Do you want to explore outside of Auckland and visit one of the best views west of Auckland?
Waitakere Ranges National Park
The Waitakere Ranges are a chain of hills in the Auckland metropolitan area, generally running approximately 25 km (15.5 mi) from north to south, 25 km west of central Auckland, New Zealand. The maximum elevation within the ranges is 474 m (1555 ft). The ranges and surrounding areas were traditionally known to local Māori as Te Wao Nui a Tiriwa (The Great Forest of Tiriwa).
A road, aptly named Scenic Drive, runs a good portion of the length of the ranges from Titirangi to Swanson. This road leads to the Arataki Visitor Center, just east of the Hillary Trail where we will be hiking.
On January 11, 2010, the Auckland Regional Council opened the Hillary Trail, a 70 km trail running roughly north-south through the Waitakere Ranges, named in honour of the New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary.
Plans for the day:
- Board the bus at , headed for the Arataki Visitor Center. This is a good place to take some pictures, as it has an amazing view of the valley. If time allows and the morning goes quickly, we might also stop at Pae O Te Rangi Farm. This farm has one of the best unimpeded views of the Waitakere Ranges. (please arrive by for check in and administration) on Alfred Street (near the bus stop next to the library, across the street from the Kate Edgar Building/Information Commons)
- Head from the visitor center over to the Cascade Kauri, where we begin our walk on the Montana Heritage Trail.
- Lunch at the Dam. This is the halfway point and the dam has some amazing views, so stopping here should be a good idea for everyone.
- For those in good physical shape, continue onto the Waitakere Dam Circuit along the Waitakere Tram Walk. This walk is less formed than the Montana Heritage Trail, but offers better views.
- Return back to Auckland, leaving the park at approximately . This time could change slightly depending on the hiking speed of the group.
Your ticket includes
- Round trip bus ride from the campus to Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
- Entry to Waitakere Ranges Regional Park for the day
- Guided hike for the group, the PGSA guides will tailor the hike based on fitness and ability of the individuals of the group. Note: Some portions of the hike may contain narrow paths and steep terrain. Please be prepared for rugged terrain in getting up to the top of the ridges. The hike is not particularly hard, but it will be a long walk as we climb up.
What you should bring:
- Sturdy hiking boots are recommended, especially waterproof. However, the trail is well formed and mostly gravel covered, so normal closed-toe shoes are allowed. Open toed shoes such as jandals are NOT normal shoes and are highly advised against (in all situations, but especially hiking).
- Sunscreen. As with any event in New Zealand, good sun protection is always recommended.
- A packed lunch. This should not be too heavy so that it is not burdensome to carry, but should be enough to satisfy you for a long day of hiking. We recommend at least a liter of water for the walking and for the lunch.
This event will go off under any weather conditions, as there are weather contingencies. A little rain in Auckland happens daily, so is never a reason to cancel an event. We promise a fun day no matter what the weather brings.
Limited guest tickets are available at same time.
Note: No pay at door options available for this event due to logistics and booking reasons.