Fodor's Expert Review Muriwai Beach
The black sand of Muriwai Beach is a must for those exploring the West Coast. Combine a trip here with a visit to any of the many wineries in the area. The beach is great for surfing, kitesurfing, walking, and swimming, but don't venture into the water if the surf patrol is not operating, and always swim between the red and yellow flags. It is a great spot for a long walk and in summer it draws huge crowds. In winter you may be accompanied by wild winds, but it's still enjoyable if you're warmly dressed. Alternatively, get up-close-and-personal with the local gannet colony from the DOC viewing platforms; you can see the chicks in December and January. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards in summer; parking; showers; toilets. Best for: sunset; swimming; walking.