Karekare, New Zealand

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Waves rippling over Karekare Beach.

Karekare is a small coastal settlement in northern New Zealand, where the Waitakere Ranges descend into a large black sand surf beach.


It is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) west of Auckland city centre, south of the larger beach of Piha.

To the south is Whatipu. To the north is Piha. To the East is the Centennial Memorial Park and Water Catchment area, which cover most of the native bush clad Waitakere Ranges.


Karekare is a popular destination for Aucklanders in summer. Despite this, the area has retained much of its natural beauty and isolation, and does not get the high number of visitors recorded by its northern neighbour, partly because the road is narrow and only recently sealed. There are surf patrols in summer.

Karekare Falls

Also the site of a notable Waitakere waterfall - Karekare falls. The falls are just a half mile up the valley from the beach, on Company Stream, and it is just a short walk from the road down the track to the foot of the falls themselves.


The settlement was immortalised in song by Crowded House on their Together Alone album in 1993, much of which was recorded at Karekare; the well known Dub/Reggae group, Salmonella Dub, used the name as well on their album Feel the Seasons Change - Live with the NZSO. The location will also be familiar to viewers of the film The Piano, which included beach scenes shot at Karekare and Piha. Also flatland skimboarding is becoming quite popular there.

Safety information[edit]

The rips along this section of coast are very unpredictable and can shift with little warning. They claim many lives despite the efforts of lifeguards. Most of these drownings, however, occur after lifeguards are off duty or after rock fisherman wearing heavy clothing are washed off rocks, out of sight of the lifeguards. Lifeguards advise swimming between the red and yellow flags, during patrol hours.


There is a small community primary school (Lone Kauri School) with approximately 30 students located at Karekare. It is an independently operating branch of Oratia School, under the supervision of a senior teacher.[1] Located further into Auckland are State secondary schools Kelston Boys High School and Kelston Girls High School. Catholic students usually commute by train from Glen Eden to Marist College (girls) or St Peter's College (boys).


  1. ^ "Education Review Report: Oratia District School". Education Review Office. November 2008. 

External links[edit]

Looking north from the southern end of Karekare Beach.

Coordinates: 36°59′10″S 174°28′46″E / 36.9861111111°S 174.479530556°E / -36.9861111111; 174.479530556