After we had picked up our Spaceship (Camper) in Auckland around 11:00 am, we set off for the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. We had read from a cheap campground, which should be quite nice. Since we still had to buy, it came to us also very much that the campground is located near Auckland.
Whatipu Campground – A campsite with sea view
The Whatipu campsite is a one-hour drive from the center of Auckland. To reach it, you have to drive a fairly long, winding road, which will be a gravel road with some more steep gradients on the last 6 km. If you drive carefully, the road is easy to drive. When we drove there it has rained heavily. We still had no trouble to get to the campground.
The campsite is situated in a valley directly on the Hillary trail. There are toilets, a shelter with sink and a place for cooking and even a cold shower in the open (in the winter probably not recommendable, great in the summer!). If it is dry, there are plenty of pitches and tent sites. When we were there, a lot of the spaces were blocked, since the ground was too wet. Some of the pitches have a view of the sea. The quiet location far from the typical tourist routes makes the Wahtipu Campground a really nice place to stay at.
The charge for camping is $ 7.50 per person. The camp manager arrives every morning and evening to collect the fees. Each visitor gets a lemon from him. Really nice!
Another highlight at the campground is the Kerikeri Beach. The beach is within walking distance of the campsite and is simply breathtaking. The special feature: The Kerikeri Beach is a beach with black sand! Just great!
There are also some caves about 15 minutes’ walk from the campground, which you should definitely explore if you are there. There are no glowworms. Anyone who has a tent can even sleep directly at the caves. The campgrounds between the sea and the caves are simply spectacular! If you want to camp there, you have to book in advance. This can be done at the Arataki Visitor Center or by calling 09 301 0101 (from New Zealand).
Kerikeri Beach Lookout
From Wahtipu Campground you can walk to a great vantage point in about 30 minutes (one way) from where you have a spectacular view of Kerikeri Beach. You should not miss this!
Walks in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park
In the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park and in the immediate vicinity of the campground are a lot of great hikes. If you are interested, simply ask the camp manager. He is a really nice guy and loves to give tips!