Mercer Bay is a part of the fabulous West Coast that starts at the Manukau Heads in the south and runs through to Muriwai Beach in the north and this section is also part of the great Hillary Trail that runs along the west coast of Auckland from the Arataki visitor centre to the end at Muriwai.
The walk to Mercer Bay starts at the end of Log Race road the turn of is just before you descend down the hill to Piha Beach, the carpark is located at the very end by the transmitter tower, from the carpark you get an idea of the views available from the ridge line with the Manukau Harbour entrance in the background.
The walk is a loop track, one entrance is through the gate in front of the carpark the other to the right of the tower, from the gate the track descends sharply down the hillside with stunning veiws of the bush clad gully and glimpses of Mercer Bay in the distance the track is well graded however will be slippery when it has been raining.
At the bottom of the gully there is a fork in the track walk to the left and this track will take you to Karekare Beach around forty minutes walk down a ridge line and into a gully to the beach, or you can return up the Ahu Ahu track to the log race road, to the right will take you on the loop track.
A short walk along from the junction you arrive at the first look out that is perched on a rock overhang allowing a stunning view North across a vertical rocky cliff and a vertical drop to the water below, to the left and a short walk out to the point is the main look out from here you can see the Manukau Bar with the swell breaking over the shallow sand banks way off the coast.
Back to the first look out the loop track starts to wind up and around the cliff there are massive drops to the left just off the side of the track, at the top is a third look out this is the best place to take a photo as you can see the bush clad gully and Whatipu Beach from the track.
Around ten minutes walk from the third look out there is a small track that leads off the main track to the left with a seat, you can walk past the seat and onto the side of a steep bank here you get uninterrupted views to North Piha Beach and Bethells Beach in the distance, the loop will take around one hour to complete and you need a bit of fitness as the accent back up the ridge line is relentless.