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Mercer Bay

Mercer Bay, Auckland, New Zealand


You will find it hard to believe this hidden gem is only a short half an hour drive from Auckland City. Black sand scatters across New Zealand’s popular West Coast beaches, but this one always seems to be missed… Most likely due to the hazardous 1 hour cliff edge trek it takes you to get there. The actual Bay is not to be confused with the more widely known Mercer Bay Loop Walk- although the Loop Walk is marked more clearly and offers gorgeous views, it doesn’t take you right down to the water, it just covers the upper rim.

Cliff trek down to Mercer Bay

Cliff trek down to Mercer Bay | | Photo by Gabriella Morton

The trek takes approximately 1 hour each way, dependant on your skill level. Although short, it is an intensive journey that you will need balance and coordination to complete. The steepest parts have ropes to assist your absail down, and help pull yourself back up.

Caves at Mercer Bay

Caves at Mercer Bay | Photo by Gabriella Morton

Once at the base of the secluded bay, you’re able to find multiple caves (at the North end) when the tide is out. The magic and surrealism of this place cannot quite fit all into one frame. There aren’t even footprints from people walking their dog across the beach the previous morning, the only souls you see are starfish basking against the brightly toned rocks.

Caves at Mercer Bay

Caves at Mercer Bay | Photo by Gabriella Morton

The waves are similar to the well known nearby surf beach, Piha. Aggressive currents mean it’s best to stay shallow, but definitely a well deserved and super refreshing dip after the cliff trek.

Swim at Mercer Bay

Swim at Mercer Bay | Photo by Gabriella Morton

Level: Difficult
  • A hazardous walk, you must have good balance and coronation
  • Preferably keep both hands free
  • Closed shoes are recommended
  • Approximately 1 hour each way

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