This clean, green, bush-fringed city lies due west of Auckland, nestled in the enveloping folds of the Waitakere Ranges.

It’s citizens know nothing of grid patterned streets in high-density conurbations. They enjoy a lifestyle that offers the best of both worlds – access to the facilities of metropolitan Auckland and to winding trails through unspoiled forest on a dramatic coast.

For visitors, Waitakere City offers superb sightseeing opportunities only 20 minutes from the Auckland CBD. A 30 km scenic drive along the high ridge of the Waitakere Ranges Centennial Memorial Park from Titirangi to Swanson gives superb panoramic views of the entire Auckland isthmus, embracing the twin harbours of Waitemata and Manukau. It also provides an impression of what New Zealand was like before most of the native forests were felled. The Arataki Visitor Centre has excellent interpretative displays depicting our native flora and fauna and has information on the network of hiking trails. A visit to the Waitakeres can be combined with a drive out to the rugged, thundering surf beaches of Whatipu, Karekare, Piha, Bethells and Muriwai. These spectacular black sand beaches are a remarkable contrast to the golden sand placid bays in Auckland’s eastern suburbs. Muriwai is world renowned as a rare mainland gannet colony where thousands of birds can be observed nesting directly below the lookout points.

The beautiful Henderson Valley and the Kumeu and Huapai areas are home to many of our most respected wine makers. This region is the historic home of New Zealand’s viticulture industry and many of the 20 vineyards offer sampling and cellar door sales as well as picturesque courtyard and garden settings for alfresco dining.

For information on Waitakere walks contact the Arataki Parksline on (09) 303 1530. For tours, winery visits and accommodation contact Auckland Visitor Centre on (09) 979 2333.