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
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
If you are young, adventerous, and not afraid to get sandy and wet, this is the best tour you can do. The guide, Shaun, was the best tour guide I have ever had. He was extremely friendly, interactive, organized, and energetic. It literally feels like you are exploring the hidden gems of the west coast with your best friend, except your best friend has the appropriate knowledge of the area. Because of Shaun's expertise we were able to see parts of the coastline that were completely untouched. We spent our whole day by ourselves which is crazy to think since we were only 45 minutes from downtown Auckland. This tour was everything we could have asked for and then some. I highly recommend for anyone who is interested in climbing rocks, swimming, and rolling down black sand dunes.
For those of you with any safety concerns, Shaun is very observant and attentive to his guests needs and skill levels. He continually ensured we felt safe and always aired on the side of caution. Before we started he also went through a check list of rules, guidelines, and safety procedures.
I cannot speak highly enough of this tour. Wish we could go back and do it again.
This trip was amazing! My fiance and I booked last minute 10pm the night before not really knowing what to expect. The owner got back to us immediately to ask about a pick up location at 10pm! He's super dedicated. We had a blast hiking around, walking some black sand beaches and getting to know some other international travelers on the small 6-person tour. Shaun, the owner of Black Sand Tours, was a wonderful guide. A local to the Auckland area, he has a very intimate knowledge of the beaches and hiking locations he took us to. He inquired about hiking/swimming skill levels to ensure everyone would have a good time his knowledge of wind/tidal/weather safety conditions made us all feel very safe. He knows what he's doing. Despite the rainy/windy weather, we all had a wonderful time exploring Piha and Muriwai. The locations he took us to were absolutely gorgeous, even in the mist. We saw nesting nesting Gannets at Muriwai it was like a scene straight out of Planet Earth and hiked to a little black sand cove at Piha we got an amazing view of Lion Rock on the way there. Shaun offers a unique experience for everyone on the tour and truly puts a ton of effort into making sure everyone has a good time. As I said, having small group made it easy to meet and talk to people including Shaun if he wasn't telling us about some interesting local history , he was engaging us in some interesting conversations or giving us recommendations for other Auckland trips. Overall, this tour was excellent! I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone in Auckland looking for something to do. Its a great way to get out of the city which is what my fiance and I were looking to do, and to see some of the famous New Zealand countryside. Its great for most age groups too, given that Shaun gauges the group. Definitely add a Black Sand Tour to your Auckland itinerary!
Sean from Black Sand Tours was an amazing guide and by the end a friend. His knowledge of the Auckland area, beaches, and ocean tides/conditions were unmatched and helped make our trip that much better. Based on conditions he chose Piha and Anawhata Beach which were both breath taking. Overall, I really enjoyed the tour, Sean's chill attitude and knowledge of Auckland/surrounding areas. Undoubtedly the best day and money spent in Auckland and hopefully will run into Sean again.