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Time: 10 mins return

Muriwai beach is about an hour's drive northwest of Auckland city. A beautiful beach that stretches north seemingly forever, it's a popular fishing spot and made especially famous for its gannet colony.
At the main carpark it's a short walk over the rocks and left up the hill to the gannet colony, you hear the birds well before you see them.
Thousands (it looks like thousands....) of birds huddle closely together in nests on the rocks from August to March each year. It's pretty impressive seeing them fly around against the westerly winds and land perfectly on their spot. This place is cool even if you are not a bird watcher. There are several viewing spots to get photos from all angles.

We have lift-off - Muriwai Gannet Colony

We have lift-off - Muriwai Gannet Colony

Mike Locke

Gannets nesting on cliffs above Maori Bay, Muriwai

Gannets nesting on cliffs above Maori Bay, Muriwai

Lynda

Gannet families nesting - Muriwai

Gannet families nesting - Muriwai

Brian Stocks

Contact

Phone: +64 9 307 0615

Helensville Address:
Muriwai Beach, Helensville, Auckland

Map

map

10 reviews with the most recent first

Leonie's avatar

Leonie

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Great views! Black beach is beautiful!

Reviewed about 1 year ago and experienced in March 2016

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Pierre Alexandre 's avatar

Pierre Alexandre

France

Ranking: 7/10

Very nice place with a lot of birds and beautiful sunset. The point of view from the stairs is really nice especially when there is nobody on the beach.

Reviewed about 2 years ago and experienced in February 2016

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Chiara's avatar

Chiara

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Super sweet beach, nice for a little climb and spotting some wildlife.

Reviewed about 2 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Audrey Ripoche's avatar

Audrey Ripoche

France

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful beach with black sand. If you go up the stairs you can watch a colony of gannets and some are pretty close! Watch them fly, eat, cuddle, fight..... that is very nice.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in March 2013

Avoid Camping Fines!

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Hanneke P's avatar

Hanneke P

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

lovely view, beautiful coast

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Roeland Driessen's avatar

Roeland Driessen

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Just a beautiful place!!

Reviewed over 5 years ago

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Dogoneit's avatar

Dogoneit

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Feel like David Attenborough for free. You can get reasonably close and they are fascinating to watch. It's at the end of a beach with black sand. Well worth making a detour out to Muriwai and spending a few days on the west coast of Auckland, but whatever you do, don't miss the gannet colony.

Reviewed about 7 years ago

beetley's avatar

beetley

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

It felt like hours went by as I watched the close quarter routines of these amazing birds. Really worth a look.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in March 2010

Award-1-24px Congratulations Muriwai Gannet Colony

Rankers TravellerVoted Awards 2013 Bird Watching Winner

Nztraveller1's avatar

Nztraveller1

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Fascinating, beautiful, and free!! Close up viewing in a magical wild location What more could you ask for

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in October 2009

Rachel Widerstrom's avatar

Rachel Widerstrom

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Up close and personal with a beautiful natural wonder. If you are there between November and January you will see newly hatched chicks. Very cool..

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in November 2009

10 reviews with the most recent first

Leonie's avatar

Leonie

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Great views! Black beach is beautiful!

Reviewed about 1 year ago and experienced in March 2016

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 96 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Pierre Alexandre 's avatar

Pierre Alexandre

France

Ranking: 7/10

Very nice place with a lot of birds and beautiful sunset. The point of view from the stairs is really nice especially when there is nobody on the beach.

Reviewed about 2 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Chiara's avatar

Chiara

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Super sweet beach, nice for a little climb and spotting some wildlife.

Reviewed about 2 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Audrey Ripoche's avatar

Audrey Ripoche

France

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful beach with black sand. If you go up the stairs you can watch a colony of gannets and some are pretty close! Watch them fly, eat, cuddle, fight..... that is very nice.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in March 2013

Avoid Camping Fines!

The only camping map where each location is approved by every regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Hanneke P's avatar

Hanneke P

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

lovely view, beautiful coast

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Roeland Driessen's avatar

Roeland Driessen

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Just a beautiful place!!

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Dogoneit's avatar

Dogoneit

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Feel like David Attenborough for free. You can get reasonably close and they are fascinating to watch. It's at the end of a beach with black sand. Well worth making a detour out to Muriwai and spending a few days on the west coast of Auckland, but whatever you do, don't miss the gannet colony.

Reviewed about 7 years ago

beetley's avatar

beetley

Australia

Ranking: 9/10

It felt like hours went by as I watched the close quarter routines of these amazing birds. Really worth a look.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in March 2010

Award-1-24px Congratulations Muriwai Gannet Colony

Rankers TravellerVoted Awards 2013 Bird Watching Winner

Nztraveller1's avatar

Nztraveller1

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Fascinating, beautiful, and free!! Close up viewing in a magical wild location What more could you ask for

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in October 2009

Rachel Widerstrom's avatar

Rachel Widerstrom

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Up close and personal with a beautiful natural wonder. If you are there between November and January you will see newly hatched chicks. Very cool..

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in November 2009