When entering and leaving the tracks please use the brush and Trigene provided to clean and spray your shoes. This is to prevent the spread of Kauridieback a disease that is killing our iconic trees. (more www.kauridieback.co.nz )
Best to leave the dog at home too, as if it is allowed on the tracks it will need to have its feet sprayed and be on a leash.
Arataki: walk down to the magnificent Kauri Grove and a good climb back!.
Upper Nihotupu Reservoir:
A great walk during the day and marvellous at night when glow-worms reach and blend with the stars.
Whatipu: Exploring anywhere but especially Omanawanui Track with views over Whatipu and the Manukau Harbour.
Fairy Falls: The 2.5 hours loop walk of the Fairy Falls Track in the Waitakere is a great weekend trip. The falls look stunning with all the rainfall during winter season. Best of all - it's such an extremely amazing place to appreciate the richness and diversity of native New Zealand plants in one single forest.
Recommend to start from Mountain Rd car park, walk downhill to bottom of the fall (25min), cross the stream and climb to the top of the waterfall by steps.
Walk backwards along Fairy Falls Track towards Scenic Drive direction and then turn right into Good Fellow Track - this will bring you downhill to cross another stream before incline up again to the ridge (good view of city, surrounding mountain, dense forest, and look for a huge healthy colony of "spiderwood" Dracophyllum after the big Kauri). Turn right at end of Good Fellow Track, pass the Ranger's house and follow Old Coach Track down to Mountain Rd car park.
Allow 3.5 hours all up if you have the luxury to stop every 5 minutes to look at plants ...
Photos: Kent Xie
A joy to visit at any time, but especially in a bit of a westerly when the surf is amazing. A walk along the empty beach is a great restorative and you should get to see some NZ dotterel as well. Its best avoided on 'good' days if you're after a quiet walk.