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To describe Black Sand Tours is to simply say they are the best. Top notch all the way around and a must if you are staying in the Auckland area. Shaun the tour guide is amazing and will take you to some of the most beautiful places. We went to Piha beach and to Bethel. Both beautiful places and made for an awesome adventure. This was booked last minute and wound up being the highlight of my two weeks in New Zealand. I will book again when I return. A
After a couple of days in Auckland I was looking for something different and this was it! We left the city and headed to Peha Beach and then Shaun guided us up and over a hill so yes there is some hiking involved, wear good shoes/sandals to this little cove that we had to ourselves! The rough seas were broken by a string of rocks at the entrance to the cove so it was perfect for swimming! It was awesome to swim in this cove. After a bit, we hiked a bit farther to have a picnic lunch Shaun stops at a little village so you can buy your own picnic lunch on the edge of a cliff with spectacular views of the ocean crashing into the cliffs. Afterwards, we went to KiteKite Falls another short 20 min hike, so we could swim in the waterfall. Which was pretty amazing. Black Sands Tours and Shaun did a great trip. Would highly recommend for a little adventure outside of Auckland.
Unfortunately The owner of this tour did not contact us to confirm pick up time as stated on voucher, we have to call him and even he seemed not sure what time to pick us up. On the day of the tour he rang us but he was late for 20 minutes. Unfortunately I missed the fun at waterfall, there was a bus and car crush on the way to the waterfall only one lane road and closed the road which I was really interested and the reason for this tour booking. He replace to visit other place but he was not been there for a year and it was changed and could not jump into the water so we just drive there and back to the city. I had only half day fun and other half day was drive around in small van with full capacity of 3:2:3 sitting total of 8 people. He offered free tour next day but I have other commitment. I feel He was not prepare for any unusual may happen. He promised to put photos taken on the half day but I sill can not find in Facebook. It was disappointing day.
This was a fantastic trip that far exceeded my expectations. The guide was incredible courteous and helpful with a great attitude. He lead us to some amazing spots that looked like places straight off the best postcards you could ever find. I enjoyed the day so much I would consider doing this again despite the fact that there are so many other places to see. This trip is well worth it and you won't be disappointed. I highly recommend this trip and this operator as well.
Marc from Hong Kong/USA
This is one of those trips where you made friends instead of feeling like you are in a standard commercialized tour. Shaun is a amazing guide and friend, a true local that have the required knowledge and safety awareness for his tour participants. The tour has a high level of customization, you get in the car and Shaun will tell you about the weather, the tide, the wind etc and how to make the most of the day. He took us to the ugliest place for lunch and it was spectacular. Shaun also took us to all these little spots only a true local knows, there were plenty of people at Piha and yet the places we went to we only saw a few people. It really does feel like a fun adventure day with a friend more than anything. I would highly recommend travelers with a moderately fitness level to go with this tour company, you will get the chance to push your limits safely.
p.s. Shaun's got the best stories, there wasn't a moment of boredom throughout the trip! :
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