Activities at Bethells Beach

Tramping and coastal walks

There are several different walks accessible from the cottages.

The Te Henga Walkway follows the coastline from Bethells to Muriwai Beach. The Department of Conservation rate it as one of New Zealand’s top twelve walking tracks and in our humble opinion it is nothing short of spectacular.

Allow four hours each way and for maximum enjoyment pack a picnic and make a day of it. If you would prefer a one way expedition, John or Trude can drive you to Muriwai Beach so you can walk back to Bethells. (View map.)

The Wainamu Lake rock pools are a gentle three hour round trip. Follow the river to the lake then take the Department of Conservation track that leads directly to the pools.

With an expanse of sheltered grass to spread a blanket upon, the pools are a beautiful place to picnic and swim on a hot summer's day.

The O’Neils Beach walk takes approximately 40 minutes each way. Walk to the northern end of Bethells Beach and follow the track over the hill to O’Neils.

You will find many shaded picnic spots provided by the ancient Pohutakawa trees dotted along the shoreline. For those interested in marine life there is an abundance of interesting coastline to explore.

There are other walks available in the Waitakere Ranges just a 15 minute drive away. The ranges contain stunning examples of New Zealand’s native bush and are well worth a visit. 


If you’re feeling especially adventurous you may want to explore a canyoning expedition at neighbouring beach, Piha. Guided by Cam Bowen, a great bloke and skilled professional, you will abseil under waterfalls, swim through underground pools, and traverse steep rock faces.

All equipment, lunch and transport is provided and no experience is necessary. All you need to bring is yourself and a healthy dose of courage. Cam will teach you the rest.

4 Wheel drive experience

If you like your adventures to have an engine and four wheels, this might be just the thing for you. Renowned for both his skill behind the wheel and his knowledge of the beach and surrounding area, John offers guests a four wheel drive tour of all the hard to get to local sights.

You’ll traverse steep sand dunes, pick your way through pine forests, and navigate dirt roads that wind their way through native bush and into the mountain ranges.

With his admirable command of the English language John provides a tour commentary in a class of its own. Not only will he regale you with local legend and a history lesson on the area, he can also provide an almost encyclopaedic knowledge on most subjects you care to discuss.

If you’d like to view the Tasman from 500 feet above sea level just ask for a visit to the Razorback, affectionately named for the plethora of Razorback pigs that live in its surrounds. It’s a sight to behold and a great place to enjoy a drink as the sun goes down. John’s pretty flexible so if you spot something you want to explore don’t be afraid to suggest checking it out.

Just don’t ask him to chase pigs as you might be on your own.

Helicopter flights

Whirly birds are a fairly common site in this area. Not only is the coastline and surrounding area a stunning place to fly, there’s quite often a film shoot in progress with an accompanying helicopter capturing the action from above.

If you’d like to experience Auckland city from 5,000 feet above sea level then this is the way to do it. We have three landing pads on the property so all you have to do is step out of your cottage and into the comfort of a new Bell Jet Ranger and you’re off on the ride of a lifetime. Learn More


The local fish and chip shop is a bit of a “do it yourself” affair. The chips come from our garden and require a tad of sculpting while the fish needs fetching from the sea.

Knives and forks aren’t the only utensils you’ll be needing so if you’ve left you’re fishing gear at home John can lend you a surf casting rod and show you where to aim your line.

There’s usually a Kawhai or snapper or two on the menu but the menu’s fairly fluid and offers the odd special every now and then.

If the shop’s not serving you can always talk to Ben. He’s pretty good at getting the doors open when the sign says closed.


Bethells Beach has some of the best surf on the west coast. According to the locals, who incidentally happen to be a friendly bunch of guys and girls, there’s a few breaks to choose from.

There are nice rights off the point at the southern end of the beach, and lefts and rights off the left hand side of the “Island”, depending on the swell direction and the tide.

Follow the track over the hill at the northern end of the beach and you’ll come to O’Neils. It’s a left and right hand break that operates off the point at the southern end of the beach. Under four feet it’s a fun wave. Much bigger than that and it’s like jumping off a building.

If you’re keen to explore, neighbouring west coast beaches KareKare, Piha and Muriwai offer more waves and are all within 30 minutes' drive.


You’ll have a fun swim at both Bethells Beach and neighbouring O’Neils Beach, especially if waves are your thing. In the summer months there’s a surf patrol operating at Bethells but in the winter they close up shop and you’re on your own.

If you prefer calmer swimming, Wainamu Lake is just a 40 minute walk from the cottages and it’s one of the nicest places to swim in the entire country. And we’re not biased in anyway…!

A Mental Walk

For those who prefer their exercise to be a little more sedentary why not try a mental walk? Simply pull up a chair and allow your mind to transport you to those hard to reach places you can see from the comfort of your sun deck.

You’ll be amazed as you roam up hill and down dale without breaking a sweat or moving a muscle.

If by chance you do become a little weary, just switch off your thinking mind and remain where you are. In no time at all you’ll find yourself in the here and now, connected to nature and at one with all of creation.

The views from this place are stunning and you’ll find yourself feeling expanded and refreshed in no time at all.

Local area attractions

There’s plenty of local area attractions but some of them prefer to remain anonymous. The ones that we can recommend are:

  • Monterey Park and Model World
  • Crystal Mountain
  • Nihotupu Bush Tramway (Rain Forest Express)
  • Craftworld
  • Gannet colony near Muriwai
  • Kiwi Valley
  • Kelly Tarltons