When you stay at Te Wahi Ora Women’s Retreat you may be interested in exploring the local Piha area. When you enter Piha and look down across the beach you will notice one of the areas most iconic landmarks, Lion Rock. Piha is named after one of the names Lion Rock is known by – Te Piha. Te Piha referred to the patterns of waves separating and breaking on the front of the rock, as on the prow of a canoe.
COFFEE / PIHA CAFE / PIHA STORE
Piha has two main coffee options – The Piha Store and The Piha Cafe. Both are next door to each other and are approximately 10min walk from Te Wahi Ora. The Piha Store uses Organic Allpress Coffee and the cafe uses Kokako Organic Coffee. Both serve food and have gluten free options. The Piha Cafe’s pizza menu is popular and if you like pies do try the Piha Store’s Piha Pies, made on the premises. You may even get one of Piha Store owner Pete’s infamous ‘opinion-of-the-day’ served with your coffee and pie.
PIHA BEACH / SURF / SWIM / WALK / LION ROCK / THE GAP
Te Wahi Ora Women’s Retreat is located on the Piha beachfront and therefore it’s a very short walk before your toes are in the sand. If you are interested are something a bit longer there are walks with stunning coastal views up onto the headlands at either end of the beach or else you can climb up to the carved Pou on Lion Rock depicting Ngati Tangiaro Taua who loved to sit up there. Piha is a surf destination and swimming can be great fun ‘between the flags’ or at mid-low tide you could walk round the South Piha rocks and float in the pool that forms at ‘The Gap’. Piha is on the west coast and the sun sets over the Tasman sea. Walking Piha Beach at sunset is a magical experience. Grabbing some hand-cut hot chips with panko-crumbed fish from Adey’s Place and having a picnic on the dunes is an institution.
ART GALLERY / WEST COAST ART GALLERY / PIHA
The West Coast Gallery is a dynamic community arts venue, which exhibits and sells the artworks of over 200 artists all residing in the West Coast Waitakere Ranges of Auckland. The gallery is approximately 15min walk from Te Wahi Ora. They sell a wide range of artwork, ceramics and jewellery and their featured artist exhibition changes monthly. The gallery is open Wed-Sun 10am-4pm.
WALKING / DAY WALKS / TRAMPING / WATERFALL / BUSH
Piha is situated on the west coast of Auckland surrounded by Waitakere Regional National Park and there are a variety of great day walks that range from a couple of hours to all day. KiteKite Falls is a gentle walk and you can swim in rock pools in the summer. The walk to Mercer Bay and the Te Ahua Pa site offers stunning cliff top views up and down the coast. You can walk over the headland at north Piha to Whites Beach and often you will be the only person there. For the more ambitious, keep walking up the coast to Anawhata Beach. Te Wahi Ora is happy to make you a packed lunch to take on your walk. Piha is also on the Hillary Trail (A four-day /three night 75 km trek across rugged country reaching from Titirangi to Muriwai) and you could hike the trail and make Te Wahi Ora your mid-way stopover point.
LOCAL COLOUR / MARKETS / SURF CLUBS / SURF SCHOOL / PROTESTS
Surf Competitions, Market Days, and Thundercat Racing – over the annual calendar there are a number of seasonal events that are held at Piha. Grabbing some hot fish and chips or a Little Island Nice Block (gluten, dairy & soy free ice-cream) from Adey’s Place next to the Piha South Surf Club and watching the ‘goings-on’ can be a pleasant lively activity. Or if you’re feeling energetic you could hire a surf board or even join a surf lesson or two. In the summer months there are a number of market days. The Piha Labour Day Market is a popular weekend.