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Waitakere Ranges Tours and Activities

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6 Reviews
Waitakere Ranges
The hustle and bustle of Auckland is mere miles from lush forests and stunning landscapes. The Waitakere Ranges, a short drive northwest of the city center, are home to a regional park full of dense native bush, running rivers, and enchanting waterfalls. Enjoy numerous walking trails and incredible views of Auckland and the Tasman Sea.

The Basics
Formed by eruptions from the underwater Waitakere Volcano millions of years ago, the vibrantly forested Waitakere Ranges run for 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Manukau Harbor to the suburb of Waitakere north of Auckland, with peaks reaching 1,400 feet (427 meters). If you’re a hiker or are just looking to get out of the city for a bit, the hills have a number of bush trails—from short loop tracks to multi-day treks—for all fitness and experience levels. You can walk to several large dams deep in the Ranges, like the Upper Nihotupu Dam and the Huia Dam; keep your eyes peeled for waterfalls along the way. Intrepid hikers can try the Hillary Trail, a 46-mile (74-kilometer) trek that runs from Muriwai to Titirangi, passing through Piha. On all tracks, watch for native insects, birds, and bats—the bats in the Waitakere Ranges are New Zealand’s only native land-based mammals.

In addition to full-day walking tours from Auckland, the regional park is also popular with sightseeing tours that stop here while exploring Auckland or New Zealand’s West Coast. The lookout on Scenic Drive offers panoramic views of Auckland, or peer out over the forbidding West Coast beaches from Te Henga Walkway.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Waitakere Ranges are ideal for outdoor adventurers and nature lovers.
  • Many of the Waitakere Ranges tracks are closed to protect the native forest from kauri dieback disease. Contact the Arataki Visitors Centre to see which tracks are open when you want to visit.
  • Marked by a 36-foot (11-meter) Maori pou (carved post), the Arataki Visitors Centre on Scenic Drive is full of information about the area’s history and ecology—and also offers grand views of nearby Symonds Bay. The park rangers here can help you pick out treks and tell you about the don’t-miss sights.
  • There is limited mobility access at the Arataki Visitors Centre and in the park. A wheelchair accessible track links Arataki with Titirangi Village.
 
How to Get There

Auckland’s public transport network doesn’t reach the Waitakere Ranges, so your best bet is to drive. From central Auckland, follow the Northwestern Motorway to Great North Road. Turn right at Blockhouse Bay Road onto Ash Street, then follow that road (which changes name twice, to Rata Street and Titirangi Road) through Titirangi until you reach the Scenic Drive turnoff.

When to Get There

The Waitakere Ranges offer stunning, uninterrupted views of the Tasman Sea, Auckland, and nearby beaches, so it’s best to visit in summer and fall to avoid fog, rain, or flash flooding.
 
Best Walks in the Waitakere Ranges

While many of Waitakere’s bush trails have closed to prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease, some tracks are still open. That includes a lot of picturesque coastal walks like the Whatipu Caves Track, the Kakamatua Beach Walk, the Tasman Lookout Track, and the Te Henga Walkway.
Address: Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
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22 Tours and Activities to Experience Waitakere Ranges

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Auckland City and West Coast Full Day Tour

Auckland City and West Coast Full Day Tour

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48
Discover the best of urban and rural New Zealand on this full-day Auckland city and West Coast tour. Travel by luxury vehicle through attractive districts such as Devonport, Titirangi, and Tamaki Drive, and admire colonial homes in Parnell. Check out views over the Waitakere Ranges and explore black sand beaches and dense rainforests, where pohutukawa trees thrive. Enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 15 people.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$212.13
From
$212.13
Taking safety measures

Afternoon Piha Beach and Rainforest Tour from Auckland

Afternoon Piha Beach and Rainforest Tour from Auckland

star-5
208
Explore the Waitakere Ranges rain forest and Auckland’s rugged west coast, including Piha Beach, during an afternoon tour with a guide who is knowledgeable about New Zealand flora and fauna. From the Arataki Centre, admire sweeping views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Learn about Maori history, stroll the beach, and take a nature walk through a lush rain forest while you experience Auckland's largest regional park.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$118.65
From
$118.65
Taking safety measures

