Muriwai Beach

Rough black sand beach with dark cliffs and surf
Maukatia bay
Black sand beach for as long as you can see with surf and mist
Muriwai beach
Cliffs with white bird on them being Gannets
Gannet Colony

Muriwai is an impressive coastline with cliff-top trails to a huge gannet colony, with easy access and viewing platforms that let you get up close.

It consists of two bays or beaches with the Gannet Colony in between.

On the left is Maukatia Bay, also called Maori Bay as it used to be a favourite spot for the local iwi.

On the right is Muriwai beach, a continuous black sand beach all the way up to South Head. This beach is also an official road, however you need a permit to get onto the beach and you better know what you are doing as there have been deadly accidents in the past.

What to do here?

  • Surfing is the main pastime at Maukatia (Maori Bay) and Muriwai Beach. Other pastimes enjoyed at Maukatia include paragliding and hang gliding, especially when the prevailing southwesterly wind provides favourable conditions.
  • Fishing is also popular, although can be dangerous in some places, in particular on the rocks.
  • Bush walking is encouraged, with boardwalks in place, and the ‘Hilary Trail’ passes through Muriwai.
  • Surf boards, surfing tuition and blokarts are available for hire at the Muriwai Surf School near the beach. Blokarts can only be done on a windy day (15-20 knots), 2 hours either side of low tide.
  • There are many mountain bike trails up in the pines, mainly downhill and freeride trails.
  • Horse riding is popular along the beach, as well as through the extensive tracks behind the sand dunes. Access is also available through the Woodhill Forest Equestrian Park. Explore Muriwai Beach on horseback with guided tours.