10 cool things to do in our regional parks

Last Updated : 01 Jan 2024
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There are always more new and surprising things to do in Auckland’s regional parks. If you’re looking for something different to do, try one of these cool experiences.

1. See phosphorescence glowing in the water

Spent an evening at Sullivan’s Bay in Mahurangi Regional Park for a chance to see phosphorescence sparkling in the water at night.

2. Kayak, hike and glamp at Wenderholm

Kayak from historic Puhoi village down to Wenderholm Regional Park, where you can continue the adventure by walking the Wenderholm Perimeter Track. Top off the experience by indulging in some luxury by staying the night in the ecostructure.

3. Go kiwi spotting

Go on a twilight kiwi spotting tour at Tāwharanui Regional Park, for a chance to see the iconic birds up close in their natural habitat. 

4. Go snorkeling in a marine reserve

Discover an underwater world when you go snorkeling at Anchor Bay, Tāwharanui. The bay is part of the Tāwharanui Marine Reserve and is home to abundant marine life, including around 50 species of fish.

5. Camp in the wilderness

Camp in the highlands at Pae o te Rangi campground, a walk-in only camping spot and working farm in the Waitākere Ranges. Enjoy the peace and quiet, and spectacular views.

Another great option is Repeater campground at Hunua Ranges Regional Park, a one to two-hour walk from the Wairoa Dam car park.

6. Go surfing at Muriwai

Muriwai’s consistent surf and long stretch of beach make it ideal for surfing. Beginners can go for a lesson with Muriwai Surf School.

7. Play disc golf

Play a nine or 18-hole disc golf course at Waitawa Regional Park, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf as you go.

8. Go diving at Long Bay

The Long Bay Marine Reserve is located along the northern coastline of the park. As a protected marine area, you can see thriving marine life such as large snapper, rays and reef fish.

9. Kayak to shipwrecks and islands

Launch a kayak from Shakespear Regional Park and paddle around shipwrecks in Te Haruhi Bay, or even go as far as Tiritiri Matangi on a good day. Be aware of changing conditions

10. Go mountain biking at Ātiu Creek

Ātiu Creek Regional Park has a range of biking tracks, including the 7.8-kilometre Oruawharo River Trail, and the 3.7-kilometre Kauri Point track. Biking these trails is a fun way to enjoy the sweeping scenery of the Kaipara Harbour.

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. 

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