We took a trip to West Auckland last weekend and camped out in the Waitakere Ranges.
We pulled on our walking boots and headed out into the wild landscape of beach and bush. The forest felt to us like a mix of tropical plants and greenery, like bracken, that you’d see in England.
We camped in a small, secluded spot and were the only ones on site. We would have preferred a couple more tents in the campground for our first NZ camp but, after a few beers and lamb burgers, we had a peaceful night despite the rain. Not even a growling possum to disturb us.
Some of our highlights were:
A walk to Fairy Falls
The many (many) steps were worth it for the views and falls.
The wild beach that was the setting for The Piano. The wind lifted up the black sand so that it was whirling towards the sea (& whipping us in the face!)
Upper Nihotupu Dam
A short walk to a vast dam that provides millions of litres of water a day to the city of Auckland.
It was built between 1915-23 – such an impressive human construction.
The waves of Piha beach
When we visited there was a clean up taking place – Jack Johnson was helping out but we failed to spot him.
We returned to the city a little weary, achy and covered in bites…
The weekend outdoors was worth it and hopefully we’ll have time to return to see more.
- The Arataki Visitor Centre gave us advice on walks and has some breathtaking views. A good place to start a visit to the Waitakere Ranges.