Spectacular views on the Te Henga Walkway. © Anthony Sowerby

Tackle the Te Henga Walkway

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Near the top of any Aucklander’s must-do list for their city are the dramatic black sand beaches of the west coast.  

Piha is famous for its surf breaks and next door, Karekare was the site of an Academy Award-winning movie. But it’s Bethells Beach, or Te Henga, further north which is one of the most popular and accessible. 

It has the signature surf, the scorching iron sand – do not attempt to get to the sea barefoot in summer, or you’ll be in for a sprint – but some of the main highlights at Te Henga are the vantage points to be had from the clifftop walkway. 

Survey the thunderous sea, lagoons and sprawling sand dunes as you stride along the windswept cliffs. 

The Te Henga walkway is part of the larger Hillary Trail through the Waitakere Ranges, much of which is currently closed to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease. But you can still tackle Te Henga, the section that runs from Bethells north to Muriwai. 

Equally inspiring on a sunny afternoon, or a blustery windswept day, the Te Henga walkway is just an hour’s drive from Auckland city. Be sure to stop for an excellent coffee and a well-deserved treat at the Bethells Café on your way back to the car. 

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