It’s easy to get away from the city if you’re staying in Auckland. We decided to head west and visit Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. It’s less than an hour away and there’s lots to see and do.
When we first got there we visited the information center. It’s a great spot to pick up a map, get suggestions on which trails to do from the staff, and pick up souvenirs.
First stop, we decided to go to Karekare Falls. It’s the easiest water fall to go to with less that a 3 minute walk to the waterfall. There’s a small area in front of the waterfall to sit and relax. We were able to set up a hammock and eat a snack under the trees.
Mercer Bay Loop
Afterwards, we headed to Mercer Bay Loop. We enjoyed this short trail that took about 2 hours. It took us on top of a cliff with beautiful views of the ocean. It starts off in a shaded area, but then opens up to full on sun with a few areas that are steep.
Moving north up the coast in Waitakere Ranges Regional Park we stopped at Kitekite Falls Track. This hike is about a 1-2 hr hike depending on how fast you are. Once you start your hike, you’ll notice that the environment seems much different from that along the coast. This area is more a rainforest, and it did rain on and off on us the entire time we were hiking.
The falls are a bit away, but it seems like this one has more people actually going in the water than the previous waterfall we visited.
Once you’ve reached the falls, you can either continue the second half of the loop back by going across the water. This ways is a little bit more adventurous. There is a path that can lead you up to the top of the falls or you can continue to the the end of the loop and go down some stairs. The stairs can be a bit muddy after the rain. You will also have to cross a river by walking on the rocks, which I found to be very slippery when wet.
To end the day we headed to Piha to catch the sunset. Piha is a great spot to watch surfers. When the tide is low, its also a great spot for the kids to play in the sand and for couples to stroll along the beach. We were able to see a rainbow appear right in front of us!
We walked along the left side of the beach and found a path that lead us up to a lookout with views over the beach.
We watched the sun go down behind the large rock formation on the beach and we headed down before darkness came in. We reached our car with a little bit of light and then headed back to the city to get dinner. It was a great end to another productive day with epic views of New Zealand.
Watch our vlog below!