With no opportunities to get overseas thanks to COVID-19, now is the perfect time to explore our own amazing region.
While many have taken the opportunity to book accommodation in our incredible regional parks, there are still opportunities to explore somewhere new.
Waiheke Backpackers Hostel
Located above Onetangi Beach, the backpacker hostel is the perfect place to stay for the more budget-conscious who want to still enjoy incredible vistas.
This is a real slice of paradise and perfect for any island visit.
Wake up to the sound of local birds like tūī, then head down the hill for a walk or run along Onetangi Beach, or simply relax on the beach before going for a dip in the ocean.
For those keen on tasting incredible Waiheke speciality products, there are cafés, restaurants and vineyards to explore within five minutes of the backpackers.
If natural beauty is of more interest, Te Ara Hura Walkway is a great way to explore all of Waiheke.
Join the walkway on Onetangi Beach and see where your feet take you or take a short trip to the other side of the island and explore Whakanewha Regional Park.
Kaipātiki Tiny Home
This cosy cabin is the perfect accommodation for a small family or a couple wanting to spend a weekend at the hot pools in Parakai, being located in the campground right next door. If you’re staying, you also get discounted entry to the pools.
This accommodation is a unique opportunity to see what tiny homes are all about, where space is brilliantly utilised without compromising on functionality.
This is perfect if you want more of an intimate quiet option for your accommodation.
The location also provides a great base for exploring the Helensville and Kaipara area for those who love to get out into nature, including South Head where the Te Rau Pūriri Regional Park can be found.
Alternatively, if you get in early enough you can also book the bach next door, providing a perfect place for an extended family holiday.
Sleeps up to 4 people.
Ōrewa Beach Holiday Park
The perfect family getaway without having to travel far. Situated on the southern end of the beachfront, the holiday park has a range of accommodation options for all types of families.
Whether it is to go swimming, head out for a spot of fishing in the boat or just relaxing on the golden sands of Ōrewa beach, the holiday park also has everything to meet all family needs.
This includes a playground and a trampoline for kids or try something new by hiring pedal karts or kayaks from the park office.
A short walk from the holiday park is the surf club where the beach is regularly patrolled making it safe for swimming.
Meanwhile across the road is Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway and Walkway to enjoy for a relaxing evening.
To give the kids a break from the beach, next to the surf club is Ōrewa Domain where young kids can enjoy themselves on the playgrounds and older kids can shoot hoops on the basketball court.
If you don’t feel like cooking, then the nearby Ōrewa shopping centre has plenty of eateries to explore or grab a bite to eat or an ice cream at the surf club and enjoy the beach views.
If camping or staying in a motorhome is more your thing then consider Ōmana’s clifftop campground.
Located in Ōmana regional park the campground is near the back of the reserve surrounded by trees for privacy from other park visitors.
The views overlooking Tīkapa Moana / Hauraki Gulf towards Waiheke Island are breath-taking and getting up for a sunrise is well worth the early morning alarm.
The park itself has a playground for the kids and Ōmana beach is a short walk away for a cooling dip or to launch the kayak for exploring part of the Te Ara Moana kayak trail. There is also a pathway to Maraetai and Beachlands where there are cafés to enjoy a coffee.
If a walk or run is on the agenda, consider the perimeter path.
Take in open paddocks, native forest, and tidal estuaries full of mangroves as you circumnavigate the park.
Clifftop campground capacity: 100 people
Āwhitu regional park is an incredible place to stay, whatever your accommodation wants.
Located on the shores of the Manukau harbour, the park is a great base from which to explore the rest of the Āwhitu peninsula.
Although the bach is booked this summer, there are two campgrounds and a self-contained certified (SCC) motorhome parking area to utilise to pitch your tent or park your motorhome.
Take in the peaceful parkland, explore the wetlands or simply sit at the beach and enjoy a sunrise or the city lights twinkling on the harbour waters at night.
The two beaches within the regional park are great for swimming at high tide and good for young children.
Or find room for the golf clubs and play a round at the adjoining golf course.
Brook campground capacity: 80 people
Peninsula campground capacity: 60 people
Āwhitu SCC parking area capacity: 20 vehicles