Tour Details:
 Departs Auckland
 Hotel Pick Up / Drop off Yes
 Best taken September - March
 Duration Full day
 Fitness Level Normal
 Transport Included
 Meals Not included
 Accommodation N/A
 Group size Min. 1 - Max. 6
 You will need:
 Summer: Swimsuit, sun screen. sun glasses
 Winter: Warm clothing,
 Additional Activities Land Yachting on the beach
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If you are after a good thrill and would love some adrenalin rush, this is what you can do at Muriwai:
  • Surfing
    (Boards and wtsuits for hire available, as well as surfing lessons)
  • BloKarts
    (Land Yachting on the Beach. Reasonable wind, 15-20 knots required)
Contact me for more information, or if you wish to try any of these activities!

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Gannets @ Muriwai

Muriwai it's a rough sea, black sand beach on the west coast and a favourite surfing spot. Prepare to be amazed and take a spare memory card... We visit the Gannet colony at Muriwai.

It's all about the birds the beach and the waves.
We'll travel through a beautiful countryside, and we'll visit some fine vineyards on the way too, but ultimately it's the birds and the beach we are aiming to photograph!

Photo Opportunities:
  • The Gannet colony
  • Muriwai beach dramatic scenery
  • Surfers and Kite surfers braving the sea
  • The Kumeu Wineyards
  • Rolling hills and sheep farms

Today we drive west and kick start the day with a tour of some of the finest winemakers of the Auckland area - the Kumeu Wineries. The setting of the vineyards is beautiful and offers fine photography opportunities, particularly in spring and autumn. During some winter days,, the bare branches of the wines are a striking sight too...

After leaving State Highway 16 on the final leg to Muriwai, we drive through a beautiful land of a rolling hills sheep farm. The white sheep form beautiful patterns on the green pastures and In spring the new lambs offer delightful sights.

And then there's Muriwai.
We start at the top of the hill. Access is restricted to the two viewing platforms but along the way the views of the striking high cliffs and rough sea expanse dotted by the Gannets in flight are truly stunning.

The viewing platforms offer amazing close up encounters with these beautiful birds and I'm sure that you won't be disappointed.

One looses sense of time watching and photographing the busy bird's life and it's really quite difficult to let go...

Then its time to check the best spots to photograph the surfers and the waves. A stroll on the beach yields great photo opportunities too while waiting for the sun to go down and surprise us with the day's array of amazing Muriwai sunset colours.

There's one more thing to do on the way back to Auckland. Huapai is home of Dante's Real Woodfired Pizza. This is New Zealand's only Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana certified pizza, and believe me after such a day out that may be just what you need...


Depending on season, weather and your personal preferences our itinerary may change.

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Additional Information


The name Muriwai traditionally applied only to wetlands in the Okiritoto Stream Valley. The park was established in 1906 as Motutara Domain, taking its name from the rock stack 'motutara' - island of the sea birds.

The domain was expanded over the years and became Muriwai Regional Park in 1969. Muriwai Regional Park extends from Maori Bay in the south up Muriwai Beach for 8km. The park includes the spectacular Takapu (Gannet) Refuge at Otakamiro Point, one of only three mainland gannet colonies in New Zealand.  The chicks hatch in November then leave for Australia at 15 weeks old returning to breed when they are 3 and seven years old.

Kumeu Wineries

Kumeu's wineries date back to the 1940s when wine families of Croatian origin made an important contribution to the establishment of wine making in the area. It is the base of the highly rated Kumeu River, Coopers Creek, Nobilo and Matua Valley wineries.
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