One of the most popular beaches within an hours drive of the centre of Auckland is at Piha, on the west coast of the Waitkere Ranges. This view is taken from half way up Lion Rock. The beach is very popular with surfers and hosts many national and international surfing competitions. You can see quite a few surfers out in the bay, though there just tiny dots from here.
Black sand on the beach is caused by the volcanic rock in this area. The rocky island to the right of the frame is called Taitomo Island and is separated from the mainland, much like Lion Rock where I am stood to capture this photograph. In the very hot summer the heat of the sun heats the black sand and I’ve been here a few times where it has been quite painful to walk on barefoot, people have been known to burn their feet on the sand.