Luxurious Destinations
South Pacific
Destinations Within South Pacific

South Pacific Trip Itineraries

Way out west

Destination(s): Auckland

Day 1: Organise a day trip with Bush and Beach NZ for a guided walk through the temperate rainforest of the Waitakere Ranges, and finish with a dinner at Gracehill Vineyard Restaurant. Day 2: Explore Auckland's west coast with excursions to Bethell's beach (and make the most of the cafe for lunch) and Muriwai (don't miss the gannet colony). Finish the day at Coopers Creek Vineyard. Day 3: Explore the southern part of the Waitakere Ranges with by travelling through Titirangi to Huia (walk up to Mt Donald McLean and see Huia Lodge), before heading out to Whatipu for views out across the Tasman Sea and back towards Auckland across the Manukau Harbour. read more about Way out west

Gracehill Vineyard Restaurant

Gracehill Vineyard Restaurant

Bethells Beach (Te Henga)

Bethells Beach (Te Henga)

  • Bethells Road
  • Waitakere
  • tel:+64 9 979 7070 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • Auckland, 1008

Bethells Beach has a much more wild feel about it than Piha, which is even more apparent on windy or rainy days. There are sweeping views and a large cave at the far end that is well worth the walk to. There are toilets near the car park and sometimes a little mobile cafe opens which is lovely for a sit down and a coffee. Don't count on this, though! You should definitely bring your own snacks and drinks, just in case. When the waves get nasty there will often be a warning sign which you should definitely heed as this can be a dangerous beach. There is always the creek. It's warmer and calmer and great for kids to play in. Sometimes you will see children being trained in surf lifesaving, which makes for a nice photo op with their hats on.
read more about Bethells Beach (Te Henga)

Whatipu

Whatipu

  • Whatipu Road
  • Waitakere
  • tel:+64 9 979 7070 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • Auckland, 1008
Babich Wines

Babich Wines

  • Babich Road
  • Henderson
  • tel:+64 9 833 7859
  • Visit website
  • Auckland, 1008
Lion Rock

Lion Rock

  • Piha Beach
  • Waitakere
  • tel:+64 9 979 7070 (Tourist Information)
  • Auckland, 1008
Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island

  • Hauraki Gulf
  • tel:+64 9 372 9999 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • Auckland, 1240

Waiheke Island is the 2nd largest island in the Hauraki Gulf and is 17.7 kilometers from Auckland's CBD. it features many wineries (a new one every month it seems) and has one of New Zealand's best beaches, Onetangi. The easiest way for a visitor to get to Waiheke is by ferry. Ferries leave just about every hour on the hour (check the schedule as it varies on the weekend) and return until around 11 PM (earlier on Sunday). When you arrive at the Matiatia wharf, you can then select from the option of a taxi, public bus or hire car. There are many famous wineries and almost all of them have a restaurant on the premises to sample the wines and nibble some local delicacies. Two of the more popular wineries are Stonyridge and Mudbrick, but there really is no bad one. If you can pull yourself away from the vino, head to Onetangi beach for a walk or a swim. With views heading straight out to the Coromandel and one of the country's best white sand beaches, it is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty of Auckland. read more about Waiheke Island

Bush & Beach Ltd

Bush & Beach Ltd

  • P.O. Box 12
  • Henderson
  • tel:+64 9 837 4130
  • Visit website
  • Auckland, 1007
Muriwai Gannet Colony

Muriwai Gannet Colony

  • Muriwai Beach
  • Muriwai Beach
  • tel:+64 9 979 7070
  • Visit website
  • Auckland, 1250

There are many things to admire about the Gannet Colony at Muriwai beach. First, it's the breathtaking scenery. As you look down the black sand beach with the surf smashing into the rocks and spilling over on to the beach, you think it goes on forever. It actually extends 60 kilometers to the North. Moving toward the colony, you will see an almost 90 degree angle of an island. When you get used to the scenery, it's the bird's themselves. They arrive there amidst the chaos. There are estimated to be 1,200 of the birds weighing in at 2.5 kg's each fighting for space on the island. They nest just centimeters apart and lay one egg. The Parents take turns on the nest adding to the chaos (each has a wingspan of almost 2 meters). The chicks hatch and begin the process of getting feathers on their wings. They are destined for a one-shot take off (miss it and you fall into the ocean) that will lead them on an adventure that will see them cross the Tasman to Australia. The survivors will return a few years later to the site and repeat the process. The colony is an hour's drive from Auckland. It is well signposted (head to Muriwai Beach) and provides parking. Once parked, you follow the walking track around to the viewing areas. There are some great insights on the signs so go ahead and take the time to read about your fellow winged travelers. read more about Muriwai Gannet Colony

Mt Donald McLean

Mt Donald McLean

  • Donald McLean Road
  • Waitakere
  • tel:+64 9 379 6476 (Department of Conservation Visitor Centre)
  • Auckland, 1008
Muriwai Beach

Muriwai Beach

  • Muriwai Road
  • State Highway 16
  • tel:+64 9 979 7070 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • Auckland, 1250

Overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Piha, Muriwai beach is a wonder to behold. For a start, it is a true black sand beach. Then there is the surf. Don't wade in without taking a good look around. be sure only to be within the flags set out by the surf lifesaving team (it should be a clear note of warning that any beach requiring something called the "surf lifeguard team" requires some awareness). Watch the surfers and be amazed at the surf fisherman. It was possible to drive on the beach (it goes for 60 Km's), but limitations are in place now so check the signs. You can walk the beach or adjourn to the nearby Muriwai Golf course, one of the finest links courses in the country if not the world. The views from the golf course rival any of those on the western coast of the US. Lastly, as this is almost a purely western facing beach, check out the sunsets. They are truly amazing with surf, Pohutukawa trees and black sand all with the back drop of the disappearing sun. read more about Muriwai Beach

Acacia Cottage and Huia Lodge

Acacia Cottage and Huia Lodge

  • P.O. Box 26072
  • Epsom, Cornwall Park
  • tel:+64 9 630 8485
  • Visit website
  • Auckland, 1051
Coopers Creek Vineyard

Coopers Creek Vineyard

  • 35kilometres north-west of Auckland
  • Huapai and Kumeu, PO Box 140
  • tel:+64 9 412 8560
  • Visit website
  • Auckland, 1006