View of O'Neil Bay on Auckland's West Coast. © Andrew MacDonald

Te Henga Walkway: a wild and wonderful west coast walk

View the map


You ask an ex-pat Aucklander what they most miss about their beloved city and you can guarantee that in their top five will be the city’s outstanding west coast beaches.

There are half a dozen wild and wonderful spots to choose from and Te Henga, also known as Bethells Beach, is one of the most accessible and most popular.

On the Te Henga Track #nofilterneeded

A post shared by Nigel Barnes (@nigelbarnes11) on Feb 23, 2018 at 3:16pm PST

Like its close neighbours Piha and Karekare, it offers surfing for the bold and swimming under strict and necessary surf lifesaving guidance.

Yep, it’s wild out there, people, that thunderous surf starting its journey at the next nearest land mass: Straya mate. Uh-huh.

One of the big attractions is Te Henga Walkway, where you can stride along the rugged cliffs that survey the sea, as well as past lagoons and amazing sand dunes. To the south O’Neills Bay and to the north the dive-bombing gannets at the colony at Muriwai... Just watch out for... Oh, anyone got a hanky?

The track is part of the Hillary Trail, an amazing combination of tracks and trails that runs throughout the Waitakere Ranges, named in honour of the man who conquered Everest, New Zealand’s Sir Edmund Hillary.

This is an environment that soothes the soul yet inspires it in equal measure, blowing away the cobwebs from the city that is only an hour’s drive away. The black sand, white surf and blue skies have inspired local artists and excited visitors for decades, an experience that changed little in centuries. Except that the tracks are much safer and you can get an ice cream at the store on the way out of the car park. All bases covered, then.

Explore more...

Be the first to comment on this page. You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Please log in or register if you don't have an account.

More stories like this

Find out more


Central Auckland: bustling, beautiful, always beguiling

Auckland. Our diverse and buzzing supercity attracts lovers of good food, good beaches and hearty adventures in the great outdoors. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Things to do

Auckland’s West Coast: rugged beauty

From the secluded beach at Whatipu, to Rangitira Beach at the southern entrance to the Kaipara, the west coast beaches are strung like black pearls.  Read the story . . . 

Where to stay in Waitakere District

4.5 /5
4.5 /5
New Haven Motel Visit website

New Haven Motel is ideally situated for travellers, whether they are on business or holiday. Tucked away in the heart of New Lynn, just a . . . More . . . 

3.9 /5
3.9 /5
AK West Motel Visit website

Quiet location surrounded by residential houses. Spacious executive accommodation in the heart of Waitakere Vineyards. 21 newly refurbished (2008) units with quality furnishings. . . . More . . . 

4.3 /5
From $235
4.3 /5
Auckland's Waitakere Estate - Heritage Collection Visit website

Auckland's Waitakere Estate, Auckland City's rainforest retreat, is located on a ridge-top in 75 acres of dense native rainforest in the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Park. . . . More . . . 

From $235