All our regional parks are rubbish free. Whether you call it rubbish, trash or garbage, please bag it all up and recycle it or throw it away when you return home.
Part of the Waitakere Ranges, Cornwallis is a popular, safe spot for family picnics and swimming. Be sure to visit the 200m long restored Cornwallis wharf, the last of the Manukau's 16 ferry wharves.
Take the north-western motorway to the Great North Road exit. Follow Great North Road onto Ash Street which leads onto Rata Street. Take Titirangi Road right through Titirangi Village to the roundabout; take Huia Road and Cornwallis is signposted off it to the left.
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Gas BBQ's only
The main picnic area has wheelchair accessible toilets.
The wharf at Cornwallis is accessible by wheelchair.
Includes overflow parking. Additional parking at Firebreak road (22)
There are a number of hidden walks around this park allowing opportunities to escape from the summer crowds. Click on links below for track information:
For 800 years Māori favoured this part of the Waitäkere Ranges because of its birds, berries and rich seafood resources, including shark. Many archaeological sites in the area reflect this long and intensive period of use.
Cornwallis was intended to be one of the first major settlements in Auckland but isolation defeated it, and it failed. Instead, in the twentieth century, it became a thriving beach community until it was acquired as a regional park, and the beachfront cleared of baches. The entire coast was exploited for kauri and a number of mills were set up. The Gibbons family pioneered the industry. One of their mills was situated at Whātipu and after milling ended, they established an accommodation house, with a post office, and held dances in one of the large coastal caves. The Gibbons’ homestead is part of the lodge still operating today.
In 1863 New Zealand’s greatest maritime disaster occurred at the mouth of the Manukau Harbour. The HMS Orpheus was wrecked and 189 lives were lost. Three of the sailors’ graves can be found just off Cornwallis Road on the Orpheus Graves Walk. The region has an important role as a water catchment area.
The Upper Huia Dam was built in 1929 on the site of an 19th century kauri log dam. In 1945 the Lower Nihotupu Dam was built followed by the Lower Huia Dam, which was completed in the early 1970s.
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