City views from West Auckland. © Chris McLennan

Loved by the locals: West Auckland

View the map


1. Market day

Titirangi Village Market is famous for its range of crafts. Local artists and crafts-people have been selling their handmade jewellery, clothing, furniture, ceramics and everything else you can imagine here since dot. It’s evolved into a highly entertaining outing, with music and excellent food keeping the family-oriented hordes happy. And they are happy. The market is held on the last Sunday of every month, in the Memorial Hall on South Titirangi Rd; in summer it spills out onto the surrounding car park and the markets prior to Christmas are especially hot.

 2. Arts and eats

Te Uru Waitakere is the region’s very good public art gallery. It blends inspired architecture, a stunning setting and top quality art. Touring and in-house curated exhibitions change regularly and are always smart, thought-provoking and surprising. Plus, the gallery’s shop specialises in exceptionally beautiful original New Zealand craft and design. If it all gets a bit overwhelming, take a break at Deco café next door for Mediterranean-inspired food while contemplating what to buy – a piece of ceramics, hand-blown glass or exquisite jewellery? Or perhaps an art book or an original print...   

 3. Huia and Whatipu

Huia is a small, sweet-hearted settlement on the Manukau Harbour, west of Titirangi. There is only a handful of houses here, arranged to catch the sun and enjoy views of a horseshoe beach. A compact museum, next door to the community hall near Karamatura Park, is top-notch, with loads of local kauri-milling history and artefacts from the wreck of HMS Orpheus.

Also top-notch is the Huia Food Store, from which supplies can be bought before driving over to the wild, wind-swept glory of Whatipu Beach.  

4. Local history

Arataki Visitor Centre on Scenic Drive, six kilometres from Titirangi, is well worth the drive. Amongst its many qualities are the specular views of the Waitakere ranges, Manukau harbour and distant coast. The building itself is special, with an impressive central pou referencing and respecting Māori architecture and within, exhibitions reveal the special nature of the area, covering its history, culture, biodiversity and environmental charms. This is where to learn about the many walking tracks in the ranges.

 5. Dog days 

Kakamatua Inlet is one bay around from Cornwallis, on Huia Rd going west from Titirangi. A short walk through the bush from a car park leads to a wide scoop of beach with a stream running to an open stretch of sea.

The special attraction? Dogs. It’s one of the few places dogs can be off-leash – and they love it.

It’s a wild, hilarious medley of stick-chase at Kakamatua: best avoided for those who don’t appreciate soggy, sandy, salivating hounds.

Explore more...

while you're here

Find out more

Get outdoors

Loved by the locals: Waitākere

From foodie finds to bushwalks and beaches, take the lead from the locals in Waitākere. 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 . . . 

Find out more

Get outdoors

Te Henga Walkway: a wild and wonderful west coast walk

Walk the rugged cliff top from Bethells Beach/Te Henga to Murawai and drink in the most epic views of Auckland's wild west coast. Read the story . . . 

AA Members save on selected accommodation with
AA Traveller

AA Members
Book now
Non Members
Book now