Hillary Trail – Waitakere Ranges

West Auckland

Walking through lush native rainforest in Piha, West Auckland
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​The Hillary Trail is a self-guided four day tramp through lush native forest and along the wild coast of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.

Walk details

The trail is named after Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand’s most famous mountaineer and explorer, and captures his sense of adventure and introduces you to the joys of overnight camping.


The Hillary Trail connects a network of existing regional park tracks and basic backpacker campgrounds. It takes trampers through the magnificent Waitakere Ranges, a hiker’s paradise. Discover pristine native bush, plants and wildlife, including ancient kauri trees.

​Walk highlights

  • The trail begins at the Arataki Visitor Centre for maps, information and superb views.

  • Kitetkite Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Waitakere Ranges, with six drops into a large lake-like pool at the bottom.

  • Piha Beach is one of Aucklanders’ favourite spots, known for its rugged terrain, dramatic black sands and pounding surf.

  • See the vast gannet colony perched on the cliff top at Muriwai Beach.

​Need to know

  • A high level of fitness and some tramping experience are necessary.

  • Along the way there is a range of accommodation options, including a number of basic council campgrounds (bookings essential).

  • As well as the 3 night/4 day option, there are many ways to complete the trail, such as extending the time taken to complete it and staying in local lodges and B&B’s, or breaking it down into sections to be completed as day walks.