Unique Places in Auckland Region

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Auckland Region

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    Atiu Creek Farm (newest regional park)

    by vtveen Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A real 'off the beaten path' tip, because the Atiu Creek Farm is not open for the public on this moment. We were able to visit the owners with our cousin (Director Parks & Recreation of the Auckland Regional Council) and made also a drive over the property.

    Atiu Creek Farm has been gifted to the ARC by Mr. And Mrs. Chatelanat, the present farm owners. It has to become the 23rd regional park and ARC will take over ownership from on 1 July 2006.
    Atiu Creek Farm is expected to be formally opened in 2011, but in the meantime the ARC is planning a series of open days with guided walks, planting days and opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy the park.

    If you are interested to take a look in this new regional park you have to follow announcements in the papers or to contact the Auckland Regional Council.

    Atiu Creek farm is situated on the Kaipara Harbour about 20km west of Wellsford. It is on the Okahukura (Tapora) Peninsula.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park

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    Muriwai Beach and Regional Park

    by kiwigal_1 Updated Nov 23, 2009

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    Muriwai Beach is located in West Auckland. It is best known for the Gannet colonies that are located in a sanctuary just off the coast in the area which forms the Muriwai Regional Park. The beach itself has black sand like a lot of Auckland's west coast. The colour is due to the high iron content in the sand.

    Surfing is the main pastime enjoyed at this rough and wild beach.
    Other activities inlude parasailing and hang gliding, fishing (although dangerous in many places).

    Bush walking is a great activity to undertake here, with boardwalks in place.

    There are also many mountain bike trails up in the pines, mainly downhill and freeride trails.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Auckland Domain, Museum and Wintergarden

    by kiwigal_1 Updated Nov 23, 2009

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    The Auckland Domain is a park built on one of Aucklands' extinct volcanic cones.

    At the highest point is the Auckland War Memorial Museum which houses a great collection of Maori and Polynesian exhibits and I believe is a must-see for any visitor to Auckland. There is a wonderful view of Auckland harbour from in front of the museum and you can see one of my favourite Auckland landmarks - Rangitoto Island from here.

    The Wintergarden is a greenhouse that houses an ever-changing array of tropical and temperate plants. It is located near the duck pond, not far from the Auckland Hospital park entrance.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Museum Visits

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    MOTAT Museum

    by kiwigal_1 Updated Nov 23, 2009

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    MOTAT is the Museum of Transport and Technology located in Western Springs, Auckland. It is an interesting place to visit, especially if you have children and there is plenty to see and do.
    This is me in 1993 sitting in the stocks. These stocks were used in the 1840's outside the Supreme Court on the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets for the public punishment of minor law breakers.

    For more information, including current events and exhibitions, call the MOTAT
    Office Hours are 8.30 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday,

    805 Great North Rd, Western Springs, Auckland City.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Visit Muriwai Gannet Colony

    by kiwi Updated Oct 13, 2008

    A very easily accessible Gannet colony to visit can be found about an hours drive North West of Auckland city. Via both the North West Motorway, and the Northern Motorway (over the Harbour Bridge) you can access State Highway 16 and head to Waimauku. Here you find a left turn towards the West to a beach called Muriwai. This is a great coastal beach to visit anyway, but take the very short drive to Maori Bay (from Muriwai) and you find this Gannet Colony. During October they are nesting and you see views as seen in my photos. Interesting both from the symmetrical nesting grid as well as the amazing flying display put on especially on a windy day. Both Maori Bay and Muriwai Beach are on the coastline well known for it's black sand. This is worth checking out if you have never seen before. Be sure to dig a hole to see the wet sand when it appears jet black. Dry sand on the beach seems to be a lot lighter in colour.
    Getting back to the Gannet Colony, from Muriwai the drive is just 2 minutes to the carpark at Maori Bay, then just a 5 minute walk to the viewing platforms for the Gannet Colony. A bit of a climb but the path is very good with well made steps in one section.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Birdwatching
    • Photography

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    Enjoy a day at Wenderholm Regional Park.

    by worldkiwi Updated Jan 15, 2006

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    Wenderholm Regional Park is about 40 minutes drive north of central Auckland, just past the well known township of Waiwera. This regional park has an east facing beach and on the western side of it there is the Puhoi River estuary, which is ideal for kayaking around at high tide, or even swimming. In the summer you can hire kayaks from the estuary edge for $15 for a half hour or $20 for an hour. There are pleasant bushwalks through Nikau groves (New Zealand's native palm) and even a historic building - Couldrey House.
    The beach is shallow and, unless there is an easterly wind blowing, is quite sheltered. The park has toilet blocks, camping areas, plenty of parking, and barbecues for visitors' use. You must take out all your rubbish with you when you leave.
    My first real exploration of this park was in January 2006 on a beautiful sunny summer's Sunday. I was impressed by what I saw and can thoroughly recommend this as a beach trip or picnic spot if you're in Auckland. Have a look at my Wenderholm travelogue for more pictures.

