"Wilderness in the City" Waitakere Ranges by Dodo22
Waitakere Ranges Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 37 photos
Not many cities in the world can boast a wilderness on their doorstep. The Waitakere ranges offer around 250kms of walking and tramping tracks, untouched native forest, waterfalls and on the coast, beautiful black sand beaches.
If you are visiting Auckland you really must take a trip out West. Its no more than 1 hours drive and there is a very helpful visitors centre that offers displays, history and views.
The Arataki Visitor Centre is the gateway to the Waitakere Ranges and well worth a visit before you explore this area. The Visitors centre is located on Scenic Drive about 6 km's from Titirangi village.
Before you set off on the Scenic Drive, its a good idea to stop off at the visitors centre. The staff are very helpful and the centre offers lots of information to help you plan your day.
On offer are a number of short walks and walking tracks (all self guided) as well as interactive displays, maps, an audiovisual movie on the Waitakere Ranges and if you have children with you there is the popular childrens corner.
Not far from the visitors centre is Piha Beach. This beach is highly regarded by surfers and the Tasman Sea provides excellent waves - swimmers beware though. The area is now highly built up and has gone from an artists retreat to a sought after residential area within commutable distance from Auckland City.
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