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.
Activities and facilities
- Car parking
- Food and beverage kiosk
- Public toilets
Forecast provided by SwellMap.com
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 ►
Stay safe - swim beween the flags.
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.
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
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.
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
- 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.