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.
The picturesque mouth of the Puhoi River, surrounded by forested headlands, is Wenderholm, the first and perhaps still the most beautiful Regional Park. Wenderholm contains one of Aucklands best examples of mainland coastal forest.
Catch the bus to Wenderholm
Click here to visit the Auckland Transport website
Click here for information about which regional parks allow restricted dog walking
The park entrance is on State Highway 1 just north of Waiwera.
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There are 3 electric BBQs, 4 single wood fired BBQs and 2 double wood fired BBQ’s available for casual use but you need to supply your own wood or charcoal. The electric BBQ's are free to operate. Wenderholm’s bookable sites have BBQ’s which can be hired with the site. If these sites have not been booked then they are able to be used by casual park users.
Wenderholm has approximately 900 metres of family friendly beach adjacent to a large grassy picnic area and the shade of pohutukawa trees.
A boat ramp is located on the Puhoi River estuary side of Wenderholm Regional Park and approximately 800 metres from the park entrance. It is not recommended to launch and retrieve boats for 3 hours each side of low tide.
Are not allowed in the general picnic areas, but are allowed on bookable sites. Conditions apply and the site must be booked. For details go to bookable sites on this page.
Coverage is good on most of the main park land but can be very patchy nearer the hillside to the south of the park. The walking tracks on this hillside have little to no reception.
Are allowed in the general picnic areas, any pegs must be less than 300 mm long to ensure water and sewage pipes are not hit or broken.
Over 3 meters x 6 meters are only allowed on bookable sites. Conditions apply and the site must be booked. For details go to bookable sites on this page.
Couldrey Homestead, Whitney Room, Grounds and Gardens: (Follow the signs from the southern end of the main car park) This homestead is open to the public from 1pm to 4pm every day from Boxing day until Easter Monday (except Christmas Day and Good Friday) and every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday for the remainder of the year. There is a $5 charge per adult but under 16’s are free. Couldrey House Gardens are free and accessible at all times. Please note that this is not a group picnic area.
A number of informative interpretation panels can be found dotted around the park providing information on park history, historic buildings, landmarks and restoration work. The Maungatauhoro Te Hikoi Track and the Couldrey House gardens feature several information panels describing the viewable headlands and islands, re-vegetation work and information on early human occupation.
There are 2 designated car parks in the main car park next to the pathway to the main toilet block.
● The Main Block: 2 separate unisex limited mobility toilets each with their own paved access from 2 limited mobility car parks close by. ● The Northern Block: The male and female toilets each have 1 limited mobility cubicle. Access across the parkland may be limited and assistance maybe required. ● Schischka Campground has 1 unisex limited mobility cubicle. Access across the grass may be limited and assistance maybe required.
There is no formed path for access to the beach. For special access provisions contact us on (09) 301 0101.
No amplified music is allowed. This includes bluetooth speakers and Amps.
Coastal, podocarp and regenerating forest types exist on the park. Many mature specimens of pohutukawa, taraire, kohekohe, tawapou, puriri, mahoe and kowhai exist in the area. See the “Tracks” tab at the top of this page for the best ways to experience these.
There are 3 notice boards located on the park including the main notice board which is found at the back of the main car park directly in front of the picnic area. The main notice board contains a phone booth for contacting rangers or making campground/SCC bookings. All main parks notice boards contain park maps, brochures and information for park facilities, activities, codes and rules and tides.
There are three designated car parks:
● Main car park: 290 spaces. Contains a 5 minute loading zone ● Boat trailer / car park: 10 spaces. Parking for vehicles with boat trailers ● Bus and coach parking: 7 Spaces. ● There are also grass overflow parking areas of approximately 400 spaces. Accessible only if the main car park is full and if ground conditions allow.
There are a total of 9 casual use picnic tables located around the park with four of those associated with the casual BBQ areas. Wenderholm’s bookable sites have picnic tables which can be hired with the site. If these sites have not been booked then they are able to be used by casual park users.
There are 11 drinking fountains located around the main car park and throughout the activity/picnic areas. There are 5 drinking fountains in various locations within the Schischka Campground.
Wenderholm is a pram friendly park with access throughout the picnic area and the beach.
Located at the main notice board at the back of the main car park.
Located next to Couldrey House. Follow signs from the southern end of the main car park. Office is often unattended.
The main park gate is located at the western side entrance to the park. This gate opens and closes automatically. See “about this park” for details. It will automatically open for vehicles exiting the park at all times
Are not allowed in the general picnic areas, but are allowed on bookable sites. Conditions apply and the site must be booked. For details go to bookable sites on this page. All other generators are prohibited at all times.
(For limited mobility options, see the “Limited Mobility Toilet” icon) There are 5 toilet blocks on the park) ●The Entrance Block: Approximately 150m into the park and on the right ●The Main Block: Directly in front of the main notice board at the end of the main car park. ●The Northern Block: 80m north east from the end of the main car park. ●The Schischka Campground block: 7 unisex flushing toilets in the centre of Schischka Campground.
There is a boat and trailer car park and a boat ramp located approximately 800 metres from the park entrance.
There is a jetty located next to the boat ramp at the northern end of the main car park. The jetty reaches approximately 82 metres out into the Puhoi River estuary with a floating pontoon located off the end of the jetty. Boats are able to tie up to load and unload people and equipment. Boats cannot tie up overnight or be left unattended.
