One of the great things about living in Auckland is the diversity of the coastline. You can drive from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean in less than an hour. On the eastern side, the Pacific, the beaches are characterised by calm, blue seas — though there are surf beaches to be found — and sheltered bays of golden sand fringed by hills and cliffs of pohutukawa trees. The west coast, on the other hand, is a totally different story. Here, in the Waitakere region, shaped eons ago by violent volcanic activity, the coastline is rugged and forested, the sea wild and dangerous. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and endowed with a unique ambiance, where nature is truly, and fully, in charge. Bethells Beach is typical of west coast beaches: wild, atmospheric, with an expanse of volcanic  sand backed by weathered, eroded, bush-clad cliffs.

All Images © 2012 Mark Meredith

The view from the cave at the southern end of Bethells Beach
The only people with any sense who would want to brave the treacherous currents at Bethells are surfers.
Joggers on a wonderfully gloomy afternoon
Life saving station at Bethells Beach
My three beautiful girls
Bethells Beach panorama

In the upcoming film of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit”, trolls will feature significantly. This is the kind of home they’d kill for.
The hills around Bethells, and much of the west coast, are covered in Manuka trees, often looking like they have been brushed by the wind, which they have. Manuka wood is often used in New Zealand to smoke produce, like salmon or pork, and it imparts a marvelous flavour. While the flowers of the tree make a very special honey, renowned for its medicinal properties.
Behind Bethells, alongside a river valley, are some spectacular sand dunes.

The Lair
The much needed and iconic lifesaving hut at Bethells Beach

End of the day

3 thoughts on “Bethells Beach

  1. Love the photographs, and it looks like an amazing place. Love the beach, these pictures look like nothing I have ever visited.

  2. Visiting is a must as I have seen so many amazing pictures, many of which are very different from the outdoor options we have here. For now I will follow through others blogs and their pictures.

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