Discover these hidden gems at Auckland regional parks

Last Updated : 12 Jan 2023
Views of Anawhata

Auckland’s regional parks are a treasure trove of unique experiences. Enjoy the best of the region with these hidden gems, all within easy driving distance of the central city.

Wonderful views in Waitawa

Travel just 50 minutes south of the central city to the wonderful views of Waitawa Regional Park. Looking out to Waiheke, Waitawa offers far-reaching views with plenty of picnic spots on the way down to the small beach.

Designed with families in mind, there is a good range of mountain biking trails, as well as walking and even a disc golf course. You can also explore the historic Waitawa wharf and Kōherurahi Pā.

With so much to do you can even stay overnight, the park has a well-equipped bach with a huge deck to sizzle some sausages as you look out over beautiful sea views. Feeling more adventurous? Then why not try some or all of the Te Ara Moana kayak trail and stay at Waitawa’s campground that can only be accessed by sea-kayak.

Amazing sunsets at Anawhata

Anawhata is a lovely, secluded west coast beach just a 40-minute drive from Titirangi through the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park. The last 20-minutes of the road is twisty and unsealed so care must be taken. The beach can only be reached on foot, via a 20-minute walk through native bush. The vast stretch of black sand is fringed by the harakeke-covered rock formations and pōhutukawa trees typical of the west coast. It’s usually quieter than other Waitākere beaches though, and you’ll probably only share it with a handful of other people.

Visit later in the day and stay for incredible views as the sun sets into rolling surf. To enjoy every minute of sunset, book into the historic Keddle House cottage located near the top of the track to the beach. The views from the cottage are exceptional.

Swim, tramp, picnic and play at Mahurangi Regional Park

Swim, tramp, picnic and play at Mahurangi Regional Park

Village markets and tramping tracks at Mahurangi

Head north of Auckland City to Puhoi, where you can wander around a farmers’ market or head to the popular cheese factory. Shop for locally made snacks before heading to nearby Mahurangi Regional Park. Located at the mouth of the Mahurangi River and 20 minutes from Puhoi, this park is great for a quick getaway with fantastic, sheltered beaches perfect for a paddle or a dip. If you are lucky, you may even spot a few orcas in the harbour.

In this tranquil park you can tramp, swim, picnic, camp or stay in your self-contained motorhome. Take your pick of walks ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours, with features such as cliff-top lookouts, regenerating native forest and points of historical interest. With three campgrounds on offer, there are plenty of options for overnight stays too.

Low tide offers visitors the opportunity to walk out to Pudding Island, just off Sullivans Bay, or explore the southern end of the park and enjoy the views from Te Muri Point or enjoy the views overlooking Wenderholm Regional Park to the south. Just make sure to give yourself enough time for the return journey before the tide turns.  


Please note our parks and holiday accommodation may close at short notice based on advice from the Government/Ministry of Health due to COVID-19.

Protect our kauri

Kauri dieback in Auckland is a serious problem 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.
  • Spray– your footwear and gear with disinfectant at every cleaning station you encounter. Kauri dieback can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.
  • 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. 

Back to News