Muriwai Beach

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Muriwai, also called Muriwai Beach, is a coastal community on the west coast of the Auckland Region in the North Island of New Zealand. It is home to a large colony of gannets.

Muriwai is approximately 17 km west of Kumeu, 42 kilometres northwest of Auckland city, at the southern end of an unbroken 50 kilometre stretch of beach which extends up the Tasman Sea coast to the mouth of the Kaipara Harbour. One of several popular beaches in the area (others include Piha and Karekare), it experiences a population explosion in summer when Aucklanders head to the sea. It is in the Rodney Ward of the Auckland Region.

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 souwesterly wind provides favourable conditions.

There are many mountain bike trails up in the pines, mainly downhill and freeride trails.

Sand and Rock (sedimentary), Older volcanic material, with many concretions and layers in the cliff walls. A blowhole plays often. The shore platform is also well jointed, with the main rock type being piha conglomerate.

It is also unique because of its black sand, caused by the iron content derived from the ancient volcanoes in the area. The majority of the black mineral sand is carried up the west coast from Mt Taranaki through the process of longshore drift. This sand is igneous material that was eroded from the volcanic area. Despite this, the area has retained much of its natural beauty and isolation.

Much of the land at the southern end of the beach is part of the Muriwai Regional Park. Maukatia (Maori Bay) to the south is separated from Muriwai Beach by Otakamiro Point, with its steep cliffs and rocky nesting areas that are home to the region's only gannet colony. The site of the gannetry has been identified as an Important Bird Area, by BirdLife International.
The Regional Park includes a golf course along Coast Rd, and the area north of Okiritoto Stream is known as the "Five Mile Strip" or "Five Mile Block" as this is its approximate length. A horse park (parking area for horse floats and trucks to unload) is located just to the south of Okiritoto Stream. 4WD access on to the beach is also provided at this point.

The Five Mile Block provides recreational trails for horse riders, and walkers. Cyclists enjoy the Coast Rd as far as the top of the Regional Park (but are not permitted into the adjoining Woodhill Forest) by the Forest Managers. Dog walkers also frequent the area, as it provides a wide range of off-leash walking opportunities.
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