In the early 1960s, momentum was building to protect coastal and significant land for future generations under the mantle of a regional park.
The area now known as Waitākere Ranges Regional Park had already been transferred to Auckland Regional Authority (ARA) ownership and the authority set about making its first purchase of parkland.
Then, on 31 March 1965, the ARA also took possession of the 127-hectare Wenderholm property and transformed it for public use. A pedestrian bridge, car parks, dressing sheds, toilets and rubbish bins were installed, and the park opened to the public in December 1965. Later, picnic tables and a refreshment kiosk were built, and trees were planted.
ARA deputy chairman Leo Manning said at the time, “Something has been done for Auckland citizens that will stand to the credit of the authority for all time.”
Today, hundreds of thousands of people visit Wenderholm each year to enjoy the beach, camp, stay at baches, explore the Maungatauhoro headland and see historic Couldrey House.