Fodor's Expert Review KareKare
Film buffs will recognize KareKare and its black sand from the dramatic opening scenes of The Piano. Its size means you will never feel hemmed in, even in the peak summer months when it attracts big visitor numbers despite the steep road access and you'll need to pack a lunch as there are no shops.
The pounding waves make for great swimming and surfing, but again, go in only when the surf patrol is operating as there are strong rips and undertows. Fit walkers should explore the southern end of the beach. You can venture past the point but only go at low tide because getting back is difficult when the tide comes in. The sunsets are spectacular anytime of year. Amenities: lifeguards in summer; free parking and toilets; picnic areas. Best for: surfing; swimming; sunset; walking.