First of all, if you like to hike to the falls; don't leave any valuables in the car! Car break-ins happened recently. The falls are located in the northern part of the Waitakere Ranges.
Unfortunately, parts of the Waitakere Ranges got closed due to the Kauri Dieback disease in May 2018. Also, the trail to the Fairy Falls is closed at the moment. Check out which trails in the Waitakere Ranges are open and which ones are closed. PDF Hiking Trails Waitakere More information about the disease, and the status of closures for hikes and campgrounds can be found here.
Update closure August 2019: The Fairy Falls Track remains closed.
If you travel to the famous Piha Beach, don't miss this marvelous rainforest and the Fairy Falls. The falls are most impressive after heavy rainfall, but hiking is much for fun in the drier season with pleasant temps from November until April. Important; if you like to hike to the falls don't leave any valuables in the car!
Warmest and driest months are during summer from December to March with pleasant temps. Coldest months in winter from June to August. Most precipitation during winter but rain already starts in May with its peak in July. Anyhow, moderate to significant rainfall can always occur.
It is a popular trail and easily accessible. Anyhow if you have any mobility issues, it might be too steep to get to the falls. Especially during summer; the peak season and at weekends more people walk this trail. Nevertheless, this hike is still not overrun. Less busy in March, April and November with cooler temps but still lovely.
Piha Beach is a popular surf beach on the rugged coastline close to Auckland. The beach is flagged for swimming during summer. Only during patrolled hours swimming is recommended.
Don't miss the beautiful Piha Beach north of Karekare. If you visit the Karekare Beach famous from the 1993 "The Piano" Movie. The Piha Beach is even more spectacular at low tide. You can walk to a hidden beach (in front of Taitomo Island) or climb to the top of Lion Rock. The trail is pretty steep, but the view is awesome. Tide times
Hidden Beach at Piha; accessible at low tide only
The sunset at Piha Beach is famous and popular. Many visitors and especially young people stay here to watch the sunset before going back to Auckland or even better spend a night at Piha. You may have heard about the Piha Rescue, Surf Rescue or Deadly Surf. The lifeguards are pretty famous they featured in a New Zealand reality show.
Weather and Crowds
November until April is the most pleasant time with temps often above 20°C. Coldest months in winter from June to August. However, day temps are often mild around 15°C though expect in the night one digit temps. Most precipitation in winter but expect already more rain in May with its peak in July. Driest months are during summer from December to February/March. The best months for a bath are January until March with a sea temperature below 20°C. The best months for a vacation are December to February; the peak season. Weekends are more crowded due to local beach visitors. If you like to dodge the crowds, November and March/April are a better choice.