Lion Rock, Piha

Lion Rock

For visitors to Piha, the most memorable, or at least recognisable part of the area is the famous Lion Rock. a 16 million year old piece of volcanic neck standing ~101 metres high. It got its name from the shape of a sitting lion when viewed from the south of the beach (left in the photo).

Over the years Lion rock has claimed a number of lives – both from people falling, and also from those fishing off the dangerous yet rewarding rocks of the unforgiving surf beach. As a child I recall the terror of climbing to the top up a (at least what felt to be) dodgy eroding track. The reward once at the top was a magnificent view (and sandwich with Piha black sand stuck in it somehow). In the late 1990’s, there was a significant landslide with the double tragic result of dis-forming the lion a little, and preventing all but foolish risk takers from now climbing to the summit (another example of tragedy).

Now days one can climb up about 2/3’rds of the rock where you will reach a Maori stone and blessing of the area and valued rock. You may also be able to make out a small plaque near the middle of the base with the roll of honour for WW1 soldiers from the local area.

There is something special about Lion Rock for me & I love photographing it. One day I will get the perfect shot of it (for me)…one day.

Image wise, it was shot on the Sony Nex, with duo-tone filters and edited in Gimp. I adjusted the levels, added a vignette and converted to B&W.

Some more Piha tomorrow probably!


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