About this park
Te Henga or Bethells Beach is another beach in the Waitakere Ranges well worth a visit. Here you will also find, behind the sand dunes, Lake Wainamu - a popular swimming alternative to the rough west coast beaches. It is a geographically contained area with constrained vehicle access and limited parking capacity.
||Open 24 hours
|Summer gate opening hours
Open 24 hours
|Winter gate opening hours
Open 24 hours
(Non daylight savings)
How to get to Te Henga - Bethells
Take Scenic Drive, then Te Henga Road which takes you to Bethells Road and on to Te Henga Beach.
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Distance from Auckland CBD
Early Māori were drawn to this area’s rich resources of seafood, berries and birds and grew gourds, kumara and taro. Shell middens, terraces, pits and pā (fortifications) can still be seen. At Cascade Kauri, on the edge of the
golf course, is the Te Punanga (hidden place), a kāinga occupied in times of danger.
By the mid-1850s some of the first Europeans began to settle in this area and the kauri began to be logged. The Sisam family established Arrow Farm on what is now the Waitākere Golf Course. Len Sisam became the first ranger
in the area at the age of 19 and formed some of the first tracks. By the 1920s most of the area had been logged and farmed and in 1924 the Auckland City Council and the Crown purchased the land as a reserve to save the forest
Te Henga grew in popularity from 1912 onwards and the Bethell family’s guesthouse catered for those holidaying from Auckland and the surrounding area. The road was sealed in 1982, encouraging increased numbers of visitors.