Daniel Vernon

Auckland Day Trip: The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park

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When you see pictures of New Zealand being advertised or wonder what people from overseas think of our country there is a good chance that the Waitakere Ranges are exactly what you’d picture.

The crazy thing is that many people, locals included, don’t realise that these breathtaking views and walks are located just outside of Auckland city – 40 minutes to be exact.

But what exactly can one expect from The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park? To answer that question frankly, it’s the where the pure beauty of New Zealand meet – including pristine bush, thriving native wildlife, and rugged black sand surf beaches. Many who visit the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park describe it as having a ‘wild west’ feel for its breathtaking natural towering sculptures and tranquil serenity that you don’t quite get living in the city.

For all those out there who love a good walk in natural splendor, the regional park boasts 250 kilometers of walking tracks, surrounded by spectacular scenery. Notable scenic spots such as the Karekare Falls, are very accessible by foot – an experience for all members of the family.

For those looking to delve a little deeper into the ranges, we suggest the Kitekite track (45 minutes) which will take you on a tour of the best things New Zealand’s native bushes have to offer, including waterfalls, streams, pools and beautiful native wildlife.

In the summer you won’t want to miss some of the countries most famous beaches which are located At the base of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. These beautiful west coast black-sand surf beaches are famous for their long stretching curves and tumbling waves (they can be dangerous – so swim between the flags.) Be sure not to miss the huge cliff-top gannet colony at Muriwai and see majestic Lion Rock, an eroded neck of a volcano that erupted 16 million years ago that has important significance to local Maori.