black sand beach near Auckland

It was an amazing afternoon tour arranged for me by one of my Virtuoso suppliers for New Zealand — an eco-tour in the Waitakere Ranges regional park just west of Auckland. We learned about the famous Kauri trees, saw a beautiful waterfall, went for hikes through verdant rainforests, and had a chance to walk on the black sand beach pictured above.

It was a very reasonably priced group tour, conducted by an engaging and knowledgeable guide in a comfortable van, and there were just three of us — I shared the experience with an interesting couple from Hawaii. A customized travel experience doesn't need to be expensive, and access to the best local guides will provide memorable experiences you may not find on your own. The local company that conducts this tour is Bush and Beach.

black sand beach (search here on Google)

copyright (c) 2009 by David J. Ourisman. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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