One of the great things about Auckland is the endless things you can do and see all within a short drive.
To mark the start of summer, we’ve pulled together a few must-do day trips (and optional overnight stay ideas) for you to tick-off over the coming months.
Head north to the regional parkland at Te Ārai for a relaxing day at one of New Zealand's best beaches. This unique stretch of coastline is a Rodney gem. Enjoy the pristine white sand and observe the coastal birdlife before making your way to the top of Te Ārai Point. From here you’ll have panoramic views out to Pākiri Beach in the south and Mangawhai Heads sandspit to the north.
Where to stay: Travel approximately 50 mins (traffic dependent) to Martins Bay Holiday Park. Located on the edge of a long sandy beach, Martins Bay offers safe swimming, beautiful views and brilliant fishing. Accommodation options include the beachfront glamping, powered camping sites, self-contained cabins and caravans. Check out the full list of accommodation options at Martins Bay Holiday Park.
Pack a picnic, round up the whānau and head east to Ōmana Regional Park. This is an ideal family park with a shelly beach offering safe swimming at high tide, shady pōhutukawa, walks across farmland, playground and outstanding views of the inner Hauraki Gulf. Ōmana has bookable picnic sites available for groups or just find your own favourite spot within the park. You can also go for a walk along the Beachlands – Mararetai Walkway and grab a coffee or ice cream along the way.
Where to stay: If you fancy sticking around at Ōmana, book your camping experience at the Cliff Top Campground.
Venture down south to the one and only Auckland Botanic Gardens. Here you can explore 64 hectares of beautiful gardens and native forest - and the best part is entry is free! The Gardens is home to more than 10,000 plants from around the world so there is plenty to see.
While you’re there, make sure you check out Gardeners of the galaxy to enjoy being an astronaut for the day. Display runs from 1 December 2018 - 10 March 2019.
Where to stay: Travel approximately 20 minutes (traffic dependent) to Ambury Regional Park and pitch a tent at the Ambury Campground. Ambury is a working farm located in Mangere Bridge. You can wander through the park and observe the different farm animals or relax, admiring the countryside views.
If you go west-side, check out the black sand surf beach at Muriwai. Take the boogie or surfboard for a spin (Muriwai Beach has dangerous surf, so swim only between the flags), play a game of beach cricket, check out the gannet colony at the south end and enjoy some of the best views the west can offer.
Where to stay: Book a night or two at Keddle House located above Anawhata Beach. This is a solar-powered bungalow that was built by Walter and Sally Parker in the 1930s. If you want to head out for a post-dinner walk, please note there are a number of walking tracks closed in Waitākere Ranges Regional Park due to kauri dieback. Visit the Auckland Council kauri webpage for more information.
West Auckland is an area strongly affected by kauri dieback disease and it’s important we all play our part to prevent the spread of the disease.
If you enter or leave a forest/area with native trees anywhere across the region, here are three easy steps you need to remember:
- Scrub – clean all soil off your footwear and gear. Kauri dieback can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.
- Spray – your footwear and gear with disinfectant at every cleaning station you encounter.
- Stay – on open tracks and off kauri roots.
Always check the Auckland Council kauri webpage before going for a walk to find out what tracks are currently closed.