Auckland Region, New Zealand

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  • by Sandra, Hutia Creek mangrove forest boardwalk
    by Sandra, Hutia Creek mangrove forest...
    by Sandracula
  • Muriwai beach
    Muriwai beach
    by vtveen
  • Waitakere Ranges: bush and beach
    Waitakere Ranges: bush and beach
    by vtveen
  • Sandracula's Profile Photo

    Hutia Creek

    by Sandracula Written May 26, 2007
    by Sandra, Hutia Creek mangrove forest boardwalk

    When going from Paihia (Bay of Islands) to the Haruru Falls, you can follow the Haruru Falls track. The Falls were a bit disappointing (probably because I had seen the Whangarei Falls some days earlier) but the +/- 1 hour track was very nice. One moment you are wandering about in the dense forest, the next moment you are completely taken by surprise by the open view on the river and the Hutia Creek. The walk through the mangrove forest boardwalk was my personal highlight on this track.

    Note : this is in fact a one way track, but you can always go back the way you came

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Mc Kenzie Bay

    by Sandracula Written May 25, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    by Sandra, Rangitoto Island

    On the Rangitoto Island, near Auckland, in the Hauraki Gulf.

    Most of the passengers that took the ferry to visit this volcanic island immediately head to the crater. Though this popular climb is quite steep, the paths are sufficiently comfortable and kept very clean. The brave (and pounding) hearts do get to see some amazing views and the volcanic landscape creates an unearthly atmosphere but still, it is a real pity that so few people stop and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Mc Kenzie Bay. The glistening sand of the flat beach, the charming seatower and the soothing waves make a very peaceful scenery.
    I was in New Zealand during winter and sat down on this beach for almost an hour without seeing anybody else. I doubt this is also the case during summer.

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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    Goat Island

    by vtveen Updated Nov 28, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Goat Island

    When you reach Goat Island Road you find on the left side 'Seafriends' (café and aquarium), where you can also rent diving and snorkelling equipment.

    A couple of minutes later is the car park for Goat Island. Over the bridge are the bay and beach of Goat Island. There is a lot of sea life to admire in the sea around the island. What do you think of Blue Maomao, Red Moki, Hiwihiwi and much more. There are different ways to explore the flora and fauna in the reserve.
    - From the shore or by walking in the water
    - Snorkelling or diving in the channel between the beach and Goat Island
    - Taking a guided tour with a glass bottom boat around the island or in the channel (weather permitting)

    We did the full boat tour and it was a splendid experience to see the abundant fish and marine life and hear the (funny) stories of the guide. Worth the money of NZD 20,- (or NZD 15,-).

    For more info and pics see my Auckland Region page.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    Waiheke - just a paradise

    by vtveen Written Jun 3, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rock Bay: old boat sheds

    Your visit to Waiheke has to start with one of the ferries. Most people will take Fuller’s(www.fullers.co.nz), from the Harbour Building, but there is another company sailing to the island, called Subritzky (www.subritzky.co.nz), which has also vehicle ferries.

    Enjoy the view on Auckland’s skyline, suburbs and a couple of small islands in the Hauraki Gulf during your trip to Waiheke. It will take about 30 minutes.

    With Fuller’s you arrive at Matiatia. Just after the wharf are some car rental companies. In my opinion the best way to explore the island. But you can take a taxi or a (tour) bus.

    Although the whole island is a HIGHLIGHT, I will mention some:
    - Oneroa: the ‘capital’ of the island with café’s and shops
    - bays, beaches and coves: everywhere and always with white sand and very remote
    - lots of vineyards, most of them are open for visitors (www.waihekewine.co.nz)
    - try to find the old boat sheds near Rock Bay
    - (Fort) Stony Batter: a World War II coastal defence battery, with 1,3 km of tunnels, gunpits and an engine room. It is open for the public, also with guided tours (www.stonybatter.org)

    I'm sure when you are sailing back to Auckland, you have had a wonderful day on this 'little paradise'.

    See for more info and pics my Auckland Region page.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beaches

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    Waitakere Ranges

    by vtveen Updated Apr 13, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Waitakere Ranges: bush and beach

    The Waitakere Ranges are situated north west of Auckland and easy accessible and just 30 minute drive away from downtown. Most of the Ranges are covered by dense podocarp and green forests, with a lot of different species of native trees; Cascade Kauri Park is still an impressive kauri forest. At Karekare Beach are a lot of old pohutukawa's.

    In the forest and along Waitemata Harbour and the west coast beaches are more than 250 km?s of walking tracks. These about 150 tracks vary from a pleasant 15 minutes walk to a strenuous 3 hour track. The Ranges offer also several falls and great views.

    Along Tasman Sea are some famous (surf) beaches like Piha, Karekare and Bethells. As almost everywhere in New Zealand the waves are much 'wilder' on the west coast. It is possible to swim, but be careful because the beaches are dangerous !!!

    Start your visit to the Waitakere Ranges at the 'Arataki Visitor Centre'. They can provide you with information and (walking) maps. The centre is situated along Scenic Drive from Titirangi to Waiatarua.

    See for more info and pics my Auckland Region page.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Surfing
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Tawharanui Regional Park

    by vtveen Written Mar 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tawharanui Regional Park

    From the car park of Tawharanui Regional Park different tracks start to all directions. We did the track to the right (North Coast Track) along 'the long drop', climbing a steep hill, through meadows with 'wild' cows to Tokatu Point Look Out. During our walk and from the look out we had splendid views over the coastline and the Hauraki Gulf with lots of islands. It takes about 1hour walking for the roundtrip.

    There is an information board close to the car park. Tawharanui Regional Park has camping facilities.

    In combination with a visit to Goat Island an ideal day trip from.

    For more info and pics see my Auckland Region page.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Muriwai - gannets and beaches

    by vtveen Written Mar 15, 2006

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Gannet colony at Muriwai
    1 more image

    Worth a visit for its rough coastline and beaches, but most of all for the large gannet colony.

    At the car park starts an easy walkway to a couple of viewing platforms. No problem to find your way, otherwise you will most probably smell where you have to go. From these platforms you have a good view on the birds some metres beneath.

    There are other 'colonies' on small islands offshore. On the platforms are information boards, which tell you the amazing story of the Gannets and their flight to Australia.

    You might see these beautiful birds from August till late February/early March. We have visited these colony three times in February and did see also the (little) chicks. The parents flying on and off gathering food in the Tasman Sea for their 'children'.

    North and South of these Gannet Colony are black sanded beaches. As almost everywhere on the 'wild' west coast it is dangerous to swim. Take care !!!

    For more info and pics see my Auckland Region page.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Beaches

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    Waiheke Island, out from Auckland.

    by kiwi Written May 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Holiday house on Waiheke

    If you have some time, it's nice to visit Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf, out from Auckland City. There are regular ferries leaving from downtown Auckland at the Ferry Building. Many people live on Waiheke and work in the city, so there are commuter ferries running making the schedule very regular.
    This is in someways just another suburb of Auckland however the climate out there is very mild and appealing.
    Traditionally it has been a place for weekends and holidays and you will find a lot of holiday homes, humble and original, which we call "baches". But now things are changing and there is a large population of permanent residents in 'proper' houses, mostly really nice stylish designs.
    Waiheke has nice vineyards, cafés and lots of little cute beaches.
    You can rent vehicles or bikes out there and have a fun time getting around.
    See more photos and information on my page here.

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Adventure Travel

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