"Amuck in the Waitakere Ranges" Waitakere Ranges by 4streegrrl

Waitakere Ranges Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 37 photos

Something for everyone

Within viewing distance of Auckland, and technically still within its limits, the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is the jewel of the city. Encompassing 16,000 hectares of forest and coastline, and including several towns, hundreds of kilometers of tracks, camping opportunities, waterfalls, rivers and streams, and the well-known beaches of Cornwallis, Huia, Whatipu, Karekare, Piha and Bethells, this area is a boon for outdoors enthusiasts and city slickers wanting to experience nature close to home.

A forest with a past

Although the Waitakere Ranges is lush with native forest, it is comprised mainly of second-growth or regenerating forest. In the 19th and early 20th century, logging of the mature forest for valuable native Kauri trees, in addition to other species, was widespread and intense. Very few of the huge Kauri remain, although some managed to be spared the axe and can be visited in different parts of the park, as well in the northern part of the North Island.

Mixed podocarp and broadleaf forest is the most common type in the ranges, and can be explored in a variety of locations. Tree ferns are widespread, including the symbol of national pride, the Silver Fern.

Breathe deeply - and carry an umbrella

It rains up to 40% more in the Waitakere Ranges than within the city of Auckland, feeding the rainforest and creating a lush and diverse environment of trees, shrubs, herbs and bryophytes. The air is fresh and clean, as is the water, which is why the Waitakere Ranges act as the primary watershed for Auckland and the surrounding suburbs. So, if you pack it in, pack it out. Conserve water when you are told to, and appreciate the bounty.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Trails, camping, forest, mountains, streams, birds and logging history
  • Cons:There are none!
  • In a nutshell:I'll be back for some serious tramping
  • Last visit to Waitakere Ranges: Nov 2005
  • Intro Updated Dec 31, 2005
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4streegrrl

“The worst day in the bush is still better than the best day in the office.”

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