Start your day trip to the windswept western coastline north of Auckland with pickup from your city hotel. After a short drive, you’ll arrive at the Arataki Visitor Centre, considered the gateway to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, which contains more than 39,500 acres (16,000 hectares) of rugged coast and rainforest.
From the panoramic decks, enjoy sweeping views of the Tasman Sea extending all the way to the Pacific. View traditional Maori carvings on display while your guide focuses on the natural and cultural heritage of the area.
Continue further west to the coastal rainforest and learn about native flora and fauna unique to New Zealand — 70 percent of which can be found nowhere else in the world. Walk alongside giant tree ferns growing near the stream, then dig your toes in the black sands of one of the region’s notorious beaches, bordered by rocky outcrops.
Enjoy a picnic lunch, served at a scenic location, before continuing your journey to an old-growth forest of giant kauri trees, some of them 1,000 years old. Listen for native birds as you walk among thee majestic giants, then re-board your vehicle for the return to Auckland.