Photo: Anna White

Something for All

For a place with such rich history, character and natural beauty only an hour from central Auckland, the spectacular Awhitu Peninsula is surprisingly still a hidden gem to many people.

Awhitu is a very creative environment - a sanctuary for artists and nature lovers. The views are ever-changing. High dune sand ridges along a central axis fall away into numerous creeks and shallow tidal inlets on the eastern side. The western coast very quickly reveals a dramatic panorama where tides and landforms reign supreme and there are no signs of human habitation to be seen.  

There are many different sites and activities on offer:

  • A visit to the historical Manukau Heads Lighthouse, one of only a few in New Zealand open to the public, is a must.
  • Learn how to carve West Coast Jade and stay at Tony and Jacquie’s comfortable Cabbage Tree cottage. At the end of the road is one of the most dramatic west coast beaches you will ever walk along.
  • Explore the Awhitu Regional Park with its gentle white sand beaches, varied walks, rare birdlife, and historic Brook homestead.
  • Play a round of golf on the attractive 9-hole course next to the Park.
  • Visit a boutique cliff-top vineyard at Grahams Beach with magnificent views over the Harbour.
  • Browse the Awhitu Country Markets at Matakawau on the last Sunday of every month (except June-August).
  • Step back in time and walk around the historic Churchyard at Awhitu Central.
  • Step even further back in time and learn from the plaques erected on the Reserves at Wattle Bay (Te Raroa), Matakawau and Hamilton’s Gap / Waimatuku about Maori history.
  • Stroll down along the boardwalk through the Matakawau Scenic Reserve, behind the Awhitu School.
  • Bird watchers bring binoculars - Manukau Harbour birdlife is of course famous - terns, oystercatchers, pied stilts, wrybills, shags, gannets - to name but a few.
  • Pop into Pollok Arts & Crafts to view fine art, glassware, ceramics, jewellery, fabric arts - by local artists.
  • Bring the boat (check tides and bring lifejackets) to enjoy the Harbour fishing or for the more adventurous, venture out over the famous Manukau Bar. 
  • No boat? Lots of spots for surfcasting and kitefishing, both in the Harbour and on the west coast.
  • Hire a kayak and enjoy the scenery quietly paddling around the many tidal inlets.
  • Visit the expansive black sand beach and crashing surf of Karioitahi where the rugged, windswept landscape makes it perfect for hang gliding, paragliding, surfing and more. Or for a more gentle pastime, relax and enjoy award winning cuisine in the famous Agave restaurant at the Castaways Resort, overlooking the beach.
  • Want to check the Awhitu weather

And don’t forget, if you’re visiting Awhitu on a weekday morning, please pop in to see us!