Wild West Eco Tour

A full day of New Zealand's natural awesomeness - get deep into pristine rainforests, find sparkling waterfalls and hike on volcanic sand beaches.

Tour Description & Details

On this back-to-nature eco tour your guide will take you on a picturesque and winding drive through the Waitakere Ranges to the isolated settlement of Whatipu at the entrance of the Manukau Harbour. This area is steeped in history and here you will get some idea of the ruggedness of our West Coast as you take the track down to the black sand beaches where views across the harbour await, and remnants of the colonial kauri rail line and loading port can still be seen in the sand.

Following a little-known track, you will be guided to the Whatipu caves – a series of ancient sea caves that have an amazing history. Bring a powerful torch!

Next stop will be the Arataki Visitor Centre high up in the Waitakere Ranges west of Auckland, where you will see spectacular views to the Manukau Harbour in the South and the Waitemata Harbour in the North. Here we will have a packed lunch and learn about the unique fauna and flora of this Regional Park, and the significance of the huge Māori totem that guards the Centre. An easy walk from here will take us into a lush rainforest where you will see giant tree ferns and pristine streams tinkling through the wilderness. You will also get to see some of New Zealand’s famous Kauri trees, the history of which your guide will tell you all about.

To round off the afternoon, your guide will take you down to a spectacular black sand beach at Karekare – this is where a haunting scene from the movie “The Piano” was filmed! And to end the day, a short walk up from the beach your guide will reveal the magical beauty of the Karekare Falls, a little-known gem where you can swim in the cool waters of the pool and get some wonderful photos for your album!

Please note there will be a fair bit of walking on this tour so it is unsuitable for very small children, elderly, infirm or otherwise unfit adults. Remember to bring your swimming togs if you would like to swim at the waterfall, and a strong torch if you are brave and want to go inside the caves!

Tour Time: 9am – 5pm
Tour includes:
  • Black sand beach and caves
  • Arataki Visitor Centre
  • Packed lunch*
  • Rainforest and Kauri walk
  • Second black sand beach and waterfall
  • Pick up and drop from inner city
  • Minimum 2 adults on this tour

Adult: $230
Child 5 to 11 years: $90
Tour lasts for: 8 hours
Leave city at: 9am
Finish at: 5pm approx.

*  Please advise us before the tour if you have any specific dietary requirements.

Five reasons to choose us

We are passionate about sharing our fabulous ‘back yard’ with you

We offer unique visitor experiences

We keep groups small and intimate

We are committed to sustainable tourism in NZ

We are approved to operate in DoC conservation areas and have all the necessary concessions to legally operate there

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Geoff Dunne and Lily Sha


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