• Waterfalls
  • Hiking, walking
  • Black-sand beaches


This stunning region includes more than 16,000 hectares of native rainforest and coastline, and natural treasures like the Karekare Falls.

Karekare Falls, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland

Before you go...

A number of tracks in the Waitakere Ranges have been closed to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease. For more information, see the Auckland Council website(opens in new window).

The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is a place where pristine bush, thriving native wildlife and rugged black sand surf beaches come together. The ‘wild west’ feels like another world away, but is only a 40-minute drive from the city centre.

With over 250 kilometres of walking tracks, the ranges are a wonderful place to explore on foot, surrounded by spectacular scenery. Favourite scenic spots like the Karekare Falls, are very accessible.

Popular short walks deeper into the ranges include Kitekite track (45 minutes) where you’ll discover waterfalls, streams, pools and beautiful native bush.

For those seeking a challenge the Hillary Trail(opens in new window) is a self-guided four day tramp through lush native forest and along the wild coast of the Waitakere Ranges. Stop in at Arataki Visitor Centre for track maps and incredible panoramic views before walking among the kauri trees and giant tree ferns.

At the base of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park you’ll find the wild and beautiful west coast black-sand surf beaches of Whatipu, Karekare, Piha, Bethells and Muriwai . Don’t miss the huge cliff-top gannet colony at Muriwai and see majestic Lion Rock standing watch over Piha.


Kauri dieback disease is killing kauri trees in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. The closure of some tracks and the creation of protection zones helps prevent the spread of this disease, but anyone using the park can play their part to save kauri. Please respect these guidelines when visiting:

  • Always make sure your shoes, tyres and equipment are cleaned to remove all visible soil and plant material before and after visiting kauri forest.
  • Always use the cleaning stations installed on major tracks.
  • Stay on the track and off kauri roots.

Keep your dog on a leash at all times or leave them at home. Find out more about Kauri dieback here(opens in new window).

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