Scenic Drive is about a half hour drive from Auckland city. From there, travel north or south and turn off the road to see various wide beaches against a backdrop of green mountains. We spent a day visiting Karekare, Piha and Bethell's beaches, returning to Auckland city in the late afternoon.
If you are ever in Auckland for a few days, I highly recommend allotting at least one day to this drive. To backup my claim, here are a few of our photos: