The Waitakere Ranges Regional Park and the internationally renowned and prolific art community it inspires make Waitakere a special place to visit. These drawcards provide a backdrop to all the accommodation, activities, cafes, vineyards and shopping you would expect from an urban centre.

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park includes more than 16,000 hectares of native temperate rainforest and includes 250km of walking and tramping tracks.

The park is framed on its western side by Auckland’s wild west coast. Popular coastal destinations include the black sand surf beaches of Whatipu, Karekare, Piha and Te Henga/Bethells.

The park offers an abundance of recreational activities including swimming, surfing, tramping, fishing, boating, horse riding, running, walking, picnicking, camping, canyoning, sightseeing or simply relaxing. The sunsets are nothing short of spectacular.

Award winning movies like Jane Campion’s ‘The Piano’ and the popular TV series ‘Xena’ and ‘Hercules’, all filmed here give the park an international profile.

For the self drive tourist, the Arataki Centre, located just 10 minutes drive from Titirangi Village, is an ideal first stop for visitors. The centre provides the latest information of track conditions, weather and tides. Talk to the staff about how to get the best out of your visit to the park or book a guided walk or campsite. Alternatively, the approved transport operators in this brochure provide scheduled and/or customised tours.

It is not surprising that the Waitakere Ranges and the West Coast beaches have long been a magnet for artists of all persuasions; from literary giants such as Allen Curnow and CK Stead to painters such as Don Binney and Dean Buchanan, to name but two of many.

The old image was the bush-clad hills of Titirangi as the haven of the bohemian artist and legendary weekend parties; or of Colin McCahon discovering the Kauri in the rain-drenched bush of French Bay.

Today’s artists find tranquility and inspiration in that same exquisite environment but they are, by and large, a different breed. They are professionals, producing state of the art work for a national and international audience. They are people such as Ann Robinson, John Edgar, Fatu Feu’u, John Madden, John Parker, Neil Miller and Andrew de Boer.

At the foot of the ranges, in Titirangi, sits the iconic Lopdell House, home to the city’s regional gallery. This four story, Spanish mission building dominates the village skyline and shows the work of the cutting edge artists of the country.

Across the city on the historic Corban Estate a new arts precinct is growing. The old winery homestead has a complex of galleries which focus on local and heritage exhibitions. There are artists’ studios, a top quality arts and crafts retail outlet and a flourishing Pacific Islands arts centre.

Both these arts precincts are points of contact foci for the visitor wanting more information on the creative talent of the region.

New to the city are a scattering of smaller dealer arts outlets. Of note are the Signal Gallery in Swanson and the West Coast Gallery at Piha; all evidence of a thriving arts economy in this beautiful rainforest area. Mix all this with wine, food and wilderness and Waitakere can be seen as a mecca for true hedonists.

There is a great variety of accommodation, activities, cafes, restaurants and entertainment featured in this brochure. Days can be filled with plenty of interesting places to entertain the family such as farmyard visits, art galleries, wineries to sample, canyoning for the more adventurous, cafes for the more relaxed. We invite you to stay with us and enjoy everything Waitakere has to offer.

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