On the eastern side of the rugged Hunua Ranges, Waharau extends from the range to the coast. Enjoy farmland, river banks and forest for camping, picnics, walking and mountain biking.
||Open 24 hours
|Summer gate opening hours:
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (Daylight savings)
|Winter gate opening hours:
8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Non daylight savings)
|Distance from CBD:
||Click here to download a park map
||1748 East Coast Road, Whakatiwai
|Casual group size:
Dog walking restrictions
How to get to Waharau
Drive south on State Highway 1 and on to State Highway 2 before turning off on to Mangatangi Road. From there take Kaiaua Road to Kaiaua on the coast, turn left up East Coast Road and the park is about 1km past Pukekereru Lane.
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The Tainui canoe landed on the beach at the southern edge of the park in the 14th century bestowing the name Waihihi. This area was originally known for its aute (paper mulberry) grove, imported from the Pacific, and for its beautiful karaka groves, one of which still grows on the foreshore.
Ngäti Whanaunga, a subtribe of Ngäti Puku, occupied the land from the 17th century and still maintains an urupä (burial ground) on the park.
Waharau was one of the larger Mäori settlements along the coast in the late 1800s and was a summer residence of the Mäori King from the 1890s. This connection is maintained with the Tainui campground on the park.
European settlers milled the area’s kauri and beech from the 1860s. They shipped the timber to Auckland and across the Firth of Thames / Tikapa Moana to the gold mining settlements on the Coromandel Peninsula.
The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) purchased the park between 1970 and 1973 to provide access to Hünua water catchment land. It was subsequently developed as a regional park and was opened by the Mäori Queen in 1979.