Are Auckland's black sands the 'new white'?

Posted by barbara on March 8, 2014

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For non-New Zealanders, it is strange indeed to witness the good people of Auckland and surrounds enjoying a summer holiday on the pitch black sands of Muriwai Beach.

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How can it be we Sydneysiders ask ourselves, so used to our own white to cream sandy beaches, the lighter the better?

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The 'all black' style beach sands shouldn't come as a complete surprise. After all New Zealand is a volatile land mass prone to volcanic activity. The distinctive dark sands apparently owe their origins to ancient volcanoes including the sizeable offshore Kaipara volcano which was active 23-16 million years ago.  

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So instead of sunning themselves on sands made up of quartz grains and broken up shells, as most Australians do, Aucklanders make do with the volcanic grit, the breakdown product of aeons of erruptions.

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The lifeguard, NZ style, keeps a close watch over the swimmers and body surfers.

 

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