Anawhata is my favourite Auckland West Coast Beach, because you have to walk 20min to the beach from Car park and hence it's uncrowded and beautiful. It's one of the wild west coast beaches and often big and dangerous... Do not recommed for beginners by themself.... also always a bit smaller than famous Piha.
Take West Coast Rd towards Piha, then make a right turn into Anawhata Rd. Park at the op of the hill and walk down to the beach. Often various peaks. Banks change all the time and best on small 3-5 ft swells. Good shelter from strong off shore winds.