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Piha Beach

A very scenic, accessible and popular beach, with good parking right at the beach. However Piha is also a very hazardous beach and all swimmers should stay in the patrolled area and obey the directions of the lifeguards. Still on average 150 - 200 people are rescued here each year. Piha Beach has a Lifeguarding service and all beach partons should swim between the flags and listen to advice of the Guards.

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Family friendly

This beach is well suited for families, make sure your family is prepared for the beach conditions, the beach is patrolled by Surf Lifeguards during the summer months.


This is a naturally hazardous surf beach exposed to usually large waves and with two strong permanent rips at either end of the beach. Always swim in the patrolled area in the centre of the beach. Stay on the inner bar, well clear of the feeder currents that run into the rips at each end of the beach.


Piha has long been a popular surfing beach owing to its good access and the often good breaks produced on the outer bar by the rip channels. However the outer breaks are for experienced surfers only. Less experienced surfers should stay on the inner bar and surf the reforming waves.


A very popular spot with good permanent channels running out against both headlands which can be fished from the beach and rocks. However the rocks are quite hazardous and anglers have lost their lives when washed off.

Activities and facilities


  • Canoeing/kayaking


  • Car parking
  • Food and beverage kiosk
  • Public toilets


The beach is our favourite playground, but it can also be a dangerous place. Learn about the hazards at Piha Beach and be prepared so you and your family can enjoy the sun, sea and sand safely this summer.



Patrolled Beach
Piha Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Forecast provided by SwellMap.com

Max Temp.
Water Temp.

Water Conditions

For boating and surfing
Good. 7/10
Good. 8/10



Safety at Piha Beach

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Piha Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand Beaches. More ►

Patrolled Beach

Patrolled Beach
Piha Beach is a patrolled beach.
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.

Patrol Hours

Piha Beach is patrolled on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 11:00am to 6:00pm between 7 December 2019 and 23 February 2020. From 1 March 2020 to 14 April 2020 hours reduce to 11:00am to 5:00pm. A Regional Lifeguard Service is provided Monday to Friday from 2 December 2019 to 13 December 2019 between 11:00am and 7:00pm. Hours increase to 10:00am to 7:00pm until 7 February 2020. From 10 February 2020 until 7 March 2020 hours reduce to 11:00am and 7:00pm.


Click a safety symbol for more information on the risk

4 simple rules to keep you safe

We want you to have a great time whilst visiting Piha Beach. But take a moment to learn more about being safe on New Zealand beaches and looking out for each other. More ►

The Water Safety Code:

  • Be prepared
  • Watch out for yourself and others
  • Be aware of the dangers
  • Know your limits
DIAL 111 in the event of an emergency


North Piha beach extends for 2 kilometres from the northern side of Lion Rock, the boundary with neighbouring Piha Beach, and Te Waha Point. The Piha Road after winding down into Piha Valley crosses Piha Stream with the northern road running along behind North Piha Beach, bending inland to cross Wekatahi Creek approximately half way up the beach. Houses lie to the east of the road occupying both the flat sand dunes and running up the steep backing slopes, while most of the eastern side is given over to extensive car parks, picnic areas, the beach and backing fore dune. On the north side of the stream is North Piha Surf Life Saving Club an adjoining car park, beyond which is 300m of beachfront houses. A small motor camp is located on the banks of Wekatahi Stream. The beach faces west south west and is exposed to the full force of the westerly winds and waves. The waves average 1.5 metres and combine with the fine sand to produce a low to moderate gradient beach fronted by an attached inner bar, then a seep trough and an outer bar that lies between 250 and 350 metres seaward of the beach. Larger wave break 500 metres and more offshore. The waves also produce strong currents that flow out against both headlands forming strong permanent rips. There are also rips spaced approximately 500 metres apart along the beach. All rips originate in the inner surf zone, with feeder current flowing toward the rips where they converge and flow out through the surf zone in deeper rip channels.

Public Transport

Bus: http://www.maxx.co.nz/


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Beach Water Quality

The Overall Recreation Risk is a guide to give a general picture of water quality at a site. Updated annually, it is calculated from bacteria (enterococci) data collected over the last three years. The Overall Recreation Risk indicator is a precautionary approach to managing health risk and is not designed to represent health risk on a particular day. As such, a site can have an Overall Recreation Risk of ‘Caution’ but still be suitable for swimming some of the time.

Overall recreation risk

The long term risk status based on three years of data

Low Risk

Between 1 and 5% risk of illness

Many councils also provide the results of their weekly monitoring. This lets people know what the most recent bacteria levels were. Remember, even sites with low risk can be unsuitable to swim at from time to time and we recommend that you avoid swimming for 48 hours after heavy rainfall.

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