Tongapōrutu Beach in northern Taranaki is one of New Zealand’s most rapidly evolving pieces of coastline.
Once renowned for the famous formations of the Three Sisters and Elephant Rock, today just two sisters and a trunkless elephant remain, thanks to the relentless west coast waves.
At Tongapōrutu, the towering papa and sandstone cliffs are carved by the sea into pillars, caves, tunnels and stacks emerging from the shimmering black sand.
Keep an eye out inside the caves for Māori rock drawings scratched into the surface.
Visit Tongapōrutu at low tide to explore the beach. At high tide or in stormy conditions the waves reach all the way to the cliffs.