West Auckland

West Auckland is most famous throughout the world for its wild West Coast beaches, mountains and rainforests. There is no shortage of stunningly unique black sand beaches up and down the West Coast, from Karekare and Piha, right up to Bethells Beach and Muriwai. West Coast beaches offer the best coastal views and waves ripe for surfing in the entire Auckland region. While these beaches are spectacular and amazing and fun for the whole family, please please please be aware of just how dangerous they can be. If you’re not comfortable in the ocean, this isn’t the place to learn. Always swim between the flags and listen to the lifeguards at all times. The ocean on the West Coast is a lot more dangerous than it may at first appear, even on a seemingly calm day there can be any number of hidden rips and undercurrents.

The beautiful Waitakere Ranges dominate West Auckland’s landscape, and there are dozens upon dozens of different walking tracks across this stunning 16,000-hectare area. If you do want to head to the Waitakeres for a day or two of hiking, make sure you do your research first and always be prepared—you can read up on everything you need to know for a trip to the Waitakere Ranges right here. If you’re after the forest without the hassle, head over to Woodhill Forest instead. Woodhill Forest is a commercially grown forest further north which serves as a natural playground for the adventure lovers among us. There are over 100-kilometres worth of purpose-built tracks and jumps suitable for mountain bikes, quad bikes, or just an easy bush walk. Woodhill is alive with natives birds and reptiles, and there are countless activities available in the area, including horse riding, motocross and a 4WD jeep safari.

Kumeu sits north west of the city but further in from the West Coast and is undoubtedly Auckland’s wine country. Littered with dozens of vineyards and orchards, this area of West Auckland offers a whole different kind of beauty—head out for a wine tasting trail or a gourmet lunch, surrounded by the silence of nature.

Please keep in mind that it’s virtually impossible to get to anywhere in West Auckland worth going to without a car. Exploring this rugged and unique part of New Zealand is such an amazing privilege, and it’s totally worth shelling out the extra money for a rental car for a couple of days to witness its wonder for yourself.

West Auckland

Top Tip Palm Springs Hot Pools (155 Parkhurst Road, Parakai) is the perfect spot to spend a relaxing and tranquil few hours on a cool evening.

Top spots:
Piha, Bethells Beach, Muriwai, Kumeu.