“Spend an afternoon in the sun with friends, fantastic wine and a cheese platter at The Hunting Lodge Winery in Waimauku; you can even play a game of petanque near the olive groves”
Sir John Kirwan
The expansive native rainforest of the Waitakere Ranges is home to several waterfalls tucked into the trees. Take one of the walks to Kitekite Falls, Fairy Falls or Mokaroa Falls, with trails of varying length. Karekare Falls is both beautiful and easily accessible, a good option for families or if you’re looking for a short, easy track. Find out how you can protect against kauri dieback.
Lake Wainamu is unknown even to most Aucklanders. Its massive black-sand dunes feel almost like another planet – climb over them to the lake and the loop pathway leading around it. This is a great weekend day trip, especially if you want to let the kids burn off some energy.
You don’t need a special occasion to join a wine tasting at one of the many vineyards in Kumeu, Auckland’s oldest wine growing region. Vineyards range from large estates with onsite restaurants to small, boutique wineries. After your research, you’ll probably want to buy a bottle or two to take home.
Need a little adventure? Check out Woodhill Forest, just past Kumeu. Hire some wheels at the mountain bike park and take on the purpose-built tracks, or work your way around the treetop rope courses at Tree Adventures, with different levels to match confidence, age and ability. A good pick for kids.
Brave the highest tandem skydive in the North Island at Skydive Auckland in Parakai. Up 16,500 feet, you’ll get awesome views over both of Auckland’s coastlines, rainforest, beaches and across to the city. You’ll freefall for 75 seconds – what a rush.