Muriwai Beach was on our cards once we got to know about the Gannet Colony dwelling on the beach. It is one of the most recommended landmarks in New Zealand due to it’s beauty and unique phenomenon.
On the mainland, this is one of the 3 gannet colonies in the world. Due to the Gannet colonies here, Muriwai beach becomes a unique attraction to include in your New Zealand itinerary while visiting North New Zealand.
Our Day 1 started by visiting Coramandel peninsula. We covered that road trip stretch in morning and visited Muriwai Beach in evening.
What makes Muriwai Beach special?
The orange streaks being formed in the distant horizon sky was speckled by thousands of Gannets, chirping their way into the sunset. If you are into bird watching or even have a general interest in ornithology, then this is a very interesting place for you. You will be able to see the Gannets here in the months of August to March. This is their breeding season and the Gannets flock here all the way from Australia. Here at Muriwai beach, they lay their eggs.
When the eggs hatch and little bird-lings are ready to take their first flight, they rely on the updraft wind. This updraft wind is created due to the cliffs surrounding the breeding ground. This strong ocean breeze literally puts the wind beneath their wings and the new born birds take their first flight. In the same flight, they head back to their home. It’s crazy to think that the first flight they take is the longest flight of their life, until they are back to the same breeding spot to have their own little bird-lings.
Anyway, the birds really dramatize the scene up by many notches. The sunset is beautiful, no doubt. But these birds make Muriwai beach a unique spot and hence a highly recommended inclusion in your New Zealand itinerary. Another nearby recommended experience would be Kitekite falls track if you have more time to spare.
Also Read: 10 Amazing Facts about New Zealand
Here’s a short video of Muriwai Beach sunset!
How to Reach
Reaching Muriwai Beach is easy, it’s just an hour’s drive away from Auckland city. If you haven’t rented a car, you can opt for public transport. Check here – Reaching by Public Transport
How much does it cost
There is not entry fee to visit Muriwai beach. The parking is free as well.
Best time & season
Hands down, visit Muriwai Beach during Sunset. Best months are from August to March as the Gannets are colonizing during these months and they make this destination special.
Carry a mask or a handkerchief to wrap around your nose and mouth. The thousands of birds shed millions of feathers. It’s a bit smelly too so this should help.
Definitely worth visiting. There are 3 such colonies in the entire world. The Sunset is definitely gorgeous and this unique setup of the gannet colonies make Muriwai Beach worth visiting.
I’d rate this place 9/10 due to it’s stunning beauty at Sunset and unique offerings.
So, this was the first day of our New Zealand trip, Coramandel Peninsula drive in the morning and Muriwai Beach in evening.
On Day 2, we were going to fly to Fiji. An island country known for spectacular beauty and warm hospitality, Fiji was a late inclusion in our Honeymoon plan.
Earlier we were going to spend 4-5 days in North island of New Zealand and then fly to South Island. But we replaced the North island by Fiji. It turned out to be expensive, but totally worth it!
Also Read: Rotorua: The Cauldron of New Zealand