Wenderholm is a good spot for bird watching with kereru and tui plentiful and easy to spot. In the forested areas you may be lucky enough to spot fantail and the occasional morepork. Grey warblers are often heard singing in the trees. Shorebirds such as oyster catchers and the rare and endangered dotterel also make their home in this park.
Boating is a popular activity at Wenderholm with many people making use of the all-weather access boat ramp at the north end of the main car park. The main beach and the Puhoi Estuary are good for boating but please note that the estuary is very tidal and launching or retrieving boats from here is not recommended for the 3 hours each side of low tide. Boats up to 3 metres can be hand launched and retrieved but they must be carried over the parkland from the car park as to not damage the grass.
Campers staying in the Schischka Campground enjoy peaceful views over the Puhoi Estuary. It is an easy walk to the park’s walking tracks, beach and main grounds and there is good access to the Puhoi River for water activities.
There is a large area for family games at the front of the campground and a great campsite for larger groups and schools.
Scuba diving is marginal at best in front of the park but diving around the rocks at the southern end of the coast may bring more success. Ministry of Primary Industries regulations (MPI) apply when fishing.
Sheep and young cattle are grazed on the park. You are free to wander through the paddocks containing farm animals but please follow any safety signs and respect restricted areas. Please leave gates as you find them.
Land based fishing enthusiasts can try for kahawai and snapper at the mouth of the Puhoi River. Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) rules and regulations apply.
Enjoy a paddle around the Puhoi Estuary or along the Puhoi River but be mindful of getting stranded on the mud flats close to low tide. The boat ramp area at the north end of the main car park is a great spot to launch into the Puhoi Estuary.
Wenderholm beach is often calm and is a great place to launch from. Vessels must be carried over and never dragged along the grass picnic area.
Mountain biking is permitted on open farmland and parkland. However, the area isn’t considered a good mountain biking location due to the lack of mountain bike accessible tracks.
Click here to access track information
Wenderholm is a fantastic place to have a picnic. It is easy to find a picturesque and secluded spot for a small group or book one of our designated picnic and event sites for your larger group. There are free to use barbecues and shelters dotted around the park and feel free to bring your own gas barbecue. For wood fired BBQ’s you must bring your own fuel. Groups of 100 people or more must book one of the 4 bookable sites.
Wenderholm Regional Park offers some spectacular views. From the picturesque main beach to stunning views of the park, the Puhoi River and several islands of the Hauraki Gulf which are clearly visible from elevated lookout points and walking tracks. Enjoy the view looking down over the historic Couldrey House Homestead from the lookout on the Couldrey House Track.
Swimming is very popular at Wenderholm with 900 metres of sandy beach that is considered relatively safe to swim in. Watch for very strong tidal currents at the mouth of the Puhoi River. Stay clear of this area, there are danger signs posted in the area.
There are many opportunities to volunteer at Wenderholm Regional Park. The nursery at Wenderholm requires people to pick out seedlings, bag up plants and do weeding. Other volunteer tasks can include (but are not limited to) tree planting, track maintenance, mulching, pest management and beach clean-ups.
There may also be on-going opportunities to work alongside the ranger staff on various tasks as well as alongside other volunteers.
Become a camp host and enjoy a free and extended stay at the beautiful Wenderholm Regional Park! We are always looking for campground hosts for Wenderholm’s campground.
To volunteer for Friends of Couldrey House, visit our website.
A great way to explore Wenderholm is via its network of tracks. Experience views, beautiful forest and areas rich in Maori history by taking the Perimeter Track or the Maungatauhoro Te Hikoi Track. Click on links below for track information:
Wenderholm offers a variety of short walks that offer a range of experiences. Great views of the parkland, Hauraki Gulf and the historic Couldrey House will reward a short but steep walk along the Couldrey House Lookout Walk. For an easy and picturesque exploration of the beach and parkland, take the Te Akeake Walk from the car park to the mouth of the Puhoi River. Click on links below for track information:
Couldrey House and gardens is a prime spot for your wedding ceremony. Weddings and civil unions require a permit to be obtained prior to commencement. The park itself is not a "wedding venue site". It is an outdoor venue for appropriate outdoor events. A wedding event is just one of many different outdoor events that may take place at Wenderholm Regional Park. Normal group booking rules apply.
Click here for a leaflet that contains background information about the area, a map of the walking route and historic points of interest.
Māori lived here for close to 1000 years because of its plentiful natural resources. Wenderholm was the focal point of Māori settlement in the Mahurangi District and the site of an historic peace making agreement (mihirau) between the Kawerau and Hauraki tribes in the 1780s.
Prominent Auckland politician and entrepreneur Robert Graham became the first European owner in 1868. Graham built a homestead (Wenderholm) on the flat, to use while he spent time at his Waiwera thermal resort in winter. The house is now known as Couldrey House after its last private owner. It has been restored and is run by volunteers as a museum, open to the public on weekends.
Historic trees are also a feature at Wenderholm with Caucasian fir, bunya bunya pine, Moreton Bay fig, Holm oak, cork oak, magnolia, coral trees and others planted as long ago as the 1860s. Many of these were gifts to Robert Graham from Sir George Grey.
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