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North + West Auckland | The best things to see and do ๐Ÿ‘€ ๐Ÿ‘

Dramatic black sand beaches meet hills of lush native rainforest to the west of Auckland, while stunning coastlines give way to a wine country of rolling hills to the north of Auckland. To give you a taste of what to expect from your visit to North + West Auckland, here's an overview of great itinerary ideas I've collated for you.


Discover Auckland's north during your visit to New Zealand, and enjoy the ultimate laid-back lifestyle, where great food and wine is always close at hand and the sea is your constant companion. Or journey to Auckland's west to walk through untouched native rainforest, experience the rugged beauty of the wild west coast beaches and visit Auckland's oldest wine region. Highlights can include:

  • the remote, wild, untamed beauty of Aucklandโ€™s West Coast Beaches is where the Tasman Seaโ€™s mighty surf crashes onto vast black-sand beaches. Whatipu, Karekare, Piha, Bethells and Muriwai beaches are all renowned for their rugged beauty and are good for the soul ๐ŸŒŠ

  • providing a unique insight into how we farm sheep in New Zealand, SheepWorld showcases our wool industry in an entertaining way ๐Ÿ‘

  • quaint Titirangi Village is irresistible to those who want to be inspired by the untamed beauty of the rainforest and the Waitakere Ranges

  • Brick Bay Sculpture Trail is home to an ever-changing exhibition of contemporary sculptures by leading New Zealand artists

  • Matakana Village Farmers' Market, fresh country air, artisanal food, award-winning wine, stylish boutiques, arthouse galleries and cinema ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐ŸŒพ

  • unlock the imagination, fuel creativity and ignite the mind at The Sculptureum Experience featuring colourful gardens and six galleries, which display art works from around the world ๐ŸŽจ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒฑ

  • meander along the stunning sparkling black sand beach in Muriwai or ride along beautiful Pakiri with magnificent sea views on a Horse Beach Trek ๐Ÿด

  • displaying a unique collection of both native and exotic species The Reptile Park is the only zoo in New Zealand that specialises in reptiles ๐ŸฆŽ

  • paddle down the Puhoi River through native bush, farmland and down into the mangrove forest to the Wenderholm Park ๐Ÿ›ถ

  • popular for mountain biking, tree climbing, horse riding and paintball Woodhill Forest provides plenty of scope for family fun ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

  • known for its lovely beaches, the Hibiscus Coast in particular Orewa and Whangaparaoa Peninsula are perfect for swimming, kayaking and fishing, or kick back at one of the numerous eateries ๐Ÿš

  • a stunning wildlife sanctuary for New Zealandโ€™s native birds, enjoy spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf, and take a walk amongst the regenerating bush on Tiritiri Matangi Island (see video) ๐Ÿฆ

  • offering great snorkelling opportunities Goat Island Marine Reserve teems with fish and other sea life ๐ŸŸ

  • The Pah Homestead is a historic home currently used as an art gallery, housing the James Wallace Art Trustโ€™s collection of New Zealand art ๐ŸŽจ

  • some of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand, Omaha Beach offers pristine white sand as does nearby Tawharanui Regional Park along with shingled bays, native coastal forest and wetlands ๐Ÿš

  • take the opportunity to learn surfing on either the West Coasts black sand beaches, or the East Coastโ€™s pristine white sand beaches ๐Ÿ„

  • experience skiing and snowboarding all year round at Snowplanet, New Zealand's first and only indoor snow dome ๐Ÿ‚โ„๏ธโ›ท๏ธ

  • Devonport is a place where time slows down, with boutique shops filling the spaces of Victorian-era buildings, and some of the best beaches in the city

  • known for their sweeping views over the harbour and the Hauraki Gulf the twin peaks of North Head and Mount Victoria are popular walks ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ

  • the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum showcases the rich history of the Royal New Zealand Navy - self explore the stunning exhibitions โš“

  • the North Shore Coastal Walk which forms part of the Te Araroa Trail, is easily accessible and provides paths over cliffs, along the water, across sandy beaches, all the while offering views of Rangitoto Island ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ

  • AWOL Canyoning Adventures will take you rainforest canyoning - abseiling under showering waterfalls, underground streams into caves, jumps, water slides into hidden pools and mysterious water sculptured gorges

  • taste the flavours out west in Kumeu Wine Country, an area steeped in history with wineries in the area dating back to the 1930โ€™s; or visit the very small premium wine region of Matakana to the north of the city ๐Ÿท

NORTH + WEST AUCKLAND AT A GLANCE ๐Ÿ›๏ธ minimum 2 night stay recommended ๐Ÿ“… visit any time of year

๐Ÿ“ย 5.5 out of 10 visitors include North + West Auckland in their New Zealand itinerary

๐ŸŒฆ๏ธ there is a chance of rain 4 days each week on average each year

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Family fun scores high here with plenty to keep children entertained ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Food + Wineย experiences in this region were sometimes mentioned as a highlight ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ LGBTQI+ friendly ๐Ÿ‘

This part of New Zealand is home to:

Largest cities: Takapuna (North) and Henderson (West)

Other popular places: Devonport, Birkenhead, Titirangi, Massey, New Lynn, Coatesville, Riverhead, Matakana, Warkworth, Piha, Whangaparaoa, Orewa, Kawau Island, Bethells Beach (Te Henga), Muriwai, Tawharanui Peninsula, Omaha, Albany, Silverdale, Puhoi, Wellsford, Helensville, Kumeu and more...

Accessible by:

๐Ÿš— self-drive on a road trip

โœˆ๏ธ board a plane from almost any major place in New Zealand to Auckland's Airport (AKL)

๐ŸšŒ take a bus from Northland and Auckland City

โ›ด๏ธ take a ferry from Waiheke Island and Auckland City

Be adventurous. Be spontaneous. Embrace the unknown.

Let us plan your getaway. The catch?

Your destination is a surprise.

Book A Surprise Kiwi Adventure today and you might just end up in North Auckland + West Auckland - it's Time 2 Go!


Explore Aotearoa New Zealand

Great Kiwi Trips provide the best of each region in bite-sized travel packages

Combine several trips together to create the ultimate experience!

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