Bethells Beach Area (2004)

If you are lucky enough to visit Auckland, New Zealand, a trip out to the filming areas is a must! The studios and sets are long gone(not even sure Xena Way - see below - is still there!), but as a lot of Xena used natural scenery, it is possible to visit the river they raced down in Chariots of War, the amazing black sand dunes that were in loads of episodes like Motherhood, and the lake from Fins Femmes and Gems all in one walk, then up the road, the beautiful Bethells Beach where so many scenes were filmed.

The area you want to go to is quite a way from Downtown Auckland, about 45km or so. You head out of the city heading north on the 16 and aim for Bethells Beach on the west coast. Take the Bethells Rd towards the beach. Your first stop is the river, the dunes and the lake - Lake Wainamu. About a mile or 2 from the beach on Bethells Rd, you cross a narrow white bridge and immediately on your left is a parking area and a path along the river straight out of the opening credits! The hike across the Motherhood/Seeds of Faith black sand dunes to the Fins Femmes and Gems lake takes a while but is very worthwhile. When I was there, there was still a dent from the little wooden jetty Gabrielle fell into the water from when admiring her reflection! The black sand is iron based so is VERY heavy and pretty tiring to walk on!

Anyway, back to the car park and head on down to Bethells Beach. It was used many many times in the show, but is really just a very pretty beach with weird dark sand. Callisto's can be seen in the distance and you can roll in the surf like at the end of The Bitter Suite!

When I went, a non-Xena friend came and she enjoyed the natural beauty of the area while I was geeking out feeling like I was in an episode!

This housing development was built on the site of the studios where they filmed in the Henderson area off the Sturges Rd. Xena Way and Hercules Drive are next to each other. Zeus Drive is also nearby.

Can you hear the opening credits playing?

The black sand is REALLY hard to trudge through! And the actors were doing it all the time!

Spot where they built the little jetty used in Fins, Femmes and Gems

Don't miss this pilgrimage NZ visiting Xenites! Plus it is really a beautiful area.

Bethells Area on Google Maps

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