Black Sand Beach // New Zealand Pt. 4

Read Pt. 1 // Pt. 2 // Pt. 3 

The best part about driving through New Zealand is that everywhere you turn there's a breathtaking view. After lunch, my sister and I set off towards Tongariro, with no set stops or plans, other than enjoying whatever came our way. New Zealand is famous for its black sand beaches, but so far, we hadn't seen any. So, when we stumbled upon Mana Bay in Patea, both my sister and I were elated!

We arrived just as the sun was beginning its daily descent, casting long shadows on the dark ground. The beach was filled with white washed driftwood, all knotted and woven into natural sculptures. The world around us created a dreamlike atmosphere, with the black sand contrasted against the white waves and the blue sky. The sand was soft and fine, and formed from the erosion of volcanic minerals and lava fragments; I could have sat and played with it for hours, squishing it between my hands and drawing shapes with my finger.

After exploring the beach and jetty, my sister and I hopped back in the car to complete our day's drive. We ended with pizza at the Ohakune Tavern and then settled into our Airbnb for the night. (Not our favorite accommodation, as it was very cold, a bit loud, and the wifi turned off before we could map out our next day. But if you're in need of a good deal, it'll do the job.)

*$20 Airbnb Credit towards your next trip -