    Related to:
    • Kayaking
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

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    A pleasant town in the north of the region.

    by worldkiwi Written Nov 26, 2004

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    Warkworth is a pleasant little town in the north of the Auckland Region. It sits at the junction of state highway one and the road to the Matakana valley (full of botique wine vineyards and craft places) and the Omaha Bay, a prime beach spot.
    Warkworth has a number of nice places to eat and there is a little riverside walkway. Throughout the year there are a number of festivals and local happenings based in the town. Warkworth is the main town for the "Kowhai Coast".

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    Parnell Rose Gardens

    by kiwigal_1 Written Jun 4, 2004

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    The Rose Gardens in Parnell are a very popular spot with both tourists and locals alike. In summer and spring it is very common to see wedding ceremonies here or people getting their photographs taken amongst the beautiful roses! If you like rose gardens then you shouldn't miss the Parnell Rose Gardens.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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    Waiti Bay

    by allikat Written Apr 18, 2004

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    Just a 5 minute drive on from Kawakawa Bay, you come to the end of the road, and Waiti Bay, a pretty sandy cove with rocky outcrops. Excellent for swimming, a spot of fishing, or just sitting on the sand. A walk over the rocks will take you on to another similar beach, but watch the tide if you do, as getting back might be tricky.

    Just follow the road from Kawakawa Bay, past the new boat ramp, along the winding single track road through the pohutakawa trees.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches

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    A world away from Auckland

    by allikat Written Mar 15, 2004

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    A half hour drive southeast of Auckland you come to Kawakawa Bay. If you follow the coast road, you can visit the little town of Maraetai on the way, and maybe carry on to Thames and the Coromandel.

    Kawakawa Bay is a tiny scattering of houses along 2 sweeping shallow bays, and it's where I live! Backed by gentle rolling hills, it's a pretty spot, although not good for swimming. However, just a few minutes further on you come to Waiti Bay, a sheltered sandy cove with great swimming, and a footpath over the rocks to some other beaches.

    Kawakawa Bay has a couple of picnic areas, with public loos, benches and play areas, and a shop selling ice creams and the like.

    Let me know if you head out this way :o)

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    Need a chill out day?

    by worldkiwi Updated Jan 5, 2004

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    Mahurangi Regional Park is about 65km by road north of the city. It is spread over three seperate areas, one of which is only accessible by boat. The main beach is Sullivan's Bay at the end of the main road into the park. There is a small campground there, but you must book in advance (phone the ARC Parksline in Auckland on 303-1530).
    The site is ideal for campervans, though the road in is gravel.
    Te Muri Beach can be reached on foot across the Te Muri Estuary at low tide.
    The park is situated at the mouth of the picturesque Mahurangi Harbour and is ideal for kayaking. They can be hired during holiday season or bring your own. Sullivan's Bay is sheltered and perfect for swimming.
    There are some more pictures in the "General" section of this page.

    Related to:
    • Kayaking
    • Beaches
    • Budget Travel

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    Enjoy the invigoration of a day at Piha.

    by worldkiwi Written Jun 7, 2003

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    Piha features on my New Zealand page. In the photograph there you can see Lion Rock, the old volcanic relic that sits boldly in the middle of the beach at Piha. That view was from the road down from the Waitakere Ranges, looking north.
    Piha is a major attraction for surfers, but it's also a place well worth a half day trip in any season. In winter, it is elemental. The rocks and waves are dark and imposing and the black sand adds to the storminess of it all. In summer the beach is a popular destination for Aucklanders. If you go swimming there though, beware. The currents here are dangerous. Swim in the patrolled area, between the flags.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Surfing
    • Beaches

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    Distinctly Maori

    by kiwiwahine Written Jun 1, 2003

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    Not keen on a laser lit tourist targeting maori experience? If you're in Auckland in February you will be in time to catch the annual "Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Festival" being held at Takaparawha, Bastion Point, Each year tribal kapahaka groups compete to gain entrance to the finale, the festival. Some of the teams have been competing for 20 years and are experts in the tradional styles of "haka" and "waiata ringa ringa" (action songs). .

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    The Pasifika Festival

    by kiwiwahine Written Jun 1, 2003

    Pasifika is one of Auckland City's premier community events, with over 100,000 people attending the Festival in previous years.

    The Pasifika Festival, which usually takes place in March at Western Springs is the ideal place to experience the sight, rythms and taste of the Pacific Islands. There is always a wide variety of entertainment including cultural string bands, cultural performance groups, dance, drama, hip hop, rock, Rhythm and Blues, jazz, guest MC's, and more.

    If you're in Auckland in March this is one that is not to be missed.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Muriwai Gannet Colony

    by redrider Written Mar 1, 2003

    It is a Gannet Colony located off Muriwai Beach. One of Auckland's west coast beaches. The birds are amazing to watch. There are two viewing platforms to chhose from. If you lose interest in the birds you can always adrime the rugged beauty of Auckland's west coast.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park
    • Budget Travel

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Auckland Region Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Auckland Region off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Auckland Region sightseeing.
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