Vast panoramas and sweeping coastlines - the journey is as good as the destination.

Top of the list is a trip to the historical Manukau Heads Lighthouse, jutting out from the tip of the peninsula, located in the Franklin district. The lighthouse is one of only a few in New Zealand that are open to the public and the views are amazing. The wind and salt spray will clear out the cobwebs too. On your way to the peninsula, stop by Waiuku, a historic town on the Sunset Coast. Don't miss The Kentish Hotel, New Zealand's Longest Running Hotel for a drink or dinner and enjoy a view of the estuary.

Explore the tranquil bays and rolling pastures of Āwhitu Regional Park on one of the short walks and mountain bike trails, or relax with a swim and a picnic at one of the safe, white-sand beaches. On the western side, the expansive and more rugged black-sand beach of Karioitahi is an awesome spot for activities on and off the water, including hang gliding, paragliding, blo-karting, surfing, 4 wheel driving and more.

Time to slow down the pace. Sip on wine at a boutique cliff-top vineyard with spectacular harbour views.

Help protect our kauri from kauri dieback disease

Kauri dieback is an incurable disease threatening our native kauri trees.

Here’s how you can help protect our kauri for future generations:

  • Scrub – clean all soil off your footwear, tyres and other gear, every time you enter or leave a forest/area with native trees.
  • Spray – your footwear and gear at every cleaning station. Kauri dieback can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.
  • Stay – on the designated open tracks; never step on kauri roots.
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times or leave them at home.

Find out more



Awhitu Peninsula


Karioitahi Beach


Manukau Heads

In this area