by Jane Campion, which won 3 academy awards and the best picture award at the Cannes Film Festival. Karekare Beach was the perfect cinematic foil for the film with its long black sand beach, imposing cliffs, native bush surroundings and untamed surf. So stunning is the location, it’s also become a popular spot for newlywed couples to take wedding photos. Others like to recreate (or attempt to recreate) the scene of a young Anna Paquin doing cartwheels on the shore.

There’s lots of light close to the falls, particularly on a sunny day, where you pull your mat and relax. The watershed is a pool on the field where visitors can have a fun dip. This is an atmosphere where you can be fully environmentally conscious.The beach and the falls are both part of the Karekare Regional Park, which has a small campsite, several walking trails and a few picnic areas (McCreeies Paddock Campground).

  • Carparking 10 minutes from beach
  • There is a simple river flowing from the parking lot to the ocean

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