The Waitakere Ranges in West Auckland are currently off limits.
In early December 2017, the local Iwi, Te Kawerau a Maki, performed a ceremony to place a rāhui over the area. The rāhui, a form of tapu, prohibits access to the area in an attempt to limit the spread of kauri dieback. It’s thought that the disease has mostly been spread by hikers who haven’t followed proper practices when exploring our beautiful bush.
At Yourdrive, we're all about environmental sustainability. To protect our environment for future generations, we’d strongly recommend you respect the rāhui and adventure elsewhere. Beware, Kauri are under threat outside of the Waitakere’s too, so please stay away from kauri tree roots and clean your gear before and after visiting bush areas.
Want to go on these walks but don't have a car to get you there? Fear not, Yourdrive has got your back with hundreds of privately-owned vehicles available to rent - directly from Auckland locals. You'll find a wide range of great-value vehicles in handy pickup locations across the city. Read on to bag yourself a sweet $20 discount on your first rental!
Here are our suggestions for 5 Auckland hikes to do, outside the Waitakere's:
1. Hunua Falls
50km drive from Auckland CBD. 30 minute walk.
3 stunning waterfalls are included in the rāhui area - Karekare falls, Kitekite falls and Mokoroa Falls. If you have a desire to disobey TLC and go chasing waterfalls, Hunua Falls, on the edge of the Hunua ranges, is a great option. Start at the carpark on Falls Road and take the track through lush bush, following the bends of the Wairoa River and adjacent streams. Enjoy views over the 30m high waterfall from the lookout platform before continuing along the track to the base of the Falls, where there is a large flat area with tables, perfect for a picnic! Please note, as inviting as the pool at the base of the falls appears, it’s not suitable for swimming.
This walk is only 800m total so, if you’re after a bigger challenge, we suggest combining the Cossey Gorge Track with the Massey Track for an 8.3km walk starting at the same carpark. This walk is suitable for confident hikers as, while metalled the whole way, it can be steep in places and involves wading/rock hopping across Cossey Creek.
2. Rangitoto Island Summit
25 minute ferry from Auckland CBD. 2 hour walk.
If you haven’t done this walk, are you really an Aucklander? Hop on the Fullers ferry from downtown Auckland (or Devonport) and cruise across the harbour to Auckland’s newest and largest volcano.
A gentle climb through lava fields will lead you to the summit, 260m above sea level. At the top, you’ll have stunning views of the city skyline and the other Hauraki Gulf Islands.
3. Tiri Tiri Track
53km drive from Auckland CBD. 2 hour walk.
The Tiri Tiri Track is part of Shakespear Regional Park, located on the Whangaparoa Peninsular, about an hour north of Central Auckland. The 5km walk will take you along the beach, through bush, and across farmlands, providing incredible views up the coast to the north and out to Tiritiri Matangi Island.
Pack your togs as a dip in the water at Te Haruhi Bay is the perfect end to this hike. And, if you’re into mountain biking, bring your bike as this track is multiuse and has ramps at every gate.
4. Coast to Coast Walk
25 minute train from Onehunga to Auckland CBD. 4 hour walk.
You’ve got to do this walk just to be able to say you’ve walked from one side of New Zealand to the other. In reality, the coast to coast walk is a 16km hike through Auckland, from the Waitemata Harbour to the Manukau Harbour.
The walk takes about 4 hours with no stops but, we’d recommend you pack a picnic as there are many epic places to stop for a rest and a sandwich along the way. The walk can be done both ways. Start at Onehunga or the CBD and catch the train back to your start point once you're finished.
5. Duder Regional Park
50km drive from Auckland CBD. 2 hour walk.
Located on the Whakakaiwhara Peninsula, about an hour south east of central Auckland, Duder Regional Park has been a popular spot for hundreds of years. Follow the Farm Loop Walk for stunning views of the Maraetai hills and Hunua Ranges and out over the Hauraki Gulf Islands. Venture off course to join up with the Coastal Walk, if the tide allows.
Pack your togs as there are a number of stunning beaches where you can relax in the shade of a Pohutukawa tree or swim in the clear blue waters.
We're sure you'll snap some picturesque photos while you're out exploring these stunning spots! If you post them on social media, be sure to tag #YourdriveAdventures.
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