14 October 2010
get out of here: piha
Story by Anna Hood
Anna Hood discovers a weekend getaway on the outskirts of Auckland.
Many a day trip has been had out to Piha and many black sandy selves have reluctantly been carted back to Auckland but last weekend when the need to escape the city took hold, instead of heading afar in my quest for remote tranquility I took the familiar Scenic Drive to Piha and the two nights away were a true delight.
Black Sands Lodge provided the perfect accommodation. A rustic bach getaway, cosy and comfortable, only 30 seconds from the beach and surrounded by incredible native bush. It also had what I have decided is the ultimate deck accessory, the cape cod chair. Perfect relaxation inclination and with enough arm-rest space to perfectly balance a late afternoon Sauvignon Blanc, book and bowl of nibbles.
The joy of staying at Piha was immersing myself in the community, a sense of community is something Piha has in bundles – where else has the opening of a café caused such a furor – passion is high in this neck of the woods and I like it.
So the dinner and drinks destination was the RSA. From the balcony you can shoot the breeze with a local or two and take in all the different elements that bring this community together. It overlooks the caravan park, tennis courts and bowls club – which I have it on good authority does an amazing Sunday Roast. On the opposite hillside is the controversial café, the Piha store and post office and then there’s the juxtaposition of old and new, quintessential kiwi baches alongside multimillion dollar architectural wonders.
The menu at the RSA has everything you need – gourmet burgers, fish and chips, vegetarian salad and lots of kiddie options. A hub for the locals it is frequented by the old and young. Every night at sundown the lights go out, the big game is turned off and the Ode of Remembrance is recited.
If you don’t want to move from the Black Sands sanctuary they will cook for you, organise a massage and the more adventurous can have some surf lessons – I was tempted but when I heard that even the staunch wet suited surfers were staying out that gave me excuse enough to stick to the sand.
Black Sands Lodge has a range of accommodation options available for smaller or larger parties.
Cost: $180-$230 per night.