Coast and Rainforest Eco-Tour from Auckland with Lunch

Coast and Rainforest Eco-Tour from Auckland with Lunch

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66
See the untamed beauty of New Zealand’s west coast on this North Island day trip from Auckland. Travel with a guide to the Waitakere Ranges, with a stop at the Arataki Visitor Centre overlook for views of the Tasman Sea out to the Pacific Ocean. Admire Maori carvings before a guided rainforest walk, then visit giant kauri trees and one of the area’s magnificent black sand beaches. Picnic lunch and light refreshments are included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$183.36
From
$183.36
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Wild West Coast Photo and Discovery Tour including Lunch from Auckland

Full-Day Wild West Coast Photo and Discovery Tour including Lunch from Auckland

star-5
144
Photograph your way around Auckland's rugged West Coast during this full-day tour. With a professional photographer guide, visit the coastline's black sand beaches, like Karekare and Piha. Trek through rainforests filled with 1000-year-old Kauri trees. Get as much photographic advice as you like, and listen to commentary about the area's ecology, culture and history. Lunch and round-trip transportation from Auckland are included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$176.17
From
$176.17

Piha Beach and Rainforest Day Tour

Piha Beach and Rainforest Day Tour

star-5
189
Travel with a small group on a guided tour to Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, including a rainforest walk and a stroll on Piha Beach. This day trip heads west from Auckland with a stop at the Arataki Visitor Centre for harbor views. Dig your toes into the black-sand beach pounded by large surf and walk to a cascading waterfall for a swim. Your knowledgeable guide points out native flora and birdlife along the way.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$143.81
From
$143.81
Taking safety measures

Auckland City Highlights, Afternoon Beach & Rainforest Tour

Auckland City Highlights, Afternoon Beach & Rainforest Tour

star-4.5
65
Experience the highlights of Auckland on a city sightseeing tour in the morning combined with an afternoon wilderness experience in Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. Learn how Aucklanders live and play as you explore the City of Sails with an informative guide. Then discover native flora and fauna on a beach stroll and forest walk, including a glimpse of the North Island’s giant kauri trees.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$172.58
From
$172.58
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Wild West Coast Tour including Lunch from Auckland

Half-Day Wild West Coast Tour including Lunch from Auckland

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87
See epic views of the North Island’s coastline on this half-day tour to the Waitakere Ranges, led by a professional photographer with a passion for the outdoors and knowledge of local history. Stop by the Arataki Visitor Centre to view the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea, stroll the black-sand Piha Beach, see 1,000-year-old kauri trees in a pristine rainforest and swim at Karekare waterfall. Lunch and round-trip transport included.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$125.84
From
$125.84

Piha and Karekare Rainforest Wine Tour from Auckland

Piha and Karekare Rainforest Wine Tour from Auckland

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61
Volcanic beaches, native rain forest, and vineyards abound on this full-day tour of West Auckland. Begin with a wine tasting in Henderson Valley, then continue to the Waitakere Ranges, where more than 40,000 acres (16,000 hectares) of coastline and forest await you. Get elevated views of the reserve from the Arataki visitor center, explore the black-sand beaches of Piha and Karekare, and get close to the Karekare waterfalls. Then, enjoy an included lunch before finishing your tour with more wine tastings.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$200.62
From
$200.62
Taking safety measures

Best Of West Coast Of Auckland Half Day Tour

Best Of West Coast Of Auckland Half Day Tour

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3
The Waitakere Ranges are less than an hour away from Auckland’s city center but offer some of the most beautiful natural attractions on New Zealand’s west coast. This 5-hour tour picks visitors up from the city for an afternoon of exploring the rugged coastline before dropping them off in the early evening. The perfect trip for those who want to spend a day in nature without getting too far out of the city.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$104.27
Price varies by group size
From
$104.27
Price varies by group size

Auckland Shore Excursion: Small-Group Coast and Rainforest Tour

Auckland Shore Excursion: Small-Group Coast and Rainforest Tour

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13
See New Zealand’s coastal rainforest and black-sand beaches on a full-day shore excursion from the Auckland port. Visit Waitakere Ranges Regional Park for a guided bush walk and marvel at traditional Maori carvings and thousand-year-old kauri trees. Enjoy views over the Tasman Sea and savor a Kiwi-style picnic lunch on this small-group tour, with personalized attention from your professional guide.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$183.36
From
$183.36
Taking safety measures

Nature Day Tour - The Wicked West Tour

Nature Day Tour - The Wicked West Tour

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5
Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of West Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges. Explore the crystalline black sand of Piha beach, the wild isolation of Karekare beach and the cascading Karekare waterfall. Travel in our luxurious SUVs through ancient native forests and be among the beautiful west Auckland scenery. With a maximum of four travellers (private tours can accommodate up to six travellers*) experience one of the best natural tours showcasing the hidden western gems Auckland has to offer. Alongside your Tour Bro. travel less than one hour from downtown Auckland to the beautiful wicked west.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$179.45
From
$179.45

Auckland City And Best Of West Coast Of Auckland's Natural Tour

Auckland City And Best Of West Coast Of Auckland's Natural Tour

While Auckland is known for its bustling center, some of the country’s most beautiful natural attractions are just a short drive away from the inner city. This full-day tour takes travelers to see Auckland’s best urban sights before venturing into nature; the perfect option for short-term visitors looking for an overview of the city and its natural surroundings in just one day.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$138.78
Price varies by group size
From
$138.78
Price varies by group size

West Coast Wilderness Experience

West Coast Wilderness Experience

Auckland’s Wild West is renowned for its rugged beauty. Walk through the sacred native rainforest, experience the rugged coastline and windswept, black-sand beaches. Home to unique wildlife and towering ancient trees, dramatic waterfalls, and some of the most breath-taking views you’ll ever see! The ‘wild west’ feels like another world away. All have a remote, untamed beauty that's good for the soul. Indulge in breath-taking panoramic viewpoints over the Tasman Sea, which separates New Zealand from Australia.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$109.90
From
$109.90
Taking safety measures

Discover Auckland’s Black Sand Beach and Rainforest with waterfalls & Bush Walks

Discover Auckland’s Black Sand Beach and Rainforest with waterfalls & Bush Walks

Discover Auckland’s black sand beach and rainforest and waterfalls only 30 minutes from the Auckland central city. Choose from multiple guided bush walks, learn about New Zealand’s eco system at Arataki Visitors Centre as you take in the spectacular views of the Waitakere Rainforest with the background of the Manukau Harbour hovering at a distance. Take a guided walk along the rugged west coast with the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, or dip your toes at Piha Beach. Whatever your fitness level, we will customise the tour to suit.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$143.81
From
$143.81

Private Tour to Auckland’s Wild West with Bush walks, waterfalls & Piha Beach.

Private Tour to Auckland’s Wild West with Bush walks, waterfalls & Piha Beach.

Enjoy the privacy of each other’s company travelling in a luxury sedan as you explore New Zealand’s biggest rainforest with its rugged coastline, Waterfalls and Black Sand Beaches. Your guide will accompany you on bush walks that is only 30 minutes from Downtown Auckland. You can enjoy dipping into the swimming spot underneath a waterfall or talk a swim at Piha Beach, (Recommended to swim between flags only)
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$430.72
per group
From
$430.72
per group

Private Tour of Piha and KiteKite Falls from Auckland

Private Tour of Piha and KiteKite Falls from Auckland

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2
Escape the city for a customized day among West Auckland’s spectacular natural playgrounds with a private tour to Piha Beach and KiteKite Falls. Learn about area history at the unique Arataki Visitor Centre, and then enjoy a flexible itinerary swimming or surfing at black-sand Piha and exploring the many Waitakere Ranges walking tracks that wind along waterfalls and sea cliffs.
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$553.14
per group
From
$553.14
per group
Taking safety measures

Auckland Maori Tour

Auckland Maori Tour

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12
Follow an indigenous Maori guide around Auckland (Tamaki Makaurau) and the west coast of New Zealand on this full-day tour. Learn about Maori culture, myths, legends, and history. Lunch and round-trip transportation from your Auckland hotel included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$212.13
From
$212.13
Taking safety measures

Private Auckland Luxury Tour

Private Auckland Luxury Tour

star-5
1
Enjoy a Private Tour of Auckland City and its glorious West Coast. See the very best parts of Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) on a Private Tour away from the crowds. Marvel at views of several ancient volcanoes and the spectacular nature surrounding New Zealand’s largest city. Explore the Auckland Domain with the Auckland Museum as its centrepiece. Marvel at Auckland’s 2nd-largest volcano. See the old colonial style mansions in the suburb of Parnell with many beautiful mansions. See Tamaki Drive, one of the world’s most beautiful city drives, admiring several of the stunning beaches along Auckland's shoreline. Explore Mission Bay, arguably Auckland’s most well-known beach with lovely golden sand. Enjoy great views of the famous Hauraki Gulf and the mystical island volcano Rangitoto Island, Auckland’s largest and youngest volcano at 600 years old.
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  • 1 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$492.56
From
$492.56
Taking safety measures

Waitakere Ranges Guided Walk from Auckland

Waitakere Ranges Guided Walk from Auckland

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13
Visit the Waitakere Ranges on an easy day trip from Auckland, including a guided forest walk among New Zealand’s ancient kauri trees to a hidden waterfall and cliffs, black sand beaches, and native sub-tropical rainforest. The vast stretch of rocky outcrops and western coastline belonging to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Parkland lies minutes outside the city. See views of Manukau Harbour and amble along the shoreline of a black-sand beach overlooking the Tasman Sea, then refuel with a picnic lunch.
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$212.13
From
$212.13
Taking safety measures

1 Great Day Auckland - City & Spectacular West Coast Nature - Private Tour

1 Great Day Auckland - City & Spectacular West Coast Nature - Private Tour

star-5
3
It's Auckland plus New Zealand's magic in a day. Fully guided private tour (2-4 guests) in English or German. And we add colonial style houses in charming Devonport,views from volcanic hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Auckland, Harbour Bridge, the beautiful Museum Domain and exotic Winter Gardens. All you need on a day tour or shore excursion! • Auckland, mallow golden and rugged black sand beaches, West Coast, Gannets and rainforest in day? • Fully Guided Small Group (2-4 people), the perfect great full-day tour when you are in Auckland. • English or German speaking • Fully air-conditioned SUV • Private Tour options - please get in touch
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$316.39
From
$316.39
Taking safety measures

1 Great Day Auckland - Spectacular West Coast - Private Tour & Shore Excursion

1 Great Day Auckland - Spectacular West Coast - Private Tour & Shore Excursion

star-5
3
Enjoy a fantastic route from Auckland City into the Wilderness and back. Fully guided small group (2-4 guests) in English or German language. Muriwai is one of New Zealand's most spectacular black-sand beaches, nestled between Auckland‘s beautiful native rainforest and rock-clashing world-class surf. It‘s a short and easy track up the cliff-tops to the viewing platforms to give you stunning views far over the dramatic coastline of Tasman Sea. You get up close to the colony that you can count the eggs and observe the fluffy chicks. A scenic drive to one of Auckland‘s „Must-Do“ attractions where we found ourselves surrounded by the natural beauty one expects to see in New Zealand. It‘s a nature-related informative and well presented Visitor Center with superb 360 degree panoramic viewpoints overlooking the Auckland area and subtropical rainforest to the ocean. It's an educational area in regards to the regions flora, animals, history and culture of the land.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$197.74
From
$197.74
Taking safety measures

Auckland Sights Exclusive 8 Hour Luxury Day Tour

Auckland Sights Exclusive 8 Hour Luxury Day Tour

See Auckland your way on this private, customized tour. A local guide picks you up at the port or your hotel, then set out out on a full-day exploration of the city. Drive Queen Street and Tamaki Drive, visit scenic viewpoints, gardens, black sand beaches, wineries and more. Let your guide know if you have specific things you’d like to see or do.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$280.26
Price varies by group size
From
$280.26
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Waitakere Ranges?