Whakanewha Regional Park on Waiheke Island is perfect for a day trip or a longer stay at Poukaraka Flats campground, which is set back from a sheltered swimming beach.
Birdwatchers can spot kererū, tūī, pīwakawaka (fantail) and tūturiwhatu (New Zealand dotterel) in the wetlands and along the coast, while kayakers can explore nearby inlets and bays.
The parkland has a history of Māori and European settlement, with a pā site and terraces still visible on the headland. In the 1830s it was used for boat building and forestry by Pākehā settlers.
Take the Fullers ferry from central Auckland or take your car with the Sealink car ferry from Half Moon Bay to Waiheke Island.
If you have caught the Fullers ferry, catch a shuttle bus from the ferry terminal at Matiatia to the park, or catch the Rocky Bay bus and get off at the Rocky Bay terminal. From the Rocky Bay bus stop, walk up Omiha Road to Upland Road track and into the park.
Walks include Nīkau Track (2.5 hours), Pā Loop Track (30 minutes), Park Walk (2.5 hours), Rua Loop Track (30 minutes).
Book a campsite at Poukaraka Flats or any of the 42 council campgrounds in Auckland.