Bethells Beach (Te Henga)
Fair enough. One of the main reasons Te Henga is so beautiful, is that it hasn’t been scalded by Auckland’s construction frenzy. Most houses have been built a fair distance from the sea.
The sand dunes, a natural building buffer between the marshland and the surf, have kept it this way, and today, only piango, a sand creeper keeping these black dunes stable, has been given the green light for growth.
This lack of development also means there are no public amenities at Bethells. Don’t drive to this beach on an empty tank (or stomach), because you won’t find a petrol station or shop here. Your last point of call for supplies is Swanson or Waitakere.
The volunteer lifeguard is up and running on Bethells Beach during the summer months. O’Neill’s Bay is not patrolled, but this bay, to the right of the main beach, has some top-shelf surfing.
Alternatively, Lake Wainamu, a 22-hectare fresh water lake, is a peaceful swimming spot. Drive down the Bethells Hill, go over the one lane bridge and turn into the car park on the left. An easy 15-20 minute walk, the Wainamu path follows the bed of the stream.
The Te Henga track, an 8km walk that ends at Constable Road, South of Muriwai Beach, is accessible from Bethells Road. Take note though: this track cuts through private land, so it’s closed from August to October (for lambing season).
This is a great spot for fishing, walking the dog along the beach or checking out the beachside caves. It really is quite unspoilt here. Let’s keep it that way.