On the road in Auckland’s western parts, you’ll be not far, but a world away, from the city’s urban heart. You’re off to those dramatic coastal shores the region is rightly famous for - Muriwai bound, looking forward to black sand between your toes and the sound of waves crashing to shore. And, quite possibly, the wind pressing right up against you, in well known west coast style.
You’ll find yourself at an impressive and spectacular coastal spot, one that deservedly commands your attention. It’s an ideal place to take in some sweeping views and seaside air. Blowing out the cobwebs, as they say, with windswept beach walks. Or, perhaps, a surf.
Those famous birds
And there’s clues here and there - pictures of them at the carpark - yes, there’s gannets in these parts. When the time is right, you’ll find one of a few significant gannet colonies in New Zealand, and this one is where you can get closest to the birds while you are viewing
The best time to find them in residence is from winter’s end through to autumn. Head along a short walking track to view the colony of birds that densely nest here, in pairs laying their single egg. After then they’re off, Australia bound we’ve heard...
Gourmet gannets too
But these are not the only gannets that the area can celebrate. Look out on your travels for the delightful artisan baker just before the main road turnoff toward the beach.
At the right time of the week, the gorgeous Gourmet Gannet will have its doors opened, after a very early morning start, to turn out for you stunning handmade breads, pastries, cakes and other treats. (Did we mention the eccles cakes, sticky and packed with fruit and extra flaky light pastry….) Perfect for a picnic pick up, or a take home after a bracing seaside walk.
Spot on classic kiwi food moments
Of course, a classic kiwi beach experience needs a fish and chip option. Muriwai can offer that, or a coffee and more, right at the beach. And there’s other spot on coffee stops and lunches at superb rural settings tucked away along the journey. So, stay on the lookout when you’re west coast bound, there’s many tasty moments to enjoy along the way.
And for more…
To find more on The FoodPath NZ’s handpicked eateries and artisans, for our collection of spot on New Zealand food moments, including on the road to Muriwai, download our New Zealand Food Trail Guides